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I T ’ S A LL ABOUT THE S TUDENTS : T HE I MPORTANT R OLE OF THE A SSISTANT /A SSOCIATE D EAN Moderator: Christine G. S. Leichliter, EdD Assistant Dean,

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Presentation on theme: "I T ’ S A LL ABOUT THE S TUDENTS : T HE I MPORTANT R OLE OF THE A SSISTANT /A SSOCIATE D EAN Moderator: Christine G. S. Leichliter, EdD Assistant Dean,"— Presentation transcript:

1 I T ’ S A LL ABOUT THE S TUDENTS : T HE I MPORTANT R OLE OF THE A SSISTANT /A SSOCIATE D EAN Moderator: Christine G. S. Leichliter, EdD Assistant Dean, School of the Arts and Communication The College of New Jersey

2 T HE R OLE OF THE A SSOCIATE A CADEMIC D EAN IN S TUDENT R ETENTION Constance C. Relihan College of Liberal Arts Auburn University

3 W HAT D O W E D O ? Oversee Academic Advising Oversee Scholarship Awards Oversee Academic Warning/Suspension/Expulsion Processes Oversee Capacity Planning Oversee Student Community-Building Activities

4 H OW DO THEY COMPARE ? Recruit well-prepared & diverse first- year cohorts. Improve the current advising system. Review current academic policies; recommend changes as needed Promote student engagement Encourage timely degree progress Provide data and resources to support teaching and learning. Oversee Scholarship Awards Oversee Academic Advising Oversee Academic Warning / Suspension/Expulsion Processes Oversee Student Community-Building Activities Oversee Capacity Planning Improved Grad Rate Task Force Report Associate Dean Responsibilities

5 H OW D O W E I MPACT R ETENTION ? Academic Advisors: Out-of-State Programs Early Warning Academic Advising 24/7 Access to Advising Services Interventionist Advising Student Peer Advising Groups Early Connection Programming: Common Book Programs Undergraduate Research Learning Communities Capacity Planning: Course Scheduling Available Seats Waiting Lists

6 Associate Dean Dean & Central Admin. Parents Advisors Rankings Students Faculty

7 H OW D O C ONTINUE TO A CT TO I MPROVE R ETENTION D ESPITE T OUGH T IMES ? Strategic Use of Technology Strategic Use of Personnel Strategic Use of Student Assistants Creation of Overlapping Programming Cooperation Across Units


9 Associate Deans and Students in Academic Difficulty Kim Martin Long, PhD Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Shippensburg University of PA

10 Populations whom the Associate Dean Can Help (Intrusive “Advising”?) Students who find themselves on PROBATION Students, ACADEMICALLY DISMISSED, and allowed to continue READMITTED students TRANSFER Students Students WITHOUT MAJORS

11 Students on Probation Students are in danger of failing out or dropping out. They are at a crossroads and can turn things around. Students’ advisors need to be supported as they help students make good decisions (repeating classes? Changing majors?).

12 Academically Dismissed Students Students have been given a second chance to do well. They are allowed back “with conditions.” We require them to repeat classes, attend tutoring or other support services, meet with the associate dean (and/or the graduate student assigned to these students). Students are limited to 4 classes.

13 Readmitted Students These students have “stopped out,” either voluntarily or involuntarily. They need special care to make the transition back. Often they also have conditions regarding number of classes, specific classes, in addition to GPA requirements.

14 Transfer Students These students have particular challenges as they learn a new university culture. There is a lack of a strong program for helping transfer students make the adjustment. They often have a very tough first semester academically.

15 Undeclared, “Arts and Sciences General” We have a large population of students without a connection to a department. Without strong advising, these students can become misguided, in danger of getting behind. Our goal is to help transition these students into a department, with a faculty advisor.

16 Graduate Student Positions Two GA positions approved for this year One: At Risk Specialist Two: Transition Specialist While they do not “advise” (per our CBA), they counsel with their populations as “advising support” in helping them meet their academic goals.

17 Early Results? In previous semesters, the associate dean has addressed these duties. The “caseload” has been too great to work as closely as desired (although over 3 years 75% of the students who have chosen to meet with the AD and have followed up on their “academic success plan” have gotten off probation, been retained, made progress).

18 GA Positions Results So far this semester, the traffic through the office has been 50% greater, and students are spending about 50% more time with their counselors (than with the associate dean previously). GA’s are from the higher education counseling program, and so they are getting valuable experience as well.

19 Bottom Line Intrusive advising (or technically “advising support”) seems to make a measurable difference in retention efforts with at risk student populations. Last year Shippensburg University saw 200+ more students return than the previous year (about 50% more)—100 from CAS. We believe that the intervention strategies are working.


