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The Role of Academic Leadership in Student Success August 21, 2012 Deans and Department Chairs` Dialogue Southern Utah University Charles Schroeder, Consultant.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Academic Leadership in Student Success August 21, 2012 Deans and Department Chairs` Dialogue Southern Utah University Charles Schroeder, Consultant."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Academic Leadership in Student Success August 21, 2012 Deans and Department Chairs` Dialogue Southern Utah University Charles Schroeder, Consultant

2 Challenges facing Southern Utah U. Shifting economic agendas…scarce resources Affordability and loan indebtedness Need to reduce costs, increase net revenues, root out waste and become more efficient and effective Unacceptable retention, time to degree and grad rates Accountability: “Utah`s Mission Based Funding” Specialization, fragmentation, compartmentalization New ways of defining “collegiate quality”

3 OUR REALITY & CHALLENGE “Colleges and universities are highly differentiated organizations where the basic unit, faculty, are loosely coupled.” Weick, 1987 Challenge: How do we create a collective, shared responsibility for student success in a highly differentiated, specialized, fragmented and compartmentalized constellation of silos?

4 Some debatable propositions Academic leadership and faculty engagement are often the missing links in enhancing institutional success rates. Retention is often viewed as the responsibility of others, especially staff in student affairs. While pockets of academic innovation and excellence exit on every campus, there is little evidence of coordinated, systematic, data driven efforts to enhance student success for large numbers of students. Academic culture overemphasizes the importance of autonomy and faculty prerogatives while rarely stressing the importance of on-going assessment for performance improvement, innovation, change and accountability.

5 Framework: The Engagement Model I INPUT Entering characteristics O OUTCOMES Desired results Learning / Retention / Graduation E ENVIRONMENT Full range of experiences Engagement

6 Student engagement: The key to enhancing learning and success …the time and energy students devote to educationally sound activities, inside and outside of the classroom, and the policies and practices that institutions use to induce students to take part in these activities…

7 Two components of student engagement What students do – time and energy devoted to educationally purposeful activities What institutions do – using effective educational practices to induce students to do the right things

8 Extending Astin’s Transaction Model I INPUT Entice / Enter Entering characteristics Moving in>>> Incorporation O OUTCOMES Exit / Extend Desired results Moving out >> Transitioning E ENVIRONMENT Engage Full range of experiences Moving through>>> Integration through engagement

9 Five NSSE Benchmarks Conditions that foster student engagement, learning and success: Level of Academic Challenge Active and Collaborative Learning Faculty – Student Interaction Enriching Educational Experiences Supportive Campus Environments

10 Questions to explore: Within your college / school / department… How well do you know your students? What does being a successful student look like in your department? What are major barriers to your students` success? How consistently are academic expectations communicated, by whom and in what settings? How are students incorporated into their majors? What mechanisms are in place to support students that are overwhelmed and underperforming?

11 Questions for Reflection: Within your college / school / department… How early & often do students get course feedback? How consistent and effective is academic advising? What are the high risk courses for Fr / Soph`s? What are your retention and graduation rates? What course “bottlenecks” (i.e. course availability) inhibit students` time to degree? How many students are involved in service learning, academic clubs and organizations, etc.? What are you doing to support the goals and outcomes of SUU`s retention initiative?

12 The Academic Leaders` Role Be strong advocates for high quality undergraduate ed. & the value of out-of-class educational experience. Adopt a talent development philosophy to guide college / school and departmental activities. Clarify what students need to do to succeed. Set high expectations for performance and stress the importance of providing timely feedback to students. Encourage faculty and staff to make time for students. Support faculty in creating the conditions that foster learning including the use of engaging pedagogies. Emphasize advising as a valued form of teaching.

13 The Academic Leaders` Role. Champion collaboration across functional lines Expect your faculty to support & utilize “safety nets” such as the new “Early Alert / Early Intervention System”. Expect students to participate in academic clubs and SUU Engagement Centers. Advocate the development of learning communities. Develop college / school retention plans that are aligned with the institutions goals and strategies. Cultivate an improvement-oriented ethos.

14 Appendix Additional questions for discussion within academic departments Overarching features of highly effective institutions

15 Discussion questions to consider How do academic department measure the impact of curricular changes or other innovations? Are your departments improving? How do you know? To what extent do your faculty members experiment with engaging pedagogies and share what works with colleagues? Do new students have adequate feedback about their academic performance and are they required to take advantage of writing centers, math and science tutorials, and technology support centers by the third week of class? What mechanisms are in place for students to learn from other students?

16 Discussion questions (cont.) Do students hold their peers accountable for learning through peer evaluations, group projects, and study groups? Are they involved in meaningful ways with faculty members in departmental and university committees? Do academic departments have one or more learning communities? If so, how well are they working? Do your departments sponsor teaching / learning circles? If not, would you want to start one? Are collaborative efforts between academic and student affairs encouraged?

17 Project DEEP : Overarching features highly effective institutions. Clearly articulated educational purposes and aspirations. Unshakeable focus on student learning Environments adapted for educational enrichment Clear pathways to student success An improvement-oriented ethos Shared responsibility for educational quality and student success

18 Presenter's contact information Charles C. Schroeder


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