Re-Imagining the First Year of College: Planning Toolkit IU Northwest

Re-Imagining the First Year of College: Planning Toolkit IU Northwest

Re-Imagining the First Year of College: Planning Toolkit

IU Northwest

Overall Goals

Campus goals:

Describe what you hope to accomplish on your campus as a result of being in this learning community.

Over the past two decades, a series of less selective admission, public, urban institutions have begun a process of revising their institutional practices in an effort to strategically address student needs and remove obstacles to their academic success. These efforts have led to steady improvements. Like these model institutions, Indiana University Northwest has traditionally attracted and enrolled a student body with limited means and whose other priorities, such as work and family, compete with fully embracing the challenges of college. As had been the case in these model institutions, few students graduate from IU

Northwest and underrepresented minorities and other traditionally underserved students have even lower rates of success. Through participation within the

Reimagining the First Year Community, we wish to discover and appropriate techniques and practices that can help us replicate the academic successes of the model institutions. This initiative arrives at the right time for our institution.

Over the last five years we have explicitly attempted to improve the student experience, which has led to increasing completion rates and overall numbers of degrees. This initiative will give us a richer array of tools to continue this process.

Specifically, we aspire to cut the DFW rate in half, increase retention by 15 percentage points, double the graduation rate, and remove the achievement gap.

(These are long-term goals that cannot all be realized by the end of the RFY program.) Realizing these goals will help us in our pursuit of the university’s mission towards our students and the local area. It also occurs within the context of the university budget. A one percent increase in retention should lead to an increase in tuition of about $340,000. A five percentage point increase in retention should lead to a one-year increase in tuition of about $1,700,000. As a cumulative change, this should lead to an increase in tuition of about $18,700,000. This increase in revenue would provide us with the resources needed to invest in even higher levels of student academic success.

Institutional

Intentionality:

Describe your goals for intentional programming for first year students.

We will infuse growth mindset/belongingness/readiness/goal orientation concepts throughout campus operations. This will include revising the tone and content of communications provided to students, shaping more appropriate interactions between students, faculty and staff, and embedding these concepts within new student orientation and first year courses. These techniques can help students develop a series of thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that are more adaptive in an academic environment.

Curriculum:

Describe your goals for curriculum related to student success in the first year.

We will create a multi-pronged effort to dramatically increase the pedagogical expertise among full time and adjunct faculty and to increase the use of modern, evidence-based, effective pedagogical techniques within freshman-level, gateway courses as well as over the general curriculum. We also will introduce a summer bridge program and dramatically increase the number of

“high-impact practices

” our students experience over their college career, especially during the first two years. These efforts should lead to the development of a more sophisticated faculty that can effectively reach the needs of the student body as they strive to reach their educational goals.

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Faculty & Staff:

Describe your goals for faculty & staff related to student success in the first year.

We will strive to substantially increase student engagement by building a more supportive campus environment. We will actively search for and eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to student completion and success. We will develop a sense of belongingness by creating new campus traditions, such as an opening convocation, and enhance existing traditions. Finally, we will work to improve faculty/staff interactions with students to improve clarity, accuracy, and courtesy, and work to fully embrace our belief that we are all here to help students learn.

Students:

Describe your goals for students related to student success in the first year.

We will develop a multi-faceted effort to increase student engagement and enhance the curricular and co-curricular components of our students’ first experiences on the campus. One of the hallmarks of this effort is the development of a co-curricular transcript that demarcates and reinforces engagements activities. The other highlight is the development/refinement of an integrated, coherent first-year experience that begins with new student orientation and continues through disciplinary freshman seminars, proactive advising, and student success workshops.

2

Detail

Area of Focus

Description:

Describe the specific strategy.

Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

I

NSTITUTIONAL

I

NTENTIONALITY

We will infuse growth mindset/belongingness/readiness/goal orientation ideas and interventions throughout campus and campus processes. These related concepts have been demonstrated to be effective on many campuses including ours in helping students develop academically adaptive thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.

Various versions of the intervention will be extended toward students during new student orientation, freshman-level courses, student communications, RISE

(reinstatement) workshops, and faculty, and staff.

Concept explanation and assessment: http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/index.html

Growth mindset professional development materials: https://www.mindsetkit.org/

Definition of

Success:

Describe the expected outcome for this strategy.

What will look different at your college?

Workflow and

Milestones:

What significant events will have happened in the roll out of this strategy?

1. Students, faculty and staff will understand what having a growth mindset is and the benefits of having one and how to nurture growth mindset in others.

