Student Engagement and Retention Blueprint 2017-2020 Summary - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Student Engagement and Retention Blueprint 2017-2020 Summary

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1. Strengthen first year experiences – the first year is the foundation for success in later years
  1. Review and enhance first year (FY) curriculum – articulated in the USC First Year Experience Enabling Plan
    • Improve student outcomes in FY courses in conjunction with course performance monitoring, reporting and review, and priority course activities
    • Deploy transition pedagogy and FY curriculum principles as the framework for design and practice
  2. Continue to strengthen a USC-wide approach to orientation and transition to learning – articulated in the USC Orientation Plan
  3. Focus on skills, identity, confidence, belonging and cohort building within programs and disciplines
  4. Increase the engagement of FY cohorts through a program of targeted early interventions based on needs – articulated in the Student Success Monitoring and Intervention Plan
  5. Ensure a framework and guidance for the FYE is incorporated into USC policy and procedures
2. Design and enact high quality curricula – high quality programs and courses engage students in learning
  1. Enhance curriculum design, implementation and enactment through the implementation of the USC Curriculum Design principles (learning centred, standards based, constructively aligned, and career and future focused)
    • Support academic staff to embrace curriculum design as academic leadership work
    • Broaden participation in and contributions to curriculum design and review activities
    • Formalise the participation of students in curriculum design, implementation and review activities
  2. Formalise existing evidence-based approaches to curriculum evaluation and review
    • Strengthen priority course and program activities focused on improving the student experience
    • Implement processes for course and program monitoring, review and improvement
    • Design and implement a systematic approach to curriculum review and evaluation
    • Design and implement holistic approaches to evaluating learning, teaching and the student experience
  3. Improve curriculum information management design and systems, processes and practices
  4. Continue to enable and enrich learning and teaching and focus on learning and teaching in:
    • Blended learning
    • First year experience
    • Work integrated learning and employability
    • Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in curriculum
3. Promote access, equity and diversity – a USC-wide coordinated approach to increasing and widening student participation
  1. Develop meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their Elders and communities
  2. Recruit, support and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at all levels of study
  3. Optimise activities through USC’s integrated approach to recruitment and widening participation, and partner with external agencies to maximise impact in target locations
  4. Extend existing access USC-wide access strategies:
    • Supporting early entry: (1) Year 11 and Year 12 - focus on Headstart and Integrated Learning and similar discipline programs (2) Guaranteed and Direct offers
    • Providing pathways into USC for students from diverse backgrounds: Enabling and TPP
    • Recruiting and supporting students with disability
  5. Support the access and participation of specific student cohorts
4. Enable support for learning – intentional, proactive, timely access to life and learning support
  1. Implement a comprehensive approach for support and monitoring with interventions for learning engagement (SMILE) with early intervention and proactive student advising
  2. Design and implement an holistic approach to promoting student wellbeing
  3. Implement a support for learning approach to achieving academic excellence with specific attention to:
    • Student wellbeing
    • Academic Integrity
    • STEM disciplines
    • Academic literacies including English language proficiency and digital literacies
    • Career, professional, leadership and personal development learning
    • High performance student athletes and performers
  4. Develop a ‘students as partners’ strategy and approach and strengthen existing student governance mechanisms including:
    • A student governance framework
    • Student leadership program and awards
    • Scholars program
    • Staff-student liaison committees
  5. Innovate in the provision of social learning spaces
  6. Strategically extend and enhance peer to peer networking and learning
  7. Enhance campus life through engagement with the USC Student Guild, VC’s Student Representative Council to support student-led academic and social activities
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