Linda_BeerHappy New Year! January is the perfect time to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments, and to plan for the upcoming year.

As we bid 2012 farewell, it is important to reflect on SCC’s renewed focus on student success. Our ASK ANYONE campaign continues to gain momentum as students and parents embrace the idea of asking lots of questions! Fall semester several training and informational forums were provided to strengthen SCC’s ASK ANYONE network. For spring semester, watch for ASK ANYONE topics on the faculty/staff meeting agendas.

The new SCC Student Engagement Model is well underway. Through this partnership of student affairs advisors and program faculty, many very impactful efforts were accomplished to affect program and student success. Here is a sampling of some of those initiatives:

  • Met with program faculty to discuss recruitment and retention plans for program
  • Advisor introductions during class periods and presentations on services provided
  • DARS interpretation and academic advising
  • Review students’ average Accuplacer scores
  • Calls made to students that had varied attendance during first week
  • Follow up with students who were admitted, never registered
  • Follow up with current students, not registered for spring
  • DARS reports all reviewed to ensure accuracy/correct program etc.
  • Reviewed all current student spring registration to ensure in correct classes
  • Graduation Applications & Exception Forms completed
  • Participate in program events, ie: Ag Day, MN Ag Expo, field trips with students

As we look forward to 2013, there are some exciting things to consider with regard to student success. The Student Engagement Committee had the opportunity to talk with some SCC faculty who shared their “Best Practices in Student Engagement/ Persistence/ Completion” that you may want to consider. Please feel free to connect with other faculty to investigate these ideas further:

Building & Manufacturing Division notes:

  • Online is a very different environment than face-to-face classroom teaching
  • Give students your cell number, tell them to call any time (within reason)
  • Skype – virtual office hours with video – can show student pages, diagrams – the visual component really helps
  • Adult, FT working students don’t do cutesy
  • Texting works – give students time parameters (they shouldn’t expect an immediate answer to a text sent at 2am…) but be sure to follow up with them the next morning.
  • Internet & D2L are not always checked regularly by students, especially working, adult students
  • Use a tracking sheet for assignments – students can easily see what is due, what they have completed or not. Update it weekly.
  • Create your own “FYE” mini-course for your program’s intro course and do within the first couple of weeks. Show/tell student all the resources/helps available to them at SCC – TRiO, Math tutor, Academic Support Center, Kayla (advising), Library, Skills USA, student senate, etc.
  • Create a program/advising sheet, using DARS, for each student, before the Nov registration deadline and go over with student so they can see what they need to take, see their course path. Meet with teacher ½ hour; make the meeting a required part of the course.

Liberal Arts & Sciences Division notes:

  • Early Warning Letter – Send first warning letter after first missed graded assignment (online email) and again at 4 weeks.
  • College Readiness – advisor helps with registration
  • Meets with each student 3 weeks into the semester
  • Grades to date and gives student points for checking their grades.
  • Emails them at mid-term if not on track for success
  • Brings lower level class into an upper level class so they can see what college level class looks like.

Many more exciting things are happening with student retention and success – too many to mention in one brief article. To find out more, stay tuned as we solicit your thoughts, provide resources, and strive toward meeting the Student Engagement Committee’s mission:

“The Student Engagement Committee will support students at SCC by creating a student focused environment that enables faculty and staff to provide opportunities for successful completion of academic and professional career option goals.” The work outlined in the 2012-15 plan will focus on the following objectives:

Objective 1: Conduct a systematic analysis of data (Program Portfolio, CCSSE, SSI, PSOL)

Objective 2: Create a comprehensive advising/student engagement model for SCC.

Objective 3: Participate in comprehensive training college-wide of best practices.

Objective 4: Research, identify and review best practices for Career Exploration and Goal Setting.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the success of our students.