2. Increase positive engagement of first year students with the campus community.

3. Both 1 & 2 leading to an increase in persistence, satisfaction, and eventually graduation.

2016

1.

Faculty/Staff

– Convocation to explain/share concepts, additional professional development through CISTL

(Center for Teaching and

Learning); add to New Faculty

Orientation

2.

Students

– rewrite probation/dismissal letters; probationary student admit letters, other communication with students. RISE workshops

(reinstatement)

3.

New Student Orientation

(NSO) and freshman-level courses.

2017

1.

Faculty

– incorporate ideas into P&T, hiring processes, annual reports, training sessions for continuing faculty

2.

Staff

– incorporate ideas into hiring, customer service, performance review

3.

Students

– incorporate ideas into classes, question on course evaluations to measure impact. Incorporate into

NSO (both F2F and online)

2018

1.

Measure

Effectiveness of new processes

2.

Revise processes as needed

Key Leaders:

Who are the critical people and/or offices that need to be involved in the effort? What should be their role?

Who

Who (person/office) is most

critical?

Role

What do we need them

to do differently?

Capacity

How can we ensure they’re

successful?

3

Chancellor and the leadership team

Deans of each Academic Unit

Faculty and Staff

Support the incorporation of growth mindset ideas throughout campus

Take growth mindset ideas seriously at all levels; support changes to be made that benefit from growth mindset

Encourage growth mindset ideas throughout colleges/schools

Take growth mindset ideas seriously at all levels; allow changes to be made that incorporate/benefit from growth mindset

Incorporate growth mindset ideas in to multiple aspects of campus life

Take growth mindset ideas seriously at all levels; allow changes to be made that incorporate/benefit from growth mindset

Detail Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

Area of Focus

Major Metrics:

What data could you use to understand progress? Are there top-level metrics for this strategy?

I

NSTITUTIONAL

I

NTENTIONALITY

Course Evaluations for First Year Experience (FYE) courses to incorporate a question that will assess growth mindset.

We will count the number of communication items that have incorporated growth mindset language.

We will count the number of campus processes (such as probation letters) that incorporate emphasis on growth mindset.

Survey of faculty/staff about ideas and how they are incorporating them into their jobs.

Survey of student satisfaction (advising survey can be modified to include a question on growth mindset ideas).

First semester GPAs of Freshman taking FYE courses and persistence rates

– top level metrics that will hopefully be effected by the changes

Scale:

At what scale

(number of students, educators, etc.) will it be implemented?

All first year students will be exposed to growth mindset ideas. All students on

Probation or Dismissal will learn about growth mindset and related ideas. Students in some freshman-level courses will learn about growth mindset and related ideas.

Faculty/staff will be exposed to growth mindset ideas and learn how to incorporate them into classes and day to day activities

4

Leadership:

Who is the single person responsible for making sure implementation happens?

Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Reimagining the

First Year Steering Committee Member (Cynthia O'Dell)

Risks

:

What are the major risks and they be managed?

Integrating growth mindset at scale will require significant time and effort along with commitment from the Academic Units. Some of the growth mindset and related ideas are contradictory and perhaps antithetical to the existing systems of some faculty and staff. The extension of these concepts require care and support.

Resources

:

What resources do we need to ensure successful implementation?

The assistance of Marketing to craft growth mindset messages will be essential.

We will need fiscal resources to bring in a growth mindset/belongingness speaker for Fall Faculty/Staff Convocation to kick off this project. We will need time, energy and effort from the academic units to learn about the concepts and how to apply them in the classroom and the campus.

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Detail

Area of Focus

Description:

Describe the specific strategy.

Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

C

URRICULUM

1) Pedagogical Innovation

2) Summer Bridge

3) Increase High Impact Practices

Definition of

Success:

Describe the expected outcome for this strategy.

What will look different at your college?

4) Associate Faculty Professional Development Opportunities

*See last page of this document for more detail*

1) Pedagogical Innovation

 The standard measures of student success; improved exam grades, course grades, DFW rates, retention rates, and graduation rates are the most relevant here. We can compare involved courses with the historical record or during the initial stages, with other contemporary classes that are not involved.

 We can count the number of faculty, classes, and students reached through this approach.

 We can count the number of techniques extended and track their relative efficacy within our context.

2) Summer Bridge

 Retention, grades during the first semester, and speed of completion of critical Math, English, and speech courses.

3) Increase High Impact Practices

 We can count the number of experiences, the timing of the experiences, and relate to GPA and retention

4) Associate Faculty Professional Development

 Increase the number of Associate Faculty involved in faculty development focused on teaching improvement.

