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Promoting Student Success at The University of South Carolina. Chrissy Coley, Julie Holliday, Katie Lynch, and Angela Street National Conference for the First Year Experience – February 2007. Purpose of this Session.

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Promoting student success at the university of south carolina

Promoting Student Success at The University of South Carolina

Chrissy Coley, Julie Holliday, Katie Lynch, and Angela Street

National Conference for the First Year Experience – February 2007

Purpose of this session
Purpose of this Session Carolina

  • To discuss the proposal and implementation of USC’s Student Success Center, including:

    • Relevant literature and data

    • SSC’s purpose and resulting organization and programmatic initiatives

    • Cross-campus partnerships

    • Recommendations for campuses considering this type of program

Literature on high performing institutions
Literature on High-Performing Institutions Carolina

  • Student Success in College (2005 AAHE)

    • Highlights DEEP institutions (Documenting Effective Educational Practices) from National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

    • Mark routes to student success through acculturation & alignment

  • What Works in Student Retention (2004 ACT)

    • Learning Support, Academic Advising and Monitoring, First-Year Programs

  • Raising the Graduation Rates of Low-Income College Students (2005 Pell Institute)

    • Intentional, intrusive academic advising

    • Systems for monitoring student progress and intervention

  • Role of Academic and Non-Academic Factors in Improving College Retention (2004 ACT)

    • Academic-Related Skills, Self-Confidence, and Goals

Additional research and institutional data used in decision making
Additional Research and Institutional Data Used in Decision-Making

  • NSSE – issues of engagement

  • CIRP – issues of prior study habits

  • College Student Inventory

  • Student Satisfaction Inventory

  • Institutional retention and graduation rates

    • Impact of first year grades

    • Impact of living on campus and being Greek

    • Impact of maintaining LIFE Scholarship

    • Student sub-population data

    • Withdrawal data

Goals of student success initiatives at usc
Goals of Student Success Initiatives at USC Decision-Making

  • Coordinate personalized educational experiences (roadmaps for success)

  • Provide intentional academic and personal support mechanisms

  • Monitor students’ progress and intervene if problems arise

  • Create effective communication channels

  • Analyze campus policies and procedures

  • Demonstrate USC’s care for students

  • The purpose of the Student Success Center is to coordinate a comprehensive array of resources and initiatives to promote student success, with the goal of enhancing learning and satisfaction, as well as retention and graduation rates.

Supplemental instruction si
Supplemental Instruction (SI) Decision-Making

  • Established Fall 2005

  • Peer assisted study sessions to review course content and integrate “how-to-learn” with “what-to-learn” (currently have 54 SI leaders)

  • Focuses on high risk and historically challenging courses (30%+ DFW rate)

  • Fall 2006 courses include introductory courses in Biology, Chemistry, Math, History, Psychology, Philosophy, Accounting, and Economics

  • Research indicates that students attending SI earn higher grades and withdraw at lower rates than non-participants

Supplemental instruction
Supplemental Instruction Decision-Making

  • Assessment and Promotion

    • First Day of Class survey and presentations

    • Attendance/Frequency of SI visits

    • Grades and announcing differences to students

    • SI session observations

    • End of semester survey

    • DFW rates

    • Evaluation to students attend 2+ sessions

    • Focus Group

    • Feedback from faculty (formal and information)

Supplemental instruction overview of data

Student Feedback: Decision-MakingSI…

“helps you understand how to study more effectively for the tests”

“provides you with the opportunity to interact with students to ask questions”

Faculty Feedback: SI…

“provides a peer to whom freshmen students can go with minimal intimidation.” (BIOL 101)

“opens the door for help during a new set of times” (evening hours) (PSYC 101)

Fall 2006

SI participants


Mean GPA: 2.81

SI non-participants


Mean GPA: 2.64

Supplemental Instruction- Overview of Data

Tutoring Decision-Making

  • Tutoring began January 22, 2007!

  • Purpose

    • To provide peer facilitated academic support to all USC students.

  • One-on-One and small group tutoring services offered in historically difficult courses (100-300 level).

    • Includes:

      • Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Foreign Languages, Physics, and Computer Science.

  • We currently employ 17 tutors.

  • Our tutors complete a tutor training program in accordance with the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).

  • Our goal is to have the tutor training program certified by CRLA in fall 2007.

  • Students tackling academic recovery
    Students Tackling Academic Recovery Decision-Making

    • STAR

      The STAR program is specifically designed for students identified as “scholastically deficient”, but is open to any student wishing to learn strategies to improve academic performance.

    • Goals of STAR are to help students:

      • Assess factors related to academic performance

      • Become aware of campus resources

      • Participate in learning sessions for relevant topics

      • Learn to use the GPD/GPA calculator

      • Make an Academic/learning plan

    • STAR Workshop

      • Students willhave the opportunity to assess individual needs, identify resources, and create a strategic plan to achieve academic success.

      • Students will be provided with a variety of materials and resources to help them “get back on track”.

      • Presentations on time management, study skills and financial aid are also included.

    Feedback tutoring star
    Feedback- Tutoring & STAR Decision-Making

    • Tutoring

      • “Tutoring in the Student Success Center has been very helpful, and I like that I can come to the same place to get tutoring in different subjects.”

