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BREAK THE SPELL: VOODOO SECRETS FOR SERVING “INVISIBLE STUDENTS” Texas Woman’s University Annie Phillips Newton & Amy O’Keefe.

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Presentation on theme: "BREAK THE SPELL: VOODOO SECRETS FOR SERVING “INVISIBLE STUDENTS” Texas Woman’s University Annie Phillips Newton & Amy O’Keefe."— Presentation transcript:

1 BREAK THE SPELL: VOODOO SECRETS FOR SERVING “INVISIBLE STUDENTS” Texas Woman’s University Annie Phillips Newton & Amy O’Keefe


3 SPELL INGREDIENTS  Unique needs of non-traditionals and commuters  National best practice standards  Role of orientation to meet these needs  Social media, tools, applications

4 WHOOOOOO  Commuter  Non-traditional students  Student parents  Adult learners  Veterans  Onliners  Transfer

5 OLD SCHOOL: COLLEGE’S MOST IMPORTANT TREND IS THE RISE OF THE ADULT STUDENT Who’s a typical college students? Of the 17.6 million undergrads now enrolled in higher education:  43% attend two-year institutions  37% are enrolled part-time  32% are working full-time  25% are over the age of 30  Only 15% attend four year colleges and live on campus (The Atlantic, 2011)

6 UNIQUE NEEDS  Juggle school, family and work & integration of all of these roles Transportation, childcare, finances  Little time or patience for policies that make no sense for them  Very focused on timely completion of their degree  May need more assistance navigating the university  May feel disconnected/lack of support due to physical distance May struggle to develop a sense of belonging

7 ASTIN’S THEORY OF INVOLVEMENT  “the more students are passionate and wholehearted about their educational experience, both psychologically and physically, the more likely they are to succeed and be satisfied with their collegiate experience” (Astin, 1984).

8 GET STUDENTS INVOLVED  Connect them to your institution through: Student organizations, honor societies, traditions, more interaction with other students and faculty  Involvement yields: Learner success Retention

9 TINTO’S THEORY OF DEPARTURE Academic and social integration are fundamental to student retention (Tinto, 1993) “the more central one’s membership to the mainstream of institutional life the more likely, other things being equal, is one to persist” (Tinto, 1987). “a person will tend to withdraw from college when he [or she] perceives that an alternative form of investment of time, energies, and resources will yield greater benefits” (Tinto, 1975).

10 TEACHING NAKED  “All of your students are already in this virtual community [facebook] and asking them to join a class group creates a virtual community where they already live; posting an announcement on Blackboard is the equivalent of asking them to come to office hours in your building. Posting on Facebook is more like showing up in the dorms for dinner.” Bowen, 2006

11 3 FACTORS INFLUENCING ONLINE STUDENT RETENTION: 1.Student support & student connection with the institution 2.Quality of interaction between faculty & students = “eSolated” (Appana, 2008) 3.Student self-discipline (Heyman, 2010)

12 COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF STANDARDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION (CAS)  CAS – Orientation Programs “Programs have evolved from simply providing individualized faculty attention to focusing on a multitude of important issues while responding to the needs of an increasingly diverse student and family population”  CAS- Adult Learner Programs “must provide programs and services that assist in increasing the retention of adult learners…including orientation”  CAS – Commuter Programs Provide programs that meet specific needs of commuter students and “ensure that all students must have equitable access to all institutional services, engagement opportunities and the total educational process regardless of place of residence”

13 COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF STANDARDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION (CAS)  CAS –Distance Education Programs “Formal higher education in which the student and faculty member are separated by time and/or space” “Institutions must provide appropriate student services for all students enrolled in distance education programs. These services must be sufficiently comprehensive to be responsive to the special needs of all distance students” “-must be of comparable quality to services provided to on-campus students” “Orientation must be offered”

14 ROLE OF ORIENTATION  Provide mechanism to address transition issues Meet and greet avoid defeat  Utilize orientation as the beginning of the retention plan Large numbers of commuter students may be under prepared for college (Jacoby,1993) Opportunity to collect valuable data about the minority/majority Opportunity to address unique needs and concerns immediately

15 BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES  5 steps for effective commuter student orientation (Wilmes & Quade, 1986) Accurate & timely info Promote institutional identification Encourage involvement with others Interact ion with campus personnel Integrating outside support systems & significant others  University of Houston Veteran Orientation Financial aid, tuition fees, money management (VA benefits) Career, Counseling & Health Services Academics: tutoring, library, computer Getting involved: SVA, ROTC, Vet Museum, VFW, American Legion