 Increase in the number of Associate Faculty who receive pay raises based on pedagogical excellence.

 Increase success of students in first-year classes taught by Associate

Faculty.

6

Workflow and

Milestones:

What significant events will have happened in the roll out of this strategy?

Key Leaders:

Who are the critical people and/or offices that need to be involved in the effort? What should be their role?

2016 2017

1) Pedagogical Innovation a. We can begin a. immediately and continue to develop new groups throughout the duration of the project. b. We can begin the development of b. during year 1 with first or maybe pilot extension by the end of the year. c. Continuing

1.

We can continue to develop new groups throughout the duration of the project.

2.

Continuing

3.

Continuing

4.

First extension and evaluation d. We can begin d. immediately and continue throughout the duration of the project. e. We can begin e. immediately and continue throughout the duration of the project. f. Will develop through experience.

2) Summer Bridge

We can implement the summer bridge this summer with evaluation and possible redevelopment thereafter.

3) Increase High Impact

Practices

We can begin the planning of extensions during year 1 with the first extensions by the end of the year.

4) Associate Faculty

Development

We can begin planning this program during the summer of year 1 with the first programs during the first year.

Who

.

Who (person/office) is most

critical?

Role

What do we need them

to do differently?

Full time and Associate

Faculty

CISTL

Academic Affairs

Examine, explore, and employ pedagogical techniques that improve student success

– collaborative learning

2018

1.

We can continue to develop new groups throughout the duration of the project.

2.

Continuing

3.

Continuing

4.

Continuing

Capacity

How can we ensure they’re

successful?

The process of continuous improvement and continuous support for the mission and endeavor

Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

Academic Affairs

Will collaborate to create a Summer

Bridge Program to prepare students to succeed when starting college

The process of continuous improvement and continuous support for the mission and endeavor

7

Detail Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

Area of Focus

C

URRICULUM

Major Metrics:

What data could you use to understand progress? Are there top-level metrics for this strategy?

Scale:

At what scale

(number of students, educators, etc.) will it be implemented?

The top-level measures of student success; exam grades, course grades,

DFW rates, retention rates, and graduation rates are the most relevant here.

We can compare involved courses with the historical record or during the initial stages, with other contemporary classes that are not involved.

The number of faculty participating in professional development, the number of pedagogical techniques employed, the number of HIPS extended, and the number of students exposed to these innovations will be important.

During the Fall Semester 2016, we will have faculty exploring new pedagogical techniques in about 10 different sections (about 350 students). Those numbers should quickly ramp up. By the end of the three-year period, we can expect that the majority of faculty on campus will have explored modern, data-based, effective pedagogical techniques and that virtually all of our students will have benefited from these practices.

A small number of students will participate in the first Summer Bridge

Program, but based on success metrics, could increase in size significantly.

Leadership:

Who is the single person responsible for making sure implementation happens?

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Reimagining First Year Steering

Committee Member (Mark Hoyert).

Risks

:

What are the major risks and they be managed?

Some techniques will work and some won’t. Some techniques will require some tweaking or considerable experience in order to get them to work effectively. If positive results aren’t obtained quickly, faculty enthusiasm for the effort may diminish. The Reimagining the First Year Steering Committee should remain vigilant about the exploration of techniques and report successes widely within the campus community.

Resources

:

What resources do we need to ensure successful implementation?

All of the efforts will require time and talent. The speaker series, the course development grants, and the summer bridge program could require several thousand dollars in grant support for each course. Tying adjunct compensation to pedagogical effort could produce long-term financial commitment.

8

Detail

Area of Focus

Description:

Describe the specific strategy

Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

F

ACULTY AND

S

TAFF

The course based initiatives described in the first two areas of focus are one way of enhancing the student academic experience. Another opportunity is through the nurturing of the campus community. We have begun this process with the campus’ service initiative and will expand and extend it by creating a more supportive campus environment for students by 1) eliminating roadblocks to completion and success; 2) building a community by developing and expanding upon current campus traditions; and 3) improving faculty/staff interactions with students by ensuring that consistent and accurate information is readily available and emphasizing service excellence and how to provided academic support to foster academic success.

Definition of

Success:

Describe the expected outcome for this strategy.

What will look different at your college?

Developing an increased sense of community and belongingness to Indiana

University Northwest by our students.

Developing a collective understanding of our campus philosophy on what and how the faculty and staff can help students.

These outcomes are instrumental in helping our student reach their educational goals.

