Slaying the Status Quo
The Office of Academic Affairs in partnership with the Center for Academic Success hosted a day-long advising summit for over 100 academic counselors and advisors. The summit focused on the area of retention with particular emphasis on elevating the experience at LSU. Outreach, data assessment, implementing best practices and supporting advisors with resources and professional development trainings were the main pillars of discussion.
Executive Vice President and Provost Stacia Haynie welcomed the advisors with motivating words encompassing the importance of retention.
“We are here to slay the status quo,” Haynie said. “Our goal is for every student enrolled at LSU to receive a higher education degree from our university. In my 30 years here, I have never been more excited about our future. We are attracting incredibly talented students to our campus, and we are laser focused on ensuring their success.”
Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Support Services Matt Lee addressed the audience about providing student-centric advising mechanisms to advance the student experience.
“Our goal is to provide students a success map–something that offers the students a purpose and a promise,” Lee said. “In order to do that, we’ll need intensive counseling on the front end, in addition to, integrative career counseling. To achieve our desired outcomes, we’ve put together an advising task force, advanced our communication channels to students and made advising assessment and accountability a priority.”
Summit participants then separated into break-out sessions where four of the advising task force committee members presented on topics of their expertise. Clay Benton, university registrar, spoke on leveraging technology and establishing consistent communication and coordinated care for students among campus support offices. Jose Aviles, vice president of enrollment management, discussed adapting to best practices and using data to inform practices and student learning outcomes. Becky Caire, assistant dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, addressed advisor training and professional development. Matt Lee, vice provost of academic programs and support services, discussed establishing policies and procedures that are student centric and inclusive.
The summit also welcomed keynote speaker Claire Robinson, assistant dean of Undergraduate Advisement and director of the University Advising Center at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Robinson emphasized the importance of quality advising and a uniform experience for students.
Thomas Sellers, the associate director at Educational Advisory Board (EAB), a Higher Education Consulting Firm, presented on data driven decisions that increase and improve student success rates. His presentation also focused on EAB’s Navigate app that LSU launched as a pilot for entering freshman the first week of August. The Navigate platform provides students important advising information in one ‘easy-to-view path’. The app also creates a seamless way for students and advisors to connect as well as a coordinated care network to improve the student experience.
The summit was highly regarded and attendees were very pleased to learn that more emphasis is being placed on the importance of students.
These are only the first steps of the master retention plan. The university plans on hosting additional forums this year focused on student success.