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WinstonSalem State University Success of Undergraduates through University College


University Goal ... to add to university teaching center ... Establish University College and its components and hire appropriate leadership and staff. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: WinstonSalem State University Success of Undergraduates through University College

Winston-Salem State University Success of
Undergraduates through University College
  • Pedro L. Martinez, Provost
  • Carolynn Berry, Assistant Provost and Interim Dean

Strategic Issue
  • What must the institution do to provide a
    learning environment
  • (organization, structures, faculty, policies,
    experiences, curriculum, courses, programs,
    activities, facilities, etc.)
  • that supports undergraduate students for success
    in preparation for graduate school, work,
    professions, and citizenship in a diverse and
    global knowledge based economy?

Student Success
  • On-going conversation about student success
  • Competencies from general education
  • Majors
  • Graduate School
  • Careers
  • Retention and Graduation Rates
  • 1st Year Retention, 4-Yr Graduation, 6-Yr
    Graduation compare favorably with our Peers
  • BUT, not as high as we would like

1st Year College
  • First Year Experience/College in place since 1997
  • Designed to address the issues with first year
    retention and success based on work of Gardner
    and Tinto
  • Heavy remediation focus which included testing of
    new students and placement into English,
    mathematics and reading courses based on
    placement scores

1st Year College
  • Supplemental Education, Academic Resource Center,
    Center for Student Success, and New Student
    Orientation placed under the First Year
  • Revamped the 1-hour orientation course to a
    freshman seminar course
  • Academic advising by Freshman Seminar course
    instructor for the first two semesters of

  • Steadily increasing first year retention rate
    from 68 in 1997 to 78 in 2001.
  • Since 2001, the rate has fluctuated between 76
    and 79.
  • However,
  • Low numbers being prepared for entry into
    graduate school (number who take graduate
    entrance exams scores of those who do take the
  • Relatively low numbers of students involved in
    internships other than in health care or
  • Licensing test scores for nursing students are
    high, yet the faculty report tremendous efforts
    are required to prepare students for this

  • Positive
  • Aligned academic support areas under one umbrella
  • More focus on advising freshmen
  • Negative
  • Viewed by faculty and chairs as support
  • Freshman Seminar became catch-all course and
    outside of the curriculum
  • Little influence on curriculum, teaching, or
    learning outcomes

What We Wanted
  • Increased recognition for quality of programs and
    competency of graduates
  • Well structured program for new students that is
    appropriately resourced
  • Alignment of most critical elements (curriculum,
    faculty, support, assessment) to accomplish
    outcomes for university
  • Institutional Values that we expect to see in all
    students imposed early and then consistently
  • The core curriculum as a sufficient preparation
    for basic skills for any major

What Is the Best Structure?
  • Looked at models within the UNC system and the
    WSSU 2006 Peer institutions.
  • Major Components of a University College
  • Identify critical issues and then critical
    structures, functions and outcomes for each
  • Outcome University College

Critical Issues
  • Advisement
  • Core Curriculum
  • Learning Support
  • Teaching of New Students
  • Unique Learning Opportunities

University Goal
  • WSSU seeks to produce graduates who are well
    prepared for graduate school, professions and
    citizenship by offering major programs with
    relevant curricula, faculty who are engaged
    teachers and scholars, academic support
    structures (advising, learning support), and
    academic enhancement (co-curriculum, leadership,
    honors, international, experiential learning).

University Goal
  • WSSU seeks to support its new undergraduates by
    providing a University College which is
    structured to help students
  • engage learning (curriculum, co-curriculum,
    academic support)
  • align goals, aptitude, and learning paradigm
    selection and
  • build relationships (with peers, faculty/staff,
    and university) in ways that provide a foundation
    for effective learning, retention, graduation,
    and success in graduate school and professions.

Measures of Effectiveness
  • Student Satisfaction
  • Retention
  • Graduation Rates
  • Admittance to Grad School or Hired by Top Tier

University College Goals
  • Goal I Provide infrastructure to ensure that
    the general education outcomes are effectively
    taught and assessed in the curriculum and the
  • Outcome High success in competencies of the
    general education learning outcomes
  • Outcome Faculty members teaching in general
    education are consistently rated high for student
    engagement and effectiveness of teaching

University College Goals
  • Goal II Provide appropriate academic support
    for students and courses.
  • Outcome Successful completion rates in core
  • Outcome of courses with gt 30 DFW decreases
    to X

University College Goals
  • Goal III Provide a framework for effective
    advising of new students and undecided students
    and for supporting effective advising in major
  • Outcome Only x of new students change major
    more than two times after enrolling.
  • Outcome Only x of students change majors after
    entering junior year (90 hrs earned credit).
  • Outcome 90 of retained students will return
    for 2nd year as sophomores.
  • Outcome Students report satisfaction with
    advising in University College and academic major.

