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Evaluating Academic Success Effectively with “EASE”: A New Survey of Academic Engagement The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Dr. Theodore W.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating Academic Success Effectively with “EASE”: A New Survey of Academic Engagement The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Dr. Theodore W."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating Academic Success Effectively with “EASE”: A New Survey of Academic Engagement The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Dr. Theodore W. Elling Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs twelling@uncc.edu Dr. Cynthia Wolf Johnson Associate Provost for Academic Services cwolfjo@uncc.edu Dr. John Smail Dean of University College jsmail@uncc.edu 4 th Annual Retention-Graduation Conference UNC General Administration October 24, 2007

2 Overview Introductions Setting the Context: UNC Charlotte and Institutional Climate Related Research & UNC Charlotte Modified Retention Model EASE: Evaluating Academic Success Effectively Next Steps & Applicability to Your Institution

3 Setting the Context: UNC Charlotte Fall 2007 Enrollment: 22,407 (4.1% increase) –New Freshmen: 2,950 –New Transfers: 2,040 –Graduate Students: 4,781 (21.3% total enrollment) –Residing on Campus: 4,739 Retention Rate/Goal:77.4% (by 2012: 83.0%) Graduation Rate/Goal:24.2% (by 2012: 28.8%) – 4 yr 49.8% (by 2012: 51.6%) – 6 yr

4 Institutional Climate: Spring 2005 UNC Charlotte –AASCU – Graduation Rate Outcomes Study –Internal Review of Support Services Loosely connected islands & data silos Support often arrives too late for maximum benefit –Need for better coordination of services –Need to develop a process for early-alert/early intervention with at- risk students –Need to enable coordinated longitudinal research –Need to begin studying new transfer students ~ Continued Concern: Retention & Graduation ~

5 Related Research Theoretical origins of survey development –Tinto’s model of student departure (1975; 1987; 1993) Attrition occurs when students are not successfully integrated into the college environment. –Academic –Social –Astin’s theory of student involvement (1984; 1996) Involvement leads to a variety of outcomes, including increased satisfaction and retention

6 UNC Charlotte Modified Retention Model EASE Survey with Data Integration

7 EASE – A Survey & Data Integration Process Target: New Freshmen and New Transfers, end of their first 6-8 weeks Pilot: Fall 2005 Full “Program”: 2006, 2007 Goals: 1) Identify and contact students who identify that they need help during their first term 2) Combine survey information with first semester academic performance and retention information to develop a detailed comparison of students who perform at different levels academically 3) Enable longitudinal research addressing issues of new student retention, academic performance and time to degree studies

8 EASE - Who is using it? What offices can benefit from EASE? - New Student Programs/Orientation - Student Success Offices - First-year Programs - Learning Centers - Tutoring/Supplemental Instruction - Counseling/Health/Wellness - Residence Life - Judicial Affairs - Student Activities/Student Involvement Offices - Academic Departments - And many more….

9 EASE Elements Pre-Survey Demographics –Student demographics –College and major –Predicted grade point average –Financial aid data –First year structured programs The EASE Survey –Administered during weeks 6-8 of first semester –All new Freshmen and Transfer students Post-Survey Performance Data (added as available) –Unsatisfactory grades at mid-semester –Grade point average –Academic standing (probation status) –Withdrawal codes –Subsequent semester enrollment/attrition

10 EASE - Question Architecture – 54 items Academic preparedness Place of initial residence Peer group interactions Interactions with faculty Interactions with staff Involvement in structured first year programs Academic goals Academic performance self-appraisal Academic advising Academic effort Academic integration Social integration Student employment Family support Financial resources

11 EASE Outcomes – Immediate Early Alerts New Feature for Fall 2007 At the end of the survey experience –Customized online “Tips Sheet” displayed to at-risk populations Response to final question authorizes contact about programs and services Referred to Academic Advising Resources Page via URL link: www.advising.uncc.edu/resources.htm –URL links to appropriate University support service displayed for self-help use –Six Early Alert Triggers: Do not know who their academic advisor is Experiencing difficulty in one or more courses Do not have a career goal or related major Is not involved in a student club or organization Report inadequate high school preparation in mathematics Report they are working

12 EASE Outcomes – Intervention Example #1 University Center for Academic Excellence –At-risk populations: Experiencing difficulty in one or more courses Have not received feedback in one or more courses Low study hours per week (ten or less) Do not prepare adequately for class Do not study with other students Inadequate HS preparation (math, chemistry, biology, writing papers) Miss classes Have not met with faculty or staff about academic difficulties –Custom emails sent to students alerting them to Coping Strategies Services Upcoming workshops