16 THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COMMUTER PREVIEW DAY  Commuter Preview Day is a one day, orientation-like program just for new commuter students. Commuter Student Affairs sponsors the day and it will provide new commuters the opportunity to:  Practice parking in the West Campus or Central Campus parking lots  Practice using the CABS Bus system (which shuttles student from and to the parking lots)  Find all of your classroom buildings (even the exact rooms)  Visit the bookstore to purchase books  Take care of campus business  Meet other new commuting students  Get helpful information to help you get started at Ohio State  Any commuter student, freshman, transfer, or regional campus change student, may attend Commuter Preview day!

17 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA GREENSBORO  Welcome Session  Student Health Services Station (8 - 10am)  Taking Care of Business (Information from Parking Operations & Campus Access Management, SpartanCard, Dining, Bookstore, Printing & Postal Services)  TASL Groups (Meet your Transfer & Adult SOAR Leader - TASL)  Student Computing (Learn about UNCG's laptop requirement, checking grades and more)  Get Involved  Accelerate you Academics (Learn more about UNCG advising and registration preparation).  Cashier's & Student Accounts; Financial Aid  TASL Q&A Panel (Join our Transfer & Adult SOAR Leaders as they share their experiences at UNCG).  Taking Care of Business (Get information about Parking, SpartanCard, Printing and Postal Service).  Transition from a Community College to UNCG

18 UNC GREENSBORO ADULT/TRANSFER SOAR  Especially for Adult Students  Student Health Services & Counseling Center  Career Services  UNCG Traditions (Learn the history & traditions of UNCG).  TASL Groups (Meet your Transfer & Adult SOAR Leader - TASL)  Self-Guided Time  Spartan Expo (Visit a wide array of UNCG services and offices).  Transfer Articulation Station  Campus Tours  College & Schools Welcomes, Advising & Registration


20 PROS & CONS PROCONPROCONPROCON Fans could create a “viral” effect which can potentially spread content worldwide Cannot change look of profile (some see this as a pro due to consistency of pages) Mobile – can send and receive updates on your cell phone – instant communication Limited to 140 character updates Can provide online students with virtual ‘experiences’ Steep learning curve Fan pages can target a specific network or age group Harder to use than Twitter for recruitment searches Could be very useful in an emergency situation, in addition to existing tools Limited profile info: allows picture, name, location, website, & bio Gives a sense of community and presence Requires a broadband connection and graphics that all students might not have Ability to view “insights” – statistics on the usage of our page Relatively frequent updates. Have to learn new ways of navigating site Use Twitterfeed & Tweetdeck to search for mentions of institution or other terms; allows us to engage students in a conversation If we don’t tweet regularly, we will lose our existing audience Allows online students a way to connect with the university by experiencing events and visiting landmarks Important to use Second Life for the right reasons – using it just to use it can affect student satisfaction and overall experience 85% of students at 4-year universities have Facebook profiles Cannot track “fans” to see if they are current students Can link RSS feeds into Twitter with Twitterfeed, EasyTweets or HootSuite – every new feed automatically tweets the headline with a link to the full story = automation Twitter followers tend to lurk, rather than engage Provides a meeting space for online study groups and courses Requires updates at times that may cause problems if being used on campus in computer labs Combines profile, photos, blog, instant messaging Twitter & Facebook can be linked in order to share content on both tools Must link to photos, websites, videos Provides a way for online students to meet and interact with students and faculty from other campuses Very new to most students to they can feel overwhelmed and confused More than 350 million users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices More than 100 million active monthly users No cost for students to create account and interact in this space FacebookTwitterSecond Life

21 APPLAUSE PLEASE… Questions?



24 Student satisfaction Student’s perspective Added value Choice One-stop centers Staffing by self-service (70%), generalist (20%), specialists (10%) BEST PRACTICES Empowered frontline staff Cross-functional teams Strategic to institution Executive support & participation Shift from transactions to relationships Web portals

25 GAPS IN SERVICE  Transfer student quotes “It’s a good school that has a safe feeling to it, along with the willingness to help its’ students succeed in life as well as academia” “Easy transition, nice campus” “Helpful; TWU made my transferring stage very smooth”  Collaboration  Diversity of this population is a challenge

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