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Workflow and

Milestones:

What significant events will have happened in the roll out of this strategy?

2016-2017

1.

Telephone survey of rising sophomores to identify roadblocks they faced during first year; map processes to identify where roadblocks can be eliminated; develop process for annual survey to complement senior exit survey.

2.

Academic Affairs & Student

Affairs and Enrollment

Management work to ensure faculty and staff know where to go for institutional information and how to provide academic support to foster student success.

3.

Traditions Task Force -- identify and expand existing campus traditions, solicit ideas from across campus for developing new traditions

4) RedHawk Response Task

Force -continue the work of the campus service initiative and expand the Point of Service surveys.

2017-2018

1.

Institutionalize annual first-year student survey

2.

Develop mechanism for increasing and tracking participation in campus traditions.

3.

Establish and hold a first-year convocation as a book-end event with

Commencement.

4.

Embed service philosophy in campus culture through branding;

Assess effectiveness of

POS process; identify areas needing improvement

2018-2019

Review National

Survey on

Student

Engagement

(NSSE) and internal data to determine next steps

Key Leaders:

Who are the critical people and/or offices that need to be involved in the effort? What should be their role?

Who

Who (person/office) is most

critical?

The Chancellor and the

Leadership Team

Role

What do we need them

to do differently?

Capaci

ty How can

we ensure they’re

Ensure that service excellence is taken seriously and is incorporated into hiring, training, and evaluation at all levels; provide resources for professional development/training for faculty & staff with a clear proposal(s) and specific requests for action and/or resources

Human Resources and Academic

Affairs; Deans (faculty) and supervisors (staff)

Develop mechanisms to infuse service excellence into hiring, training, and evaluation for all faculty

(AA) and staff (HR)

Provide examples of what other institutions do as a context for working in our own campus environment

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Faculty and Staff

Student Affairs and

Enrollment

Management and

Academic Affairs

Recognize and embrace the importance of campus traditions and participation.

Listen to roadblock experiences and work to map and improve processes

Provide resources and support to make these traditions meaningful to all constituents

Provide support to change longtime processes to better serve students

– just because we have always done something one way doesn’t mean we to continue to do so

Detail

Area of Focus

Major Metrics:

What data could you use to understand progress? Are there top-level metrics for this strategy?

Scale:

At what scale

(number of students, educators, etc.) will it be implemented?

Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

F

ACULTY AND

S

TAFF

2018 NSSE survey results regarding SE (supportive environment)

Senior Exit Survey results regarding satisfaction with campus offices

Point of Service survey results regarding listening, responsiveness, empathy and reliability

Attendance at campus events by faculty, staff, and students.

All faculty, staff, and students.

Leadership:

Who is the single person responsible for making sure implementation happens?

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Reimagining the First Year

Steering Committee Member (Beth Tyler)

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Risks

:

What are the major risks and they be managed?

Faculty and staff reluctance to "buy in" because they don't see themselves as

"service providers," as having a meaningful contribution to the academic mission of the university, or as contributing to learning outside of the classroom.

Fear of change can slow momentum on changing campus traditions.

Resources

:

What resources do we need to ensure successful implementation?

Financial resources for training/professional development for all faculty and staff.

Financial support for campus traditions and ceremonies.

12

Detail

Area of Focus

Description:

Describe the specific strategy

Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

S

TUDENTS

We will work to increase student engagement and the curricular and co-curricular components of our students’ first experiences on the campus. We will do so through the development of co-curricular learning outcomes/transcript that recognize engagement activities. Additionally, we will develop/refine a first-year experience that begins with new student orientation and continues through disciplinary freshman seminars, proactive advising, and student success workshops.

Definition of

Success:

Describe the expected outcome for this strategy.

What will look different at your college?

Workflow and

Milestones:

What significant events will have happened in the roll out of this strategy?

The retention from first to second year will be a key aspect of success, as well as increased meaningful student engagement outside of the classroom.

2016

1.

Growth of First-Year

Student Success

Workshops

2.

Mandatory First Year

Experiences for students admitted conditionally (NSO,

First Year Seminar, Success

Workshops)

2017

1.

Development of cocurricular learning outcomes and transcript with assistance of faculty governance and the Registrar.

2.

General Education revision to include First

Year Seminar.

2018

1.

All First Year students enrolled in

First Year Seminar taught in their academic units.

2. Implementation of co-curricular learning outcomes and transcripts.

Key Leaders:

Who are the critical people and/or offices that need to be involved in the effort? What should be their role?

