Academic Quality Improvement Project
Goals Commitment Declaration, 2001-2004

Institution:Western New Mexico University
Date Submitted:5/18/01
Person AQIP should contact concerning this document:Kathie S. Gilbert
Email:gilbertk@iron.wnmu.edu
Telephone: (575) 538-6348

  1. Give a short identifying title (under 10 words) to one goal (or group of closely related goals).

    Create an advising process that enhances student retention at WNMU

  2. Describe (in 100 words or fewer) the intent of this goal.

    To create and assess an advising system which clearly delineates who is responsible and accountable for advising any given student. To ensure all advisors receive training and a regularly updated advising handbook is available as a resource for accurate information. To assist advisors in helping students to clarify personal and career goals, develop consistent educational goals, and evaluate progress towards established goals. To have advisors who help students prepare course schedules and accurate degree plans that facilitate graduation in timely fashion. To ensure that advisors utilize the resources of the university and refer students to appropriate academic support services.

  3. Please identify the single AQIP Criterion to which this goal primarily belongs (check one box in the Primary column), and no more than four other Criteria to which it is strongly related (check boxes in the Related column):

  4. AQIP Quality Criteria
    Primary
    Related
    1 - Helping Students Learn
    X
     
    2 - Accomplishing Other Distinctive Objectives
     
     
    3 - Understanding Students' and Other Stakeholders' Needs
     
    X
    4 - Valuing People
     
     
    5 - Leading and Communicating
     
     
    6 - Supporting Institutional Operations
     
    X
    7 - Measuring Effectiveness
     
     
    8 - Planning Continuous Improvement
     
     
    9 - Building Collaborative Relationships
     
    X

  5. List the organizational areas most affected.

    • Academic Support Center (advising center, tutoring, placement testing, etc.)
    • Academic Affairs
    • Academic Departments
    • Enrollment Management Services (Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Career Services)
    • Other Student Affairs areas

  6. List and briefly describe the critical processes most affected

    • Assigning advisors to undeclared majors
    • Assigning advisors to declared majors
    • Training advisors
    • Disseminating and keeping current information concerning advising processes
    • Diagnostic placement
    • Early Alert to identify students with academic problems
    • Advising students
    • Referring students to student support services and obtaining feedback
    • Establishing students' career and academic goals
    • Upkeep and forwarding of advising files
    • Evaluation of advisors
    • Evaluation of advising system

  7. List the process measures you plan to track. (* denotes a measure currently tracked)

    • Percent of students with an assigned advisor
    • Number of advisors participating in training session
    • Survey to evaluate various processes, such as: advisor training, dissemination of information concerning advising, Early Alert Process
    • Number of appointments scheduled with advisors based upon Early Alert notices
    • Student evaluations of academic and professional advisors * Noel Levitz (or other appropriate) survey questions regarding advising*
    • MBO (Management By Objective) evaluations of faculty advising activities by department chairs*
    • Number of referrals to student support services
    • Course withdrawal rates

  8. List the outcomes measures you plan to track. (* denotes a measure currently tracked.)

    • Graduation rates*
    • Retention rates from year to year*
    • Passing rates in developmental and selected General Education courses
    • Graduating senior and alumni surveys concerning satisfaction with advising processes* (longer term measure)
    • Number of degree audits submitted with errors
    • Number of exceptions to graduation requirements requested of and granted by the VPAA

  9. Describe your annual stretch targets for this goal (in both quantitative and qualitative terms):

  10. Year
    Quantitative Stretch Target
    Qualitative Stretch Target
    One
    • All advisors of entering students will attend basic advising workshop.

    • 100% of newly enrolled 2001-2002 students have an assigned advisor

    • 5% increase in the 2000-2001 freshman to sophomore year retention rate

    • baseline established for number of audits submitted with errors
    • 5% increase from 2001 in percentage of students selecting satisfied or very satisfied with advising as measured by Noel-Levitz

    • 60% of those attending basic advising workshop evaluate it as worthwhile or very worthwhile
    Two
    • 100% of students have an assigned advisor by their second semester

    • Half of faculty who advise students receive training at basic advising workshop

    • 10% increase in the 2000-2001 freshman to sophomore year retention rate

    • 15% decrease in the number of audits submitted with errors
    • 15% increase from 2001 in percentage of students selecting satisfied or very satisfied with advising as measured by Noel-Levitz

    • 50% of persons surveyed express satisfaction with advisor training, dissemination of information, and Early Alert process

    • 75% of those attending basic advising workshop evaluate it as worthwhile or very worthwhile
    Three
    • 95% of faculty who advise students receive training at basic advising workshop

    • 15% increase in the 2000-2001 freshman to sophomore year retention rate

    • 20% decrease in number of audits submitted with errors (from year one)
    • 20% increase from 2001 in percentage of students selecting satisfied or very satisfied with advising as measured by Noel-Levitz

    • 75% of persons surveyed express satisfaction with advisor training, dissemination of information, and Early Alert process

    • 85% of those attending basic advising workshop evaluate it as worthwhile or very worthwhile

  11. Briefly describe how you plan to keep your institution's attention and energies focused on this goal.

    Advising Task Force and Retention Task Forces created this year will continue. Chairs will be encouraged to have faculty include goals related to advising and retention efforts in their annual MBO goals. Progress will be reported periodically at Cabinet and Academic Council meetings as well as regular updates in the campus newsletter. Periodic training of advisors to take them to new skill levels and inclusion of advising in surveys will also keep attention and energy focused on this goal.

  12. Indicate the degree of openness and sharing with which you are comfortable concerning this goal.

  13. X
    AQIP may post information about this goal openly on the AQIP website.
     
    AQIP may share information about the organizational areas and critical processes this goal addresses.
     
    AQIP may share information about the measures we intend to use to monitor our progress on this goal.
     
    AQIP may share information about our specific targets and timetable for this goal.
     
    AQIP may share this goal only with other institutions participating in AQIP, via newsletters or by posting it to a section of the AQIP website to which only institutions participating in AQlP have access.
     
    AQIP may share, among AQIP Participating Institutions only, information about the organizational areas and critical processes this goal addresses.
     
    AQIP may share, among AQIP Participating Institutions only, information about the measures we intend to use to monitor our progress on this goal.
     
    AQIP may share, among AQIP Participating Institutions only, information about our specific targets and timetable for this goal.
     
    AQIP should keep this goal confidential, and not share any information about it with other educators or institutions.

  14. Please explain your reasoning for whichever level of publicity you chose.

    We are interested in feedback on this goal and know we are more likely to get this if we make our interest in this area known.

  15. Please describe your institution's rationale for addressing this criterion (the one you checked as Primary) at this time. Why is this goal one of your "vital few"?

    The criterion of "helping students learn" is obviously at the core function of a regional institution such as Western. WNMU's vital few goals emerged from forums conducted with faculty, staff, and students. As to this particular goal, advising is a key factor within the university's control affecting student success. Retention rates at Western are low and alumni and graduating senior surveys in the previous year ranked advising as the area of least satisfaction. There is much anecdotal evidence that students often receive inaccurate advising resulting in students not graduating in a timely fashion. There is also considerable anecdotal evidence that underprepared students are not advised into appropriate courses; nor are they referred to appropriate support services in a timely manner. Finally, because we are an open enrollment institution with a large proportion of first generation college students, a strong advising system plays an even more crucial role in student success.

This form is available as an electronic file template on the AQ1P website at http://www.aqip.org @ Academic Quality Improvement Project, 2001