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Room 1: Putting Purpose First
Description: This track focuses on ways to support students making a purposeful choice of a focus area or program of study – strategies that are employed at every stage of the student life cycle from inquiry, application, and admissions through early transition, transition to major, and transition to career or further study. Strategies include integrating career conversations and interest/strengths inventories into early conversations with students, structures and practices that help all students, especially those who may be uncertain or too certain of what their purpose for college is.
Room 2: Building Mindset
Description: This track provides an opportunity to reflect on how we can build constructive mindset throughout the student journey. How does your institution support students as they encounter the complexity and uncertainty of the application process? How do you build a sense of belonging into the inquiry and transition process? What are the conversations and strategies you deploy in the advising process to support students learning from mistakes, seeking challenges, and attempting new strategies? How have you revised your student messaging to provide more supportive communications, especially around challenging episodes such as academic probation or dismissal, academic integrity referrals, early alerts, or financial aid complications?
Room 3: Building Pathways that Work
Program Maps (or Degree Plans) provide a clear path from the first experiences on campus through to graduation, helping students see their way all the way to their degree and ensuring that they complete key milestones along the way. They can also help students in the inquiring stage assess their comfort and fit for a program of study. In other areas, such as admissions, financial aid, housing, student life and beyond, students follow processes and procedures that function as pathways.
This track reflects on the guidance students need, and ways in which is it used. How are program maps used in the inquiry, application, and admissions process? How do you build off-ramps and on-ramps into your paths, and how do students know when they may need to seek help or a change? How does a pathway in one area, say a degree plan, interact and engage with a pathway in another, such as student life? What are the critical milestones of the pathway? How do you architect a curriculum of transitions for students? How do you use the pathway to teach students the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful?
Room 4: Strategic Structure and Alignment of Resources
Description: Constrained resources, increasing pressures on enrollment, and the challenging context of the past few years have defined many features of higher education. Taking a strategic approach to student supports and services can help to coordinate and structure student “touchpoints” to maximize the impact of limited resources at all phases of the student journey. This track provides a space to investigate how to focus and align resources, what determines the intensity of contact with students, how to measure and assess impact, and how to align resources with opportunities.