Strong Start Team

2 Replies

Strong Start Team

Posted by Laura Ballou on Feb 5, 2019 10:15 am

Our undergraduate college is working on evaluating and recommending improvements in several key areas for students.  Our office is involved in several of the teams that are being created and one of the teams that was formed was around the area of "Strong Start."  The goal is to evaluate our existing programs and provide recommendations on future initiatives/programs that positively impact successful student outcomes, especially for at-risk populations (i.e. first generation, veterans, international, under-represented, etc.).  While we are evaluating our offerings, we wanted to see if there were any schools that had something they were doing that they thought was especially successful in helping students have a Strong Start to their college experience.

Laura Ballou
University of Rochester
 
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Re: Strong Start Team

Posted by Paul Terzino on Feb 6, 2019 7:52 am

Hi Laura,

A new peer mentoring program was launched last year at Western Michigan University call Success@WMU:    All first year and transfer students are placed into success groups of 20-25 which are co-lead/facilitated by a full-time staff member and an upper class student.  Here is web site for more info  https://wmich.edu/success. Good luck.

Paul Terzino
Western Michigan University

Re: Strong Start Team

Posted by Robert Rouzer on Feb 6, 2019 2:46 pm

Laura:
Take a look at the Association of American Colleges and Universities website.  There are articles there as well as references to high impact practices.  George Kuh has also done much of his research on the topic.  Engagement is really key - that is assuring that each student develops a sense of belonging to the community within the first 6 to 8 weeks of their first semester.  That engagement may not be in all areas of the student's life but a few are key: academics, housing, activities.  Establishing a connector to each student is also important, be it a faculty member, staff member, or an upper level student.  Someone has to be checking in with the student to be sure that engagement progress is taking place.  Even at U of R where the student population is not huge, it is easy for students to fall into the cracks!  Good luck with your project.
Rob