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Rider Achievement Program. A student centered progression. Advising Locally, Thinking Globally NACADA June 9, 2009. Mary Beth Carstens, Associate Director, Student Success Center. Today’s Agenda. Rider Achievement Program Participants Components Goals Requirements

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rider achievement program

RiderAchievement Program

A student centered progression

Advising Locally, Thinking Globally


June 9, 2009

Mary Beth Carstens, Associate Director, Student Success Center

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Rider Achievement Program
      • Participants
      • Components
      • Goals
      • Requirements
  • Assessment and Support
  • Retention and Academic Success
  • Discussion
rider university
  • private, coeducational, nonsectarian university
  • located in central New Jersey
  • Four schools and colleges: the College of Business Administration; the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Sciences; the College of Continuing Studies; and Westminster College of the Arts
  • 60 undergraduate programs; 21 graduate programs
  • Fall 2008 Enrollment6,011 students

3958 are Full time UG (freshman class b/w 900 and 1000)

833 are Part time UG 1220 are Graduate

  • Student/Faculty Ratio 13:1.
  • Mascot—Broncs
  • School colors—Cranberry and white
rider achievement program4

Support that makes a difference

Information taken from RAP Fact Sheet sent with acceptance letter:

Why was I admitted through the Rider Achievement Program?

Real success in college and career requires that the individual fully realize his or her potential. You were admitted through RAP because your academic record shows that you possess promise to succeed at Rider by taking advantage of the features of RAP that are designed to help you develop your talents and skills.

What is RAP?

The Rider Achievement Program is a unique academic program offered through Rider’s Student Success Center, where you are empowered with the strategies needed to be an independent and successful learner. RAP offers first-year students a highly specialized learning experience and is designed to give motivated students the assistance and guidance to achieve.

How does a student successfully complete RAP?

To successfully complete RAP and matriculate to a Rider University major, you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 at the end of your freshman year and successfully complete the Freshman Seminar course.

program information
  • First Year Program
  • Undeclared major in Liberal Arts or Business
  • 4 courses in fall semester


  • Coaching meetings – at least 3 in first semester
  • Tutoring – minimum of 3 times (many take full advantage of support that is offered)
  • Must fulfill all Freshman Seminar requirements, which include coaching meetings
student support network
Student Support Network
  • Program Goals
  • To assist students with:
  • Transition to college
  • Acquisition of study strategies
  • Establishment of strong community
program components
  • Four Main Components of RAP
    • Summer Bridge Program
    • Linked Community of Learners
    • Success Coaching
    • Peer Assistance Program
summer bridge program

A student’s bridge to success

  • Takes place the week before school begins
  • Great opportunity to meet fellow students and transition into the Rider community
  • Mix of academic work with community-building activities

“The Summer Bridge Program is the

perfect opportunity to begin coping

with pre-college anxiety.”

- RAP student, Class of 2010, Irvington, NJ

linked community of learners


  • Connections through readings, assignments and academic support
  • Fall 2009 Links:
      • College Reading and History
      • Expository Writing and History
      • Psychology and Business
      • Intro to Expository Writing and Psychology
      • All linked with Freshman Seminar

“RAP has not only helped me succeed in college,

it has made me realize what I need to do in order to succeed in the future.”

-RAP student, Class of 2011, Medford, NJ

sample fall schedule
  • 12-13 credits 1st semester

Placement: Introduction to Expository Writing, College Reading

Student is an undecided Liberal Arts major and intends a Psychology degree.

FALL SEMESTER Course Schedule:

  • NCT 010 Freshman Seminar (pass or fail – 10 weeks - 0 credits)


  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)


  • Introduction to Expository Writing (3credits)
  • College Reading (3 credits)
  • History (3 credits)


  • Math typically not taken in first semester
freshman seminar

10-week seminar for all Rider first-year students

RAP Freshman Seminar Topics Include:

  • Week #1 Syllabus review and expectations, assignments,

What’s Rappenin’ and survival kits

  • Week #2 Awareness Day show and tell

What’s your learning style?

  • Week #3 Facebook

Party Game – Career Exploration

  • Week #4 Time Management
  • Week #5 Everything that You Wanted to Know About Rider,

But Were Afraid to Ask…

  • Week #6 TARA (diversity workshop)
  • Week #7 Course Scheduling
  • Week #8 Stress Management
  • Week #9 Money Management
  • Week #10 Wrap up, reflection, evaluation, celebration

“The RAP program has been my big sister since I started. The staff gave me positive

reinforcement and genuinely cared about my progress here at Rider.”