      • “My tutor knows the material well and can explain things to me in a way I understand.”

    • STAR- From Students

      • What were the most valuable parts of the STAR Workshop?

        • “All the helpful tips from all the presenters, as well as all the handouts.”

        • I liked everything we talked about, especially ways to improve my GPA.”

        • “Identifying obstacles that hindered my grades.”

    Early intervention initiative
    Early Intervention Initiative Decision-Making

    • Established Fall 2005

    • Purpose: Connect students struggling with academic success to additional campus resources before becoming overwhelmed. These campus resources are designed to help overcome specific obstacles preventing them from meeting their academic responsibilities.

      • CAR Group

      • ACE

      • SI or Tutoring

      • Out-of-State Mentoring or Transfer Mentoring

    • Target population: First Year Students, specifically those enrolled in University 101 or EN 101/102

    First year call center
    First Year Call Center Decision-Making

    • Established Fall 2006

    • Purpose: Make first-year students feel welcome by informing them of important upcoming evens, discussing their satisfaction and challenges, while answering any questions or concerns they may have

    • Completely mobile call center

      • Wireless laptops and cell phones to make calls

    • Call Center uses 10 trained Sophomore students as callers

    • The First Year Call Center boasts a 77% completion rate for the initial round of calls. Mark of completion includes: conversation with students, parents or other household member, or voice mail message

    Early intervention initiatives overview of data
    Early Intervention Initiatives: Decision-MakingOverview of Data

    • Early Intervention Initiative:

      • “Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. The help you provided was wonderful. I really appreciate your words of wisdom and guidance and don’t know I would have made it through the semester if you hadn’t contacted me.”

      • “I think the process helped a great deal. He continued to communicate with me (the professor) subsequently and I think he gained much needed confidence.”

    • First Year Call Center

      • “Is the First Year Call Center really calling every first year student? That’s amazing! I wish this was around when I was starting.”

      • Taking the time to reach all first year students just to check in really shows the care and concern this university has for its students. Its an impressive accomplishment.

    Special student populations
    Special Student Populations Decision-Making

    • Transfer Students

    • Out of State Students

    • Students of Color

    • Sophomores

    • Students Who Lose Their Scholarships

    Special student populations research and assessment
    Special Student Populations Decision-MakingResearch and Assessment

    • University Retention Committee: Identified a high risk sub-population and chose transfer students

    • Research was done to identify issues and best practices and major themes were found such as:

      • Institutional Connectedness/ Involvement

      • Finding friends

      • Academic Advising

      • Orientation

    • Over 200 Out of State Students Surveyed

    • Students chose one or more challenges they face or are facing as an out of state student

    • The results indicated:

      • Social Networks (Finding Friends and Social Outlets) 80%

      • South Carolina (Cultural Adjustment) 68%

      • Homesickness78%

    Transfer and out of state student initiatives
    Transfer and Out of State Student Initiatives Decision-Making

    • Mentoring Programs

    • Blackboard Communities

    • Mixers/Socials

    • Success Seminars

    • Out of State Student Trips

    • Transfer and Out of State Student Success Guides and Manuals

    • Initiatives for Students of Color, Sophomores and Students Who Lose Scholarships Fall 07

    Partnerships within the division of student affairs
    Partnerships Within the Division of Student Affairs Decision-Making

    • Undergraduate Admissions

    • Counseling Center/CAR Group (Creating Academic Responsibility)

    • Residential Learning Initiatives

    • Multicultural Student Affairs

    • Student Disability Services/Student Assistance Program

    • Financial Aid/Satisfactory Academic Progress

    • Student Involvement & Greek Life

    • Student Health Services

    • Orientation and Testing

    • Career Center

    Partnerships with academic and other administrative units
    Partnerships With Academic and Other Administrative Units Decision-Making

    • National Resource Center for the First Year Experience & University 101

    • Library

    • Freshman English

    • Assistant and Associate Deans

    • Academic Advisors

    • Registrar’s Office

    • Institutional Assessment and Compliance

    • Center for Teaching Excellence

    • Retention Committee

    Noted impact of the student success center at usc
    Noted Impact of the Student Success Center at USC Decision-Making

    • Faculty and academic administrators are approaching us about attendance issues and how we can incorporate this effort in other courses.

      • promoting awareness and dialogue

    • Parents and academic advisors are contacting us about ways we can assist their students.

    • It is fostering conversations and collaborations between academic and student affairs units.

    • “It is really about how we guide students throughout their Carolina experience.” (Associate VP for Student Development)

    Recommendations for implementing new student success initiatives
    Recommendations for Implementing New Student Success Initiatives

    • Identify and partner with key players and allies – involve in the planning process

    • Take time to dialogue and incorporate different positions and needs

    • Be flexible and open – listen and start where you can

    • Convince faculty and administrators through data reporting (body of literature, campus research) – use persuasion, not force

    • Be aware of the philosophical and logistical challenges

    For questions or more information please contact us
    For Questions or More Information, Please Contact Us Initiatives

    • Student Success Center

    • University of South Carolina



    • (803) 777-0684