1. In the past year, what have you accomplished on this Action Project? What is its current status?
The Academic Support Center continued to provide training sessions to faculty that advise at the four Freshman Orientations that occur during the summer. A portion of the training this year familiarized faculty with the first draft of the Advising Handbook and a hard copy was distributed to all faculty receiving advisor training. The Advising Handbook is available electronically through the WNMU web portal (Mustang Express).
The Advising Handbook is approximately 95% completed. Chapters or portions of chapters on CLEP, AP, challenge exams, transfer student transcript evaluation process, advising athletes, advising students not on main campus, and advising students in specific majors remain to be completed.
Data collection on the outcomes and process measures and stretch targets was collected in most areas. A report detailing data collected so far on the various process measures, outcomes measures, and stretch targets is expected to be completed by early November.
2. How did you involve people in your institution in your work on this Action Project?
The work on this action project, as with all the action projects, is overseen by an AQIP Team comprised of faculty and staff. Our minutes are posted on the WNMU web portal as well as the outputs of our efforts, such as the Advising Handbook.
3. What are your planned next steps on the Action Project?
There are three major projects that the AQIP Advising Team expects to complete this year. First is the completion of the Advising Handbook. Second is the development and implementation of a policy and procedure concerning student evaluation of faculty and professional advisors. A survey instrument has been developed, but the Team must develop a procedure for administration of the instrument and a policy concerning the appropriate uses of the data that is collected. Third, the Team will assist the Academic Support Center in revamping the Early Alert process to make it more effective and efficient.
4. Has the work on this process resulted in an “effective practice” of which you are proud and that we could share with the broader higher education community? If so, describe the practice.
The university continues to be innovative in the training that is provided to advisors. For example, the basic advisor training that was provided to those who advised at Freshman Orientations this summer included a scenario based component. Four hypothetical students were created and faculty, in teams of two, developed strategies for advising each of the four students. This year, advisor training will be provided on such topics as “Using Mustang Express in Advising,” “Advising Graduate Students,” and “How and When to Refer Students,” among others.
Another innovative practice is the incorporation of the Discover Program into the Student Success Seminar. The Student Success Seminar is required for almost all entering students pursuing a baccalaureate degree. The Discover program guides students in career exploration. It also assists in developing resumes and interviewing skills.
5. What challenges or problems, if any, are you still facing with regards to this Action Project?
The AQIP Advising Team was more successful this year in its data collection efforts. A challenge is refining the data collected to be more useful. The Team is determining that some of the data measures are not particularly useful and that there may be other, more useful, data measures that data is not collected on, but should be.