Student Retention Action Plan 2011-2013

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Student Retention Action Plan 2011-2013

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Context

The Student Retention Action Plan addresses the University of the Sunshine Coast Strategic Priority to deliver high quality teaching, learning and graduate outcomes. The action plan has been developed to identify integrated initiatives which will:

  • improve the University’s annual undergraduate retention rates
  • improve the University’s annual ranking relative to other Higher Education Providers for retention of commencing students.

The Student Retention Action Plan recognises that increased academic and social engagement, coupled with strengthened involvement and success experiences, leads to improved retention and successful progress. The initiatives outlined in the action plan include:

  • establishing and implementing a range of amenities to support both domestic and international students
  • providing for the particular needs of equity groups and indigenous students
  • developing and implementing early intervention for ‘at risk’ students
  • providing targeted personal development and emotional support

Actions

1. Develop integrated learning skills
Objective(s):
  • Increase confidence and understanding of university culture/environment
  • Enhance basic skill levels in information technology, information literacy and academic skills
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
Develop and provide weekend program prior to Orientation Participant evaluation survey Semester 2, 2011 (ongoing) Library,
Student Life and Learning,
IT Services
2. Simplify course enrolment process and embed additional advice
Objective(s):
  • Improve USCCentral functionality/intuitiveness
  • Embed course and career advice
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
Develop project plan to improve USCCentral functionality Student Experience Survey Semester 1, 2011 IT Services,
Student Administration, Faculties,
Student Life and Learning
3. Enhance ‘Ask Us Anything’ Day and Re-Orientation Week
Objective(s):
  • Ensure receipt of relevant and accurate advice and/or information
  • Provide understanding of available support services
  • Establish sustainable connection with the University
  • Resolve challenges before difficulties arise and withdrawal is considered
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Issue individual invitations 
  • Promote event broadly
  • Consolidate feedback/survey data
  • Prepare report
  • Participation statistics
  • Student Experience Survey
  • Staff feedback
Week 2, Semester 1, 2011 (ongoing) Student Life and Learning,
Student Administration, Faculties,
International Relations, Library,
CPO
4. Provide ‘Just-in-time’ advice
Objective(s):
  • Provide access to ‘just-in-time’ advice to support access and awareness/involvement and intellectual engagement
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Employ ‘stop me and ask’ students around campus (first four weeks)
  • Record questions
  • Seek staff feedback on key issues
  • Establish chat room to provide on call advice
  • Insert red button for student queries within Faculty websites
  • Participation statistics
  • Student Experience Survey
Semester 2, 2011 Student Administration, Faculties,
ITS,
Student Life and Learning,
Library,
M&C
5. Initiate early identification and intervention
Objective(s):
  • Overcome academic, social and/or personal challenges to address involvement issues
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Establish ‘at risk’ student triggers 
  • Integrate systems data sources (Blackboard, Virtua [library], PeopleSoft)
  • Report ‘at risk’ students to Faculties (end of weeks 3, 6 and 9)
  • Establish intervention action plan 
  • Establish follow-up and post-intervention feedback mechanisms
  • Establish student monitoring measures to evaluate success
  • Progress of 'at risk' students
  • Student Experience Survey
  • Retention rates
Semester 1, 2011 (ongoing) Student Administration, Faculties,
Library,
Student Life and Learning
6. Promote reasons for success
Objective(s):
  • Develop individual commitment to encourage degree completion
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Promote awareness of Career Connection
  • Develop early, systematic, Faculty-based career support sessions in lectures and tutorials
  • Trial assessable career support interventions in selected courses in each Faculty
  • Student Experience Survey
  • Annual increase in class presentations
  • Conduct at least one career support activity in each Faculty by end of 2011
Semester 1, 2011 Faculties,
Student Life and Learning
7. Promote planning for success
Objective(s):
  • Increase motivation, confidence and support-seeking behaviour to encourage progress
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Identify and nominate lecturers in each Faculty
  • Identify assessment task for appropriate intervention
  • Run workshop for lecturers and tutors 
  • Establish timetabled intervention activities (i.e. tutor time)
  • Provide email, phone and face-to-face opportunities
  • Retention rates in targeted courses
  • Progression rates for students involved in intervention
Semester 1, 2011 Faculties
8. Develop IT skills for coursework
Objective(s):
  • Increase competence in basic IT applications
  • Improved learning outcomes through early intervention
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Provide workshops / training
  • Provide ‘on-demand’ support 
  • Enhance Introduction to Blackboard workshops
  • Customise existing E learning workshop
  • Number of IT Help-Desk enquiries
  • Number of students participating in workshops
  • Participant evaluation survey
  • Staff feedback
Semester 1, 2011 (ongoing) Faculties,
Library,
IT Services,
Student Life and Learning,
FoSHE (Education students)
9. Provide better learning infrastructure
Objective(s):
  • Improve existing Learning Management System to enable richer, more flexible learning environment
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Upgrade Blackboard Learning Management System
  • Upgrade to version 9.1 and eLEAP to enable flexible online learning environment
  • Place orientation and support resource information on each course site
  • Develop student ePortfolios
  • Student experience survey
  • Student Feedback on Courses
Semester 2, 2011 (ongoing) IT Services,
Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching,
Faculties
10. Provide flexible printing infrastructure
Objective(s):
  • Provide flexible, convenient, wireless access to printing services
  • Enable students to print to existing facilities from private laptops
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
Establish wireless printing project through MAPS
  • Survey users
  • Access statistics
Semester 2, 2011 ITS,
MAPS
11. Improve awareness of and access to support services
Objective(s):
  • Increase use of available support services
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Improve advice on lecturer and tutor consultation times
  • Identify and involve Faculty Student Support Leaders in information dissemination
  • Provide regular, Faculty-based information promoting available support
  • Train APT staff on customer service, consistency of advice, available support
  • Train lecturers and tutors on managing student expectations, service delivery
  • Student Experience Survey
  • Service access
  • Staff development participation
Semester 1, 2011 (ongoing) Student Administration, Faculties,
Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching,
Student Life and Learning,
Human Resources
12. Improve ‘campus life’
Objective(s):
  • Increase on-campus engagement through social activities and development of social traditions
StrategiesMeasuresImplementation dateResponsibility
  • Plan regular program of activities
  • Develop UniClub as site for student engagement activities
  • Allocate additional spaces for activities
  • Develop ‘campus life’ webpage
  • Student Experience Survey
  • Access statistics
Semester 1, 2011 Student Life and Learning,
CPO,
Faculties

END

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