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Albany State University/Darton State College Campus Plan Update 2016

Strategies: 

Institutional Mission And Student Body Profile

The new mission of Albany State University (ASU), a proud member institution of the University System of Georgia, is to elevate its community and region by offering a broad array of graduate, baccalaureate, associate, and certificate programs at its main campuses in Albany as well as at strategically-placed branch sites and online. Committed to excellence in teaching and learning, the University prepares students to be effective contributors to a globally diverse society, where knowledge and technology create opportunities for personal and professional success. ASU respects and builds on the historical roots of its institutional predecessors with its commitment to access and a strong liberal arts heritage that respects diversity in all its forms and gives all students the foundation they need to succeed. Through creative scholarship, research, and public service, the University’s faculty, staff, students, and administrators form strategic alliances internally and externally to promote community and economic development, resulting in an improved quality of life for the citizens of Southwest Georgia and beyond.

Both traditional and non-traditional students comprised ASU’s Fall 2015 student population of 3,492 students. The average undergraduate age was 24 years and 89% of students identified as Black or African American. Total enrollment has been declining in recent years. ASU utilizes a selective admissions process in accordance with the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ (USGBOR) admissions policies; students needing learning support (remedial studies) are typically not admitted. However, many freshmen who are not eligible for admission to ASU, secure admission with Darton State College (DSC) with the intent of enrolling at ASU later as transfer students. Additionally, progression rates show that DSC students transfer to ASU more than any other institution in the USG.

In Fall 2015, DSC enrollment stood at 5,471 students. The average student age was 27.  Caucasian (49%) and African American (45%) students combined make up the majority of enrollment at DSC. Approximately 74% percent of the student population is comprised of women and 26% is comprised of men. DSC also has a large population of online students, with 65% taking at least one class online and 35% taking all classes online.

While the student bodies of ASU and DSC currently reflect diversity in age, gender and race, the student body of the consolidated ASU will become even more diverse. Both institutions have similar gender representations, with approximately 70% of the student populations being comprised of females and only 30% males. Predominant ethnicities at DSC and ASU are Caucasian (49% DSC and 6% ASU) and African American (45% DSC and 89% ASU). Nontraditional students (> age 25) comprise a large portion of both institution’s enrollment (DSC 52%, ASU 24%). After consolidation, it is projected that 62% of the student population will be comprised of African Americans and approximately 32% of the student population will be Caucasian, with females still comprising approximately 70% of the student population and males comprising approximately 30% of the population. Nontraditional students will represent approximately 38% of the population.

Characteristics of ASU Student Body, Fall 2015

   

Characteristics of DSC Student Body, Fall 2015

Race/Ethnicity

Count

Percent

 

Race/Ethnicity

Count

Percent

American Indian or Alaska Native

6

0.0%

 

American Indian or Alaska Native

15

0.3%

Asian

12

0.0%

 

Asian

81

1.5%

Black or African American

3,104

89.0%

 

Black or African American

2,444

44.7%

Hispanic or Latino

57

2.0%

 

Hispanic or Latino

181

3.3%

Multiracial

26

1.0%

 

Multiracial

76

1.4%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

2

0.0%

 

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

7

0.1%

White

219

6.0%

 

White

2,651

48.5%

Not Specified

66

2.0%

 

Not Specified

16

0.3%

             

Gender

Count

Percent

 

Gender

Count

Percent

Female

2,372

68.0%

 

Female

4,020

73.5%

Male

1,120

32.0%

 

Male

1,451

26.5%

             

Enrollment Status

Count

Percent

 

Enrollment Status

Count

Percent

Full-time

2,745

79.0%

 

Full-time

2,517

46.0%

Part-time

747

21.0%

 

Part-time

2,954

54.0%

Institutional Completion Goals, High Impact Strategies, And Activities

Goal #1

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF UNDERGRADUATES DEGREES AWARDED

Undergraduate Degrees Summary:

 

DSC

ASU

 

Associates

Bachelors

Bachelors

FY 2014

793

17

506

FY 2015

814

48

544

FY 2016

895

42

561

High Impact Strategy

“Scale up” Advising Campaigns and Assessment

Summary of Activities

Enhanced Retention Team and developed a New Focus

The Academic Advising and Retention Center now has a team composed of a Retention Coordinator, 3 Retention Advisors, and a Retention Assistant. Currently training on best practices. (ASU)

 

Implemented an Advising Syllabus and Checklist

Students are encouraged to visit the AARC as often as possible. Therefore, a syllabus containing expectations of the student and advisor is provided for the student. A checklist to ensure the Learning Outcomes of AARC are met is used by the advisor. (ASU)

 

