Advising is a key dimension as we seek to keep students on track to degree completion. Currently, all students up to 60 earned hours are assigned to professional advisors in the Center for Academic Success (CAS). We have implemented D2L and partially implemented DegreeWorks to facilitate the tracking of the advising process. We are also implementing the EAB Student Success Collaborative to support academic advising.
Prior to 2015-2016, implementation of EAB-Student Success Collaborative was in a pilot phase at SSU. Several faculty and professional advisors participated in the pilot. Savannah State University is still in its early stage of implementing this predictive analytics tool to support academic advising and student degree completion. This tool will impact all students, faculty and advisors on campus by providing data about individual student progress and likelihood of completion; course success and risk profiles; and student at-risk information for entire degree programs and colleges. (Full implementation of the Student Success Collaborative will occur during the 2016-2017 academic year.)
The Academic Coach program in the Center for Academic Success helps at risk students who develop a personalized plan for maintaining or returning to good academic standing. Each coaching session is determined collaboratively by the student and coach. These coaches also work with the professional advisors and tutorial services to ensure student success.
Tutoring plays an integral role in student success at Savannah State University. Peer and professional tutors are provided free of charge for all students enrolled in core curriculum subjects. Tutors for higher level and major courses are also available in Biology, Chemistry, Accounting, Finance and Statistics. Additional courses are added upon request from students and faculty.
Of the 1157 first time, full time freshmen who entered Savannah State University in Fall 2015, 798 (68%) had at least one advising session with CAS staff. The aim is to increase the engagement with students through continuous use of the predictive analytic tools we are implementing. Assessment metrics for EAB will include advisor utilization data for the software tool, student recovery data from at risk to not-at-risk status, and degree completion rates for students identified as at risk.
Moving forward, assessment metrics include percentage of students who meet with a CAS advisor and retention rates for first-and second-year students who participate in advising (data from Grades First).
- Student satisfaction survey for academic advising/tutoring/workshops
- Sign-In-Log sheets (for academic coaches, professional advisors and tutorial services)
- Notes in Grades First to track advisement appointments, coaching appointments and students who are at risk
- Final semester grades for students who receive interventions
The ultimate measure of success will be an Increase in the percentage of students in good academic standing and retention at end of first and second year. Use of Student Success Collaborative tool will be an indicator of students whose risk level decreases (when fully implemented).
Full implementation and use of the advising tools we have acquired require that all relevant stakeholders are immediately informed about the value of the tools and trained in how to use them. Collaboration between professional advisors in CAS and faculty advisors in the departments will ensure that students have a consistent advisement experience throughout and beyond the first two years.