Who

Who (person/office) is most

critical?

Cathy Hall, Director

Academic Success and

Achievement Programs

Role

What do we need them

to do differently?

Continue to expand, develop and improve workshops and NSO

Capacity

How can we ensure they’re

successful?

Ensure appropriate amount of student ambassadors and

Student Affairs and Enrollment

Management staff available to assist in programming

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Veronica Williams, Director of

Academic Advising

Continue to expand advising training and student engagement

Student Affairs and Enrollment

Management

Academic Affairs

Faculty Organization

Help develop and implement co-curricular efforts

Deans and directors recognize importance of advising duties and allow and encourage advisors to focus on advising duties

Allow time for the groups to work their way through the creation of cocurricular goals with support to do so

Detail

Area of Focus

Major Metrics:

What data could you use to understand progress? Are there top-level metrics for this strategy?

Design Specific Strategies to Achieve Each Goal

S

TUDENTS

1)

Success rates of conditionally admitted students (GPA, persistence) compared to general student population (or to previous cohorts of probationally admitted students)

2)

Number of students attending NSO, enrolled in First Year Seminar

3)

Level of co-curricular engagement before and after implementation of cocurricular transcript.

A top-level metric here could be NSSE results on student engagement.

Scale:

At what scale

(number of students, educators, etc.) will it be implemented?

First Year Seminar for all probationally admitted students in 2016-17 and all First

Year students by 2018-19. Co-curricular Learning Outcomes /transcript developed for implementation in 2018-19 for all students on campus.

Leadership:

Who is the single person responsible for making sure implementation happens?

Jonathyne Briggs, Department Chair, Department of History, Philosophy,

Political Science, and Religious Studies, and Member of Reimagining the First

Year Steering Committee

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Risks

:

What are the major risks and they be managed?

1.

Getting faculty promotion/ support of non-curricular events and first year experiences

2.

External pressures on students to draw them from campus events/experiences

Resources

:

What resources do we need to ensure successful implementation?

1.

Financial support to expand existing programs and to promote events

2.

Involvement of faculty and staff to support workshop, events

3.

Community leaders to help develop co-curricular learning that will further strengthen ties between community and university

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Curriculum Redesign Strategy Details

1.

Pedagogical Innovation

a. Development of a series of Faculty Communities of Practice – These are groups of faculty who will come together to read about, consider, and evaluate pedagogical techniques. The groups will commit to implementing these techniques. (CISTL will have a significant role in this initiative and could develop faculty course development grants to incentivize both full‐time and associate faculty.) b. Development of a set of classes that model modern, data‐based, effective, “best‐practices” pedagogical techniques for the faculty. This initiative is modeled after the CISTL‐led “Online Teaching

Course.” The faculty will be the students. Faculty will commit to implementing some of the techniques.

(CISTL will have a significant role in this initiative and could develop faculty course development grants to incentivize both full‐time and contingent faculty.) d. Develop a speaker series to explore modern, data‐based, effective pedagogical techniques. This could include “brown‐bag talks” by our own faculty discussing the results from their own explorations of pedagogical techniques. e. During the initial stages of development, faculty participation will be voluntary. As the effort matures, a commitment to using effective pedagogical techniques will become a routine expectation of the entire faculty and will be a consideration in all evaluations and personnel actions. In addition, established and full‐time faculty will be encouraged to teach freshman‐level, gateway courses. f. Over time these efforts should lead to the development of expertise in the faculty as well as a compendium of knowledge of techniques and their efficacy within our particular educational context.

2.

Summer Bridge

a. We propose the development of a two‐week long, non‐credit bearing, summer bridge program for select beginning college students. b. The experience will help students with math, written, and oral communication skills in preparation to enroll in those classes.

3.

Increase High Impact Practices

a. All academic units on the campus embed high‐impact practices into the overall curriculum. However, these experiences are heavily concentrated during the last two years of a student’s education. We propose the development of a series of high‐impact practice experiences for first and second year students. Possibilities could include an expansion of freshman‐year experiences and early student research experiences. b. CISTL can have a significant role in this initiative and could offer HIP development grants similar to the efforts in #1 above.

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4.

Associate Faculty Professional Development Opportunities

Associate faculty are vitally important to the delivery of freshman‐level courses. Develop an incentivization program for associate faculty to learn about and explore modern, data‐based, effective,

“best‐practices” pedagogical techniques. The program could replace the “years‐in‐service” salary adjustment with one based on pedagogical sophistication and mission‐related success measures.

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