Facilitated Academic Advising Professional Development Sessions

The Coordinator of Academic Advising and the Assistant Dean for Student Success facilitated academic advising and professional development sessions for new and returning advisors. (DSC)

Created a logo for AARC to increase awareness

So that students will know where to go for assistance and identify what services are offered by whom, an identifiable logo was created and place on electronic and print materials advertising all AARC services. Students will now utilize more AARC services. (ASU)

 

Redesigned Academic Advising Website

The Academic Advising Committee evaluated the usefulness of the Academic Advising website and portal and implemented recommendations by including additional information about recent programmatic and course modifications, advising resources, and assessment tool.  (DSC)

 

Added Learning Outcomes to Advising

To create a measureable methodology and framework, Albany State University  implemented three learning outcomes to guide advising:

  • AARC will empower students to become self-advocates for their academic, career and personal goals and progression toward these goals.
  • AARC will advocate for institutional programs, policies, requirements and procedures that enrich the student experience and facilitate persistence toward graduation.
  • AARC will assist students with identifying campus resources and services that can be used to assist them in achieving their academic, personal, and career goals. (DSC)
 

Strengthening At-Risk Campaigns

Created multiple advising campaigns that can be measured and support 15-to-Finish Initiative.

 

Incorporated an ASU Graduation Planner

Students can determine what is required to graduate in four years and it can be tracked, ASU welcomed Jullien Gordon as the Fall 2016 Convocation speaker and creator of the “ASU Guide to Graduation” given to entering Freshman, which includes the following topics:

The Other 4.0 That Matters, My Other 4.0 Plan, Academic Plan & Goals, 101 Things To Do Before You Graduate List, Annual Academics, 4-Year Academic Plan, Resume Template, Personal Goals, Time & Financial Management, Example Time Grid & Week Chart, Fall Time Grid & Week Chart, Winter Time Grid & Week Chart, Spring Time Grid & Week Chart, Monthly Budget, Grad School Choice, My Notes

 

Collaborated with DCSS to offer MOWR at local high school

AARC is currently coordinating the signing of an agreement with the local school district to offer classes on their campuses Summer 2017 as a summer bridge program of sorts to help prepare for college and create interest in attending ASU for degree completion.

 

Implemented a Scholarship-based initiative offered in ASU1201—Freshman Seminar course.

This initiative helps retention in helping students matriculate. AARC Collaborated with the Honor’s Director and overseer of ASU 1201 Resulting in increased awareness and application of $398,000 in Scholarships (awards of approximately $13,000) because Noel Levitz cited students leaving college due to financial issues. Nearly 90% of ASU students receive Financial Aid.

 

Implement Professional Development for Faculty and Professional Advisors

On-campus and online faculty, professional advisors, and online support specialists (OSS) will participate in professional development sessions in an effort to become familiar with the advising processes, policies, and programs of study in the new university

Implement a “shared model of advising”

The “new” university will adopt a “shared” model of advising to include professional staff advisors in the advising centers; online support specialists for new and continuing students who are fully online; and designated undergraduate and graduate faculty advisors in their respective programs of study on all campuses. (DSC)

Points of Contact

Ouida McAfee, Director of AARC, Albany State University

Melvin Shelton, Director of Honor’s Program

G. Pat Ridgeway, Assistant Dean for Student Success, Darton State College and Deena Newman, Advising Coordinator, Darton State College

Lessons Learned

If professional development opportunities for faculty and professional advisors are not required, strongly encouraged, or tied to annual evaluations, advisors may not take advantage of opportunities to update their advising skills and/or knowledge of intrusive advising best practices.

Goal #4

PROVIDE INTRUSIVE ADVISING TO KEEP STUDENTS ON TRACK TO GRADUATE

High Impact Strategy

Restructured Advising and Early Alert System

Summary of Activities

Facilitated the Use of the Student Retention Portal

Darton State College (DSC) collaborated with Valdosta State University to create a student retention portal to replace the College’s Early Alert System.  Faculty and professional advisors were chosen to pilot use of the portal and to make recommendations during the spring semester. Faculty and professional advisors participated in workshops in efforts to enhance their use of the portal to track student attendance and progress. Students who were “at risk” of failing a course was contacted by their academic advisors to develop a corrective action plan. (DSC)

 

 Strengthened the use of Predictive Analysis and Early Alert System

During the ASU/Darton Consolidation AARC is helping to customize the SSC Campus software for University use to aid in persistence, retention and graduation, through early alerts and targeted campaigns leading to more effective specific advising to increase the probability of success. (ASU)

 

 Restructured Learning Communities

AARC submitted a proposal for and was awarded the opportunity to attend the National Institute of Learning Communities. As a result, Instructors were no longer compensated for overloads to teach classes that were already part of courses offered. Classes were freed up to accommodate incoming Freshman and overall structure was given to the program to include a Community Service Learning project for each of the six learning communities with the common theme of “Civic Engagement: Our Voices Must be Heard.” (ASU)

 

Reallocated Assigned Advisees

DSC division deans devised a process to balance the distribution of advisees per faculty member.