- RAP student, Class of 2008, Toms River, NJ

academic support

Student Success Center (SSC)

Professional and Peer Tutoring

Content Tutoring

  • Peer-assisted study sessions
    • Small group and individual tutoring and Supplemental Instruction
      • Help students gain academic independence
      • Address concerns regarding content in specific courses

Writing Lab

  • Individual tutoring by professionals/peers in writing, reading comprehension and study strategies
  • Study strategy workshops

Tutor training programs are nationally certified

Math Skills Lab

Provides Math Skills Lab (MTH 100S) for Liberal Arts, Science and Education students

who do not meet placement criteria for college level mathematics

  • Offers tutoring in the Liberal Arts, Science and Education math areas

"RAP made a huge impact on my life and is the reason why I am succeeding with my college years."

- RAP student, Class of 2011, Old Bridge, NJ

success coaching
  • Each RAP student is assigned a RAP Success Coach (also Freshman Seminar Leader)
  • RAP Coach - helps students to assess transition concerns, academic progress, and tutoring needs
  • Examples of possible referrals: Tutoring Services, Counseling Center, Services for Students with Disabilities Career Services, Student Organizations

“The Rider Achievement Program gave me personal and academic guidance during my first year of college.

It made my transition from high school to college

less stressful by providing me with an abundance

of information and support.”

- RAP student, Class of 2011, Point Pleasant, NJ

coaching topics

Coaching expectations:

  • Meet individually with students within first 2 weeks of class, pre-break and post-break – and any other times as needed.
  • Meet as a seminar leader group to discuss how things are going, develop strategies for classes, coaching, etc.
  • Set up meetings during first seminar and ask students to bring course syllabi and calendar

Initial Conversation (get to know), semester expectations review, course schedule review, goal setting

  • Intro yourself, your background. Ask questions of student – where from, high school experience, etc.
  • Revisit program requirements
  • Review current course schedule
  • How are things going on campus – in your residence hall? With your roommate? Are you interested in getting involved in any organizations?

Developing a Semester Plan

  • Review course syllabi and calendar
  • Goal setting exercise
  • Set up tutoring
coaching topics cont

Pre-Break Meeting

What’s working, what isn’t working, what do you need? Begin spring course scheduling discussions

  • Continue conversation about courses and upcoming papers, exams, quizzes
  • Review calendar
  • Review goals and strategies for success
  • Discuss tutoring
  • Life on campus check-in

Post-Break meeting - gearing up for second half of semester

  • Revisit goals and strategies for success
  • Spring course scheduling
academic intervention and celebration
  • Mid-semester progress reports from faculty members
  • RAP Coach and/or Associate Dean of Freshmen assist immediately in the event of a poor report
  • Additional supports are quickly put into place
  • Spring semester: tiered system of requirements and REACH Program for students on academic probation
  • Summer Course Grant
    • for students in good academic standing
  • RAP Completion Grants
    • 2.75-3.00 GPA - $1,000
    • 3.00-3.50 GPA - $1,500
    • 3.50-4.00 GPA - $2,000
  • Academic Success Reception in Spring

“The Rider Achievement Program was the perfect middle road between the safety of home and the ability to let my son fly. RAP has proved to be a vital step in his independence. I knew that RAP was there (and continues to be there) to support him as he grows in confidence.”- Parent, Class of 2011, Old Bridge, NJ

peer assistance program

“Our Peer Assistants showed us the ropes and helped us all throughout the year.”

- RAP student, Class of 2009, Dayton, NJ

  • PAs are student leaders trained in areas such as community building and resource referral
  • They meet with their group of RAP students during the Summer Bridge Program and throughout the first year
  • They also co-coordinate RAP freshman seminars and social and
  • educational events for the students. Sample of events:
  • Halloween Party
  • Coffeehouse featuring RAP talent
  • “Relay for Life” fundraiser
  • Final Exam study breaks
assessment and support
  • Surveys
    • Summer Bridge
    • Freshman Seminar/Mid Semester
    • End of Semester
  • Focus Groups in spring semester
  • GPA and Retention statistics
  • RAP Advisory Committee
new initiatives
    • Workshop Topics
      • Study Abroad
      • MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
      • Resume and Letter Writing
      • Networking for Personal and Professional Success
      • Interviewing Preparation
    • Events and individual meetings
    • Individual meeting and tutoring needs based on GPA
retention and academic success
Retention and Academic Success
  • Retention (over the past 5 years):
    • Year prior to program changes:
        • 62%
    • Post changes – average of past 4 years:
        • 78%
  • GPA (over the past five years):
    • Average GPA increased from 2.26 to 2.64
    • Percentage of students with less than 2.00 GPA has decreased from 27% to 7%
    • Percentage of students with 3.00 GPA or higher has risen from 13% to 25%
thank you
Thank you!


Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

mcarstens@rider.edu or 609-896-5328