21 D EALING WITH FERPA I SSUES : A P ERSPECTIVE FROM THE A SSOCIATE D EANS O FFICE Joni Boye-Beaman, PhD Associate Dean College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences Saginaw Valley State University

22 T HE F AMILY E DUCATIONAL R IGHTS AND P RIVACY A CT (FERPA) School faculty, administrators, and staff may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without written permission of the student unless release or inspection is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the Act. Access to student information is limited to a school official’s legitimate educational interest: a school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. FERPA permits school officials to disclose, without consent, education records, or personally identifiable information from education records, to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, if knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals 1. 1 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Disclosure of Student Information

23 FERPA AND F ACULTY Faculty members must protect personally identifiable data or information which include: (1) the name of the student, the student’s parent, or other family members; (2) the student’s campus or home address; (3) a personal identifier such as a Social Security number or student ID number; (4) any list of personal characteristics or other information which would make a student’s identity easily traceable.

24 FERPA AND L ETTERS OF R ECOMMENDATION Students may authorize release of education record information in writing by specifying the information to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the party or class of parties to whom disclosure is to be made. Institutions of higher education and many workplaces now have release forms available for students to sign.

25 FERPA AND P ARENTAL I NQUIRIES Students must provide written permission to discuss grades or other academic information with parents/guardians. Use caution when discussing educational record via phone or e-mail.

26 N EGOTIATING WITH P ARENTS Encourage appropriate interaction with faculty member Discuss the chain of command/authority Encourage a review of syllabus, assignment, other pertinent materials Share appropriate policies/procedures with parent Share appropriate university resources


28 Michael B. Brown Professor and Associate Dean Harriot College of Arts and Sciences East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858-4353 252-328-4170 November, 2010

29  Disruptive Behavior Students whose behavior makes teaching and learning difficult for others in the academic setting  Distressed Behavior Students who are experiencing psychological problems that interfere with their ability to learn

30  Stage 1: Reporting problem behavior  Stage 2: Preventing disruptive behavior  Stage 3: Helping faculty members address problem behavior in the classroom

31  Online Reporting Form  Single phone number to contact a Case Manager  Coordinated through DOS Office  Widespread publicity

32  Development of brochure on “Behaviors of Concern”  Provide training at:  New faculty orientation  Workshops through Center for Teaching and Learning  Involve deans and department chairs

33 Conflict is the product of an escalating interplay between instructors’ and students’ behaviors Boice, 2000

34  Broader definition of teaching/instruction  Educate students about expectations  Build relationships with students  Develop more effective course structures

35  Miscalls vs. Disruptive Behavior  Handle minor disruptions differently than major disruptions  Graduated responses  Seek outside assistance when needed

36  Develop skills in talking to students  Develop skill in use of graduated discipline  Can do this in workshops and individually  Involve deans and department chairs

37  Requires some culture change  Change occurs over a period of time  Have a plan  Start with Stage 1  Move to other stages when ready  Involve deans, department chairs, faculty representatives in planning


39 Resolving Student-Faculty Complaints Emanuel D. Pollack Senior Associate Dean College of Liberal Arts and Sciences University of Illinois at Chicago

40 Resolving Student-Faculty Complaints Most Common Issues Grades Individual exams/assignments Final grade Academic Integrity (Dishonesty) Teaching Skills/Style Language/Accent Speed Perceived subject matter knowledge

41 Resolving Student-Faculty Complaints Most Common Issues Grades Individual exams/assignments Final grade Academic Integrity (Dishonesty) Teaching Skills/Style Language/Accent Speed Perceived subject matter knowledge

42 Resolution-Informal Student-to-Faculty Communicate and delineate issue Director of Undergraduate/Graduate Studies Department Executive Officer Caveat: may be a decision-maker in formal grievance Ombudperson Associate/Assistant Dean Neutral, listen, determine issues and what is sought; offer suggestions and provide sense of reality; use mediation skills even if one-sided.

43 Resolution-Formal Academic Integrity Code Press faculty to use adjudication process even when not required Dispute Resolution Services: Mediation Bring parties together in non-threatening setting Grievance Procedures Watch for accusations of discrimination even if subtle

44 Grievance Flow Student Complaint Attempt Informal Resolution Resolved or Withdrawn Formal Grievance to Unit Head Unresolved Resolved or Withdrawn Resolved or Withdrawn Appeal to Next Level (Dean) Unresolved Hearing and Final Decision

45 Be Prepared Understand departmental, college, institutional policies processes. If policies and procedures do not exist…create them and use them. Do not step beyond level of competency. Involve legal counsel when unsure. Remember grievances can result in litigation…

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