Retention initiatives at york university from the local to the pan university
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Retention Initiatives at York University From the Local to the Pan-University. Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, AVP Academic Learning Initiatives Lynda Tam, Director Academic Affairs, Faculty of Fine Arts. York Facts. Founded in 1959 Third largest in Canada 11 Faculties >50,000 students

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Retention Initiatives at York University From the Local to the Pan-University

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Retention Initiatives at York UniversityFrom the Local to the Pan-University

Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, AVP Academic Learning Initiatives

Lynda Tam, Director Academic Affairs, Faculty of Fine Arts


York Facts

  • Founded in 1959

  • Third largest in Canada

  • 11 Faculties

  • >50,000 students

  • 1400 FT faculty members

  • 1000 PT faculty/TA


Student Body

  • Diverse

  • Many first generation Canadians

  • Students from 176 countries from around the globe


Large Proportion of Students Live at Home with their Parents

First Year Students

Senior Students

Source: 2006 NSSE


Almost 50% of York students Commute for More than 40 minutes

First Year Students

Senior Students

Source: 2006 NSSE


More York Students Spend Time Working For Pay

First Year Students

Senior Students

Source: 2006 NSSE


York Students Spend More Time Working For Pay

On Campus

Off Campus

Source: 2006 NSSE


AVP Academic Learning Initiatives

  • Position established August 2007

  • Reporting to the VP Academic but a “hybrid” position

  • Portfolio:

    • Director, Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students

    • enhancing the quality of students’ educational experience

    • monitoring of NSSE

    • implementation of programs/activities/projects


Former Student Experience


Current Student Experience


Retention Council

  • MANDATE

    • to create and sustain avenues for communication and collaboration amongst student success stakeholders

    • to achieve excellence in student experience and success

    • to develop and support initiatives designed to improve the educational experience of York students from the end of Orientation through to Convocation.


Retention Council

  • STRUCTURE

  • Co-chairs:

  • AVP Academic Learning Initiatives

  • AVP Student Community Development

  • Pan-university representation:

  • Associate Deans, College Masters, Librarians, Advising Centres

  • Residence Life, Career Centre, Counselling and Development Centre, Sports and Recreation, Student Leadership

  • Students


Retention Council

  • SUB-COMMITTEES

    • Faculty participation

    • Student engagement

    • 1st to 2nd year experience

    • Data warehousing

    • Advising

    • Peer mentoring


Peer Mentoring – Faculty of Fine Arts

  • Supporting excellence

  • Support for first year students

  • –a map and a guide for the journey

  • Support for upper year students “at risk”

  • Unique aspects of mentoring fine arts students


Faculty of Fine Arts Peer Mentoring Program Structure

  • Discipline specific mentor/mentee partnership

  • Formal training program

  • Mentor and Mentee communication

  • Peer Advising Centre


Goals of the Faculty of Fine Arts Peer Mentoring Program

  • Guidance and support

  • Retention

  • Networking skills

  • Mentoring for life


Program Success

  • 2007/08

  • 1st year FFA students = 822

  • 1st year FFA mentees = 120 (15% of entering class)

  • Of remaining 702, 30 (4%) were placed on academic probation at the end of the 2007/08 year

  • NONE of the 120 student mentees received an academic warning


Program Success

  • 2007/08

  • FFA students < 30 credits completedmajor gpacum gpa mentor 6.486.19no mentor5.675.32Total average credits earnedmentor27.74no mentor25.6


Program Success

  • 2007/08

  • Survey of mentors:

  • 30 of 32 respondents (94%) stated that they had learned new mentoring strategies

  • 30 of 32 (94%) stated that what they had learned in the mentor training sessions had helped them in their mentoring role

  • The most useful things they learned:

  • Stress management

  • Time management


Now that we have built it …Why do they come?

  • Unexpected outcomes for mentor and mentees

  • Spreading the word – peer mentoring campus wide

  • Finally…In their own words


In Their Own Words

  • “I learned that mentoring a fellow student helped me to grow as a person and an artist as I learned valuable communication skills that I can continually build on.”

  • “I loved having a Mentor as I felt more confident and learned more than just from my courses.”

  • “One of the best programs I’ve had the privilege to participate in throughout my four years at York”


Conclusion

  • THANK YOU!

  • QUESTIONS?


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