13 EASE Outcomes – Intervention Example #2 Housing and Residence Life –On Campus At-risk populations: Being lonely Not establishing friends Feeling they don’t belong Anticipate not returning for next term Poor academic fit Low end of term grade estimate –Personal Contact by Residence Coordinator or Resident Advisor Stop Light notification system – multiple data sources & connection points –Green Light – all is well – normal RA follow-up contact –Yellow Light – RA contact – more direct conversation and assistance –Red Light – RA & RC contact – higher level conversations and assistance

14 EASE Outcomes – Actionable Evidence Example #1: Simple Messages Relationship between behavior (attendance) and outcome (grades) Go To Class !!! Note: Scale changed in Fall 2007 survey

15 EASE Outcomes – Actionable Evidence Example #2: Extrapolation What would be a good question for an academic advisor to ask?

16 EASE Outcomes – Actionable Evidence Example #3: Academic Advising 2005, 2006: Too many students did not know who their advisor was Institutional change: new University Advising Center for undeclared and transitional students; emphasis on identifying advisor during summer orientation 2007: Significant increase in student awareness Satisfaction still needs improvement

17 EASE Outcomes – Actionable Evidence Example #4: Mid-term grade feedback 2005: Too many students not getting early feedback. Emphasis by Provost and Academic Deans on the importance of mid-term unsatisfactory progress reports, focus on courses with high freshman/sophomore enrollments. 2006: Improvement in students’ perceptions, improvement in mid-term deficiency grade reporting.

18 EASE Outcomes – Next Steps Using Data to Develop Retention Plans

19 The Top Six Factors Associated with First Semester GPA for Freshmen Predicted Grade Point Index Score How Often Classes Are Missed Each Week *** # Unsatisfactory Grade Notices Received *** Enrollment in Freshman Seminar Grade Point Average Self-Estimate # Hours Worked Per Week These factors account for 49% of the variance in first semester GPA scores Green – Increase GPA Red – Decrease GPA Factors Listed in Decreasing Order of Importance *** Factors that can be monitored by faculty

20 EASE Outcomes – Next Steps Using Data to Develop Retention Plans Undeclared vs. Declared Students and Academic Fit Undeclared Freshmen vs. Declared Freshmen

21 EASE Outcomes – Next Steps Using Data to Develop Retention Plans Mid-term grades Continue efforts to get faculty to report mid-term grades Actively distribute mid-term grade information to advisors Attending class Develop ‘watch list’ of students from institutional and Ease data; request faculty to report issues to advisors during the first 5 weeks of class

22 EASE Outcomes – Next Steps Using Data to Develop Retention Plans University College Created to provide a home for undeclared students and those in transition; a home for General Education; and to increase faculty involvement in retention efforts Possible Initiatives: Freshman Seminars: Increase the scale of the freshman seminar program (and develop parallel transfer seminars) Course Clusters: Develop more meaningful and coherent first year curriculum to boost students’ feelings about their “academic fit” with UNC Charlotte

23 EASE Online Using the Online Dataset Locally StudentVoice Reporting Simple Login and Navigation Ability to Filter Multiple Levels –Drilling down into your data Multiple Result Displays –Frequency analysis –Graphs –Crosstabs Multiple Report Export Formats –Word –Excel –PDF Ability to Save Custom Views Three Click Download of Data from Report to Desktop

24 References Astin, A. W. (1996). Involvement in learning revisited: Lessons we have learned. Journal of College Student Development, 37(2), 123-133. Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(4), 297-307. Barefoot, B. O., & Fidler, P. P. (1996). The 1994 national survey of freshman seminar programs: Continuing innovations in the collegiate curriculum. the freshman year experience monograph series no. 20. U.S.; South Carolina: October 11, 2005, from ERIC database. Barefoot, B. O., & Fidler, P. P. (1992). National survey of freshman seminar programming, 1991. helping first year college students climb the academic ladder. the freshman year experience: Monograph series number 10. U.S.; South Carolina: National Resource Center for the Freshman Year Experience. October 11, 2005, from ERIC database. Schnell, C. A., & Doetkott, C. D. (2003). First year seminars produce long-term impact. Journal of College Student Retention, 4(4), 377-391. Retrieved October 11, 2005, from ERIC database. Soldner, L., Lee, Y., & Duby, P. (1999). Welcome to the block: Developing freshman learning communities that work. Journal of College Student Retention, 1(2), 115-129. Retrieved October 11, 2005, from ERIC database. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and curses of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

25 Questions and Discussion For more information about the UNC Charlotte Implementation: Dr. Theodore W. Elling twelling@uncc.edu Dr. Cynthia Wolf Johnson cwolfjo@uncc.edu Dr. John Smail jsmail@uncc.edu For more information about the EASE Survey & Survey Engine: StudentVoice http://www.studentvoice.com/ease.htm


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