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An Overview of Structured Learning Assistance Presented at Cleveland State University Julie Thatcher, SLA Program Coordinator March 25, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "An Overview of Structured Learning Assistance Presented at Cleveland State University Julie Thatcher, SLA Program Coordinator March 25, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Overview of Structured Learning Assistance Presented at Cleveland State University Julie Thatcher, SLA Program Coordinator March 25, 2008

2 Brief History of FSU 1884 - Woodbridge Ferris founded Big Rapids Industrial School with 15 students 1899 - Institution renamed Ferris Industrial School 1950 - Ferris joins the State higher educational system 1963 - School is renamed Ferris State College 1987 - Ferris becomes Ferris State University 2001 - Kendall College merges with Ferris Today FSU has 9 colleges and 170 degree programs Fall 07 enrollment: 13,087 (9,680 at Big Rapids) March 25, 2008

3 FSU Admission Requirements Woodbridge Ferris believed in educational access for all Michiganders Prior to Fall 2002: 2.0 GPA, ACT were used solely for placement Fall 2002: 15 ACT or 2.25 GPA Fall 2004: 16 ACT or 2.35 GPA Fall 2006: 17 ACT or 2.50 GPA Fall 2008: 18 ACT or 2.70 GPA* *Fall 08 NOT YET APPROVED March 25, 2008

4 SLA Program History Developed and piloted at Ferris in 1993 because − Discrepancy between academic expectations and student readiness − Dozens of courses with pass rates of C- or better below 60% − Declining student retention − Desire to maximize direct transference of study and learning methods to content areas − Limited academic assistance financial resources March 25, 2008

5 SLA Program History 1993 - First experimental section of SLA in a history course 1994 - SLA awarded a 3-year MI DOE 4-S grant to trial SLA 1996 - SLA awarded a 3-year MI DOE 4-S grant to continue SLA 1999 - Another MI DOE 4-S grant awarded to implement SLA in developmental courses 2000 - SLA awarded the Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence 2001 - $500,000 FIPSE grant awarded to replicate SLA in four institutions 2002 - SLA became part of the University College base budget 2004 - Apprentice program incorporated March 25, 2008

6 SLA Program History 2006 - FSU Exceptional Merit Grant awarded to purchase a Classroom Performance System (CPS). 2006 - Arlene Morton published "Improving NCLEX Scores with Structured Learning Assistance" in Nurse Educator 2007 - Summer conference to train multiple institutions to implement SLA 2007 - Two sections of SLA were adapted to investigate SLA's impact on Michigan Test of Basic Skills 2008 - SLA Symposium held March 17-18 March 25, 2008

7 SLA Key Features SLA targets courses (not students) SLA works within established course offering systems SLA promotes collaborative learning rather than remediation SLA enables faculty development SLA is voluntary by enrollment, but mandatory by practice March 25, 2008

8 Why SLA? Tutoring does not reach large groups of students at once Supplemental Instruction does not reach students who will not voluntarily seek academic assistance SLA integrates course content and methods SLA provides more time on task Aside from workshop time, the content, pace and assessments are identical to that of non-SLA sections March 25, 2008

9 SLA Results in: Increased C- or better pass rates Increased retention Increased student academic independence Collaborative study among students Increased student study and learning strategies that can be directly applied to the course content Greater student understanding of course expectations More informed faculty Economical assistance for large numbers of students March 25, 2008

10 Attendance & Workshop Policy The professor establishes performance threshold Students performing above this grade are encouraged but not required to attend Required students who have more than 4 unexcused absences must W or receive an F in the course Students sign an attendance and workshop policy statement of understanding March 25, 2008

11 Selecting Courses High rates of failure High rates of withdrawal Developmental courses Gateway courses Courses in a necessary sequence Required science courses for non-science majors Required math courses for non-math majors Faculty assignments March 25, 2008

12 Registration System Students know in advance which courses and sections are SLA supported Students can search for SLAs within the system SLA workshops are built into student schedules No conflicts arise Program is voluntary in most cases Banner System: March 25, 2008

13 Student Satisfaction March 25, 2008

14 Effectiveness Measures March 25, 2008

15 Semester Pass Rate March 25, 2008

16 Semester Pass Rates March 25, 2008

17 GPA & ACT Analysis March 25, 2008 Comparison of Average HS GPA and ACT Composite Scores SLAControlDept Avg HS GPAACT CompHS GPAACT CompHS GPAACT Comp ACCT 2013.1319.53.2321.43.0820.6 BIOL 1083.2520.63.3822.13.5023.1 CHEM 1143.2120.63.6222.93.2621.2 FINC 3223.0019.33.1421.83.0521.6 MATH 1152.9819.73.2221.13.0520.2

18 Learning Outcomes March 25, 2008 Improving NCLEX Scores with SLA Morton, AM. Improving NCLEX scores with Structured Learning Assistance. Nurse Educator. 2006; 31 (4): 163-165.

19 SLA Facilitator Activities Lecture and Lab Attendance Conducting Workshops Integrate Content and Study Skills Supervise Tutors Support Faculty Training and Professional Development Program Evaluations & Observations March 25, 2008

20 Facilitator’s Typical Week 3-4 hours in class 1 hour in collaboration with the course instructor 2-5 hours planning and creating workshop materials 3 hours in the SLA workshop 2-3 hours in lab if applicable Additional time “above and beyond” SALARY RANGE $1250-2500 per semester March 25, 2008

21 Workshop Activities Lecture tips & review Note taking methods Textbook review Content organization Memory devices Discussion formats Games Exam preparation Active student participation March 25, 2008

22 Faculty Participation One hour per week for meetings with facilitator Faculty report an increase in lecture time as a result of SLA COMPENSATION? Faculty Participation is Voluntary Over two-thirds said that SLA provided much improvement in the learning atmosphere of their classrooms They observed a significant positive change in attitude among their students in the first 5 weeks of the semester More than 90% of faculty said they experienced an increased awareness of the needs of their students March 25, 2008

23 SLA Faculty Maintain lecture attendance policy Timely grading and posting Assess frequently Support SLA mission & practices Participate in preliminary training Attend SLA faculty meeting Allow end-of-semester evals in class March 25, 2008

24 SLA Faculty Collaborate with facilitator –Share ideas for content delivery –Offer old quizzes for practice –Welcome facilitator feedback Discuss SLA success with students Encourage students to attend Visit the workshop March 25, 2008

25 Faculty Professional Development Initial Training Weekly Meeting with Facilitator – Feedback on clarity of content – Awareness of off-task behaviors – Student concerns – Concerns about students SLA Faculty Meet Once per Year Currently Investigating Collaboration w/ Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning March 25, 2008

26 Contact Information Julie Thatcher SLA Program Coordinator 820 Campus Drive, ASC 1045 Big Rapids, MI 49346 231-591-5947 March 25, 2008

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