Student Success Initiatives Updates


The Retention Office continues to use its CRM software RETAIN to reach out to at-risk students. This semester, due to timing issues, only one faculty feedback survey was sent. The survey requests information on students who are struggling in their classes. A total of 790 unique students (up from 595 last fall) received a 1,348 alerts (up from 1,049). Academic (853) and attendance (393) accounted for the vast majority of the alerts although faculty did report personal, social, behavior, and financial alerts as well.

Students received notification of attendance and academic alerts and the Office of Student Success followed-up on the other alerts as warranted. Information on alerts was shared with TRiO, Residence Life, Nursing (PASSS program), athletic coaches, and faculty advisors. The office reached out to students on probation, students who had low mid-term GPAs, as well as those who had received alerts.

The office continues to use RETAIN to send surveys to students as well as reminders regarding registration and upcoming important deadlines.

As of summer 2012, all students who withdraw from the university are automatically sent a survey through RETAIN to determine reasons for attrition.

FASTPASS (Families And Shepherd Together Promoting Academic Student Success)

We continue to update and work with the FASTPASS website to keep parents apprised of issues important to their students' success. More than 200 parents are on our list to receive e-mail updates (through RETAIN) and more than 150 receive alerts/updates through the FASTPASS Facebook page.

Before College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE)

The Before College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) was administered to first-year students this year, in place of the Student Readiness Inventory (SRI), again through the required FYEX classes. Copies of the student reports were sent to advisors who were encouraged to discuss the results with their students. We will be able to compare the results of the BCSSE to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) which will be administered to new freshmen and graduating seniors in the spring.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

In the spring semester, new freshmen and graduating seniors will be asked to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) an instrument designed to gauge students' levels of involvement in their curricular and co-curricular activities at Shepherd. Comparing the results for the new freshman group to the BCSSE scores will allow us to see if Shepherd is meeting their expectations. The University last administered the NSSE in 2010.

Philosophy 100 (coordinated by Teaching and Learning)

Philosophy 100 was required this year of all students on contract for the fourth year in a row. The retention rate for contract students slipped again with the 2011 cohort; Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulations may have impacted these data.

TRiO Programs (in collaboration with Teaching and Learning)

The Office for Student Success continues to work with the Office of TRiO programs to assist with identifying eligible students and tracking the progress of the students enrolled in the program. The office also works individually with TRiO students as needed for student success purposes.

Office for Student Success Outreach

In early fall, the coordinator for student success presented to new faculty on the services provided to both faculty and students.

In October, the coordinator for student success attended a faculty senate meeting to report on SAP and its impact on retention. She also discussed manners in which her office was working to prevent students from falling into SAP problems, along with ways faculty could assist in these processes.

The Student Success Committee is planning a series of focus groups with students to address what makes students stay at Shepherd and what makes them consider leaving. This is part of the office's 2012-2013 assessment plan.

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