 

Initiated “Jump Start Week” Prior to Early Advising

Darton’s Coordinator of Academic Advising implemented an initiative to assist students in learning how to use Degree Works, identify appropriate courses, and create course schedules prior to meeting with an academic advisor during the “early” advising and registration sessions. 

Points of Contact

G. Pat Ridgeway, Assistant Dean for Student Success, Darton State College and Deena Newman, Advising Coordinator, Darton State College

Lessons Learned

Faculty buy in is essential to the success of the early system. Faculty and professional advisors, and online support specialists (OSS) should participate in professional development sessions in an effort to become familiar with the advising processes, policies, and programs of study in the new university.

The “new” university will adopt a “shared” model of advising to include professional staff advisors in the advising centers; online support specialists for new and continuing students who are fully online; and designated undergraduate and graduate faculty advisors in their respective programs of study on all campuses.

Goal #6

EXPAND DUAL ENROLLED PROGRAMS

High Impact Strategy

Bolster Dual Enrollment/Move on When Ready Program Delivery

Summary of Activities

Develop Parental Consent Form (new Spring 2017), MOWR Website Updates, and Reminder App

Improve communication, marketing, and outreach to increase MOWR student enrollment and alert students of existing programs and possibilities for early completion of degree. (DSC)

 

Designated an advisor dedicated to advising solely dual enrollment students.

MOWR advisor utilized an online course shell to enhance online communication with MOWR students about program updates, information, resources, and on-campus events with program participants. (DSC)

 

Offered college classes at approved high schools that were taught by Darton faculty or an approved high school instructor.

More students are able to participate in the program with course offerings on their high school campus. Also, Homeschool students that would not previously participate are excited about cohorts just for MOWR students on the college campus. (DSC)

 

Expanded location offerings and established MOUs with additional high schools in the Service Delivery Area.

 

Established continuous communication with high school counselors electronically and through regular meetings and campus visits.

Point of Contact

Kristen Speegle, MOWR Coordinator, Darton State College

Lessons Learned

By improving communication, marketing, and outreach it will help the community learn about the MOWR Program. This will in effect help students, parents, and high school counselors in all aspects of the program from start to finish. The MOWR Program is mostly at no cost to the student/parent so this is a very beneficial program for students that may not have had access to college courses in the past. Students may not be able to take courses at the college or online so by offering different paths to take classes it will open up availability for more students. Some students may prefer to take advantage of college courses but would like a more structured environment.

Goal #8

ENHANCED INSITUTIONAL DELIVERY OF STUDENTS SERVICES TO SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE AND STUDENT SUCCESS

High Impact Strategy

Use of Distance Learning to impact retention, progression and student success

Summary of Activities

SmartThinking (or similar) integrated to LMS tutoring services

We have discovered that adult learners need an integrated tutoring service, such as SmartThinking, available during evening and weekend hours when they are most apt to be working on their assignments.

 

Live Chat hours for questions and Dedicated Instructional Website space

In the past, DSC has offered an online writing lab that presented information via the website, through email, and by phone. While the utilization of these services by students in certain courses is moderate, providing high-touch, real-time assistance is needed

 

Online Webinar technologies for live “real-time” interactions with document and desktop sharing.

In the past, DSC has offered an online writing lab that presented information via the website, through email, and by phone. While the utilization of these services by students in certain courses is moderate, providing high-touch, real-time assistance is needed. The online writing center has in the past operated as a paper review center, in the future it will operate more as an online tutoring service with the hopes that future online student services, such as the online Math Lab will use this as a base model.

 

Skill of the Week Tutoring Session

½ hour weekly tutoring sessions streamed live covering mechanics of writing.

 

Video Guides, Links to informative print materials, and Grammar Hotline – for just-in-time grammar questions

Point of Contact

Renita Luck, Director of Online Learning, Darton State College

Lessons Learned

The New Albany State University will face unique challenges in structuring services to provide the required support, in its new blended mission not only for at-a-distance student populations who use virtual formats to communicate with faculty and staff, but also for its high-risk learning support and first-generation college student populations. To meet these challenges, the new Institution will intentionally revise and add additional services to the existing online writing center at DSC to include robust tutorials, just-in-time, high-touch services such as chat features, a Grammar hotline, and real-time support during critical hours for students. Additionally, an integrated tutorial service will be implemented to enhance the institution’s offerings.