University College Goals
  • Goal IV Provide a framework for intentional and
    structured interactions designed to build
    relationships between new students and
    faculty/support staff new students and a
    consistent peer group new students and learning
    support activities and new students and the
    culture of WSSU
  • Outcome 1st Year Retention
  • Outcome Students report satisfaction with both
    opportunities and the quality of interactions
    with faculty, support staff, and peers.

Orientation and Advising
  • Orientation begins in summer and continues
    through the first year
  • Connection to institution
  • Advisement
  • Academic advising for new students by both
    professional advisor and faculty member
  • Fruitful negotiation of first set of courses
  • Connection to major program
  • Identification of major
  • Transition to Major
  • Progression through major
  • Coordination for policy and training for all

Curriculum and Learning Support
  • Core Curriculum
  • Learning Skills Freshman Course taught by
    discipline faculty
  • WSSU values
  • Knowledge, Skills, Dispositions
  • Writing, Critical thinking, Critical reading
  • Test taking
  • Library research
  • Introduction to learning support labs
  • Competencies in general education
  • Writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Critical reading
  • Problem Solving
  • Outcomes Assessment
  • Academic Support/Learning Centers

Learning Centers
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • formal academic assistance program that utilizes
    peer-assisted study sessions. 
  • Tutoring
  • traditional
  • Assistance to Faculty and Courses
  • Staff provides aids such as instant querying
  • Resourced by faculty positions

Teaching Center
  • Teaching
  • Engaged and active
  • Addresses critical writing, reading, thinking
    skills of new students
  • Integrative - helps students see connections
    across courses
  • Position initially requested to add to university
    teaching center
  • Focus on effectively pedagogy in first year
  • Recent decision to move refocus teaching center
    and temporarily move it under University College
  • Insure that adequate resources are focused on
    course in general education

How do academic departments support University
College, i.e., Student Success?
  • Best Faculty teaching freshmen
  • Learn new pedagogies to promote engaged learning
  • Create incentives in courses and syllabi to
    encourage to utilize support resources
  • Faculty serve on General Education Committees
  • Faculty serve on Learning Center Committees
  • Faculty serve on General Ed Assessment Committee

Short Term Strategies
  • Establish University College and its components
    and hire appropriate leadership and staff.
  • Create an inviting atmosphere for new students in
    the building where University College will be
  • Revamp and improve Academic Advising for both new
    students and in majors.
  • Update and improve Services in Learning Support
  • Identify senior faculty and excellent teachers to
    teach general education courses.
  • Increase assessment and analysis of data
    pertaining to new students.
  • Pilot a 3 hour critical thinking, reading,
    writing course designed by faculty to address
    both general education outcomes and needs of
    major (Education Department).

Longer Term Strategies
  • Revise general education outcomes, curriculum,
    and courses.
  • Implement a revised general education curriculum
    which includes a new freshman seminar class that
    supports general education outcomes, that
    includes knowledge and skills that are
    transferable between majors, and that introduces
    students to concepts and/or competencies in a
  • Increase capacity of Teaching Center to provide
    support for teaching innovation, especially for
    new faculty, adjunct faculty, and those teaching
    new students.
  • Develop faculty who teach new students so that
    they have a breadth of effective pedagogies to
  • Deploy faculty resources so that a minimal number
    of new or adjunct faculty are teaching new

Longer Term Strategies
  • Implement learning support that is fully
    integrated into key first year courses that have
    historically proved difficult for students to
    realize success in mastery of the competencies.
  • Provide support to students and programs for
    improvement in test taking skills, especially
    those related to standardized tests such as
    licensure exams and graduate entrance exams.
  • Reduce or eliminate remedial courses.
  • Review and revise learning outcomes for all major
    programs to ensure relevancy and appropriateness.
  • Develop teaching and scholarship of faculty in
    major programs.
  • Provide teaching methodology support for adjunct
    faculty at all levels.
  • Fully deploy assessment and analysis to improve
    outcomes related to University College, major
    programs, and student learning outcomes.

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