The Center for Student Success is gearing up for substantial changes in areas like tutoring, academic advising and support for students as NC Promise approaches.
“We’re getting ready day by day,” said Dr. Derek Oxendine, director of Center for Student Success. “It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. I think everybody is trying to be proactive as possible.”
Advising Changes for Freshmen
Advising will look different for incoming freshmen under NC Promise.
“We’ve been able to hire four full-time academic advisers. One of the things that we’re doing is we’re moving forward with restructuring academic advising on campus into more of a hybrid model,” said Dr. Oxendine. “So, beginning in Fall 2018, all incoming freshmen and transfers will funnel through the Center for Student Success in their first steps of academic advising.”
From there, the Center for Student Success will work with academic departments to determine when students will transition out to an adviser in the field of their major.
“The goal for freshmen is that they will stay with the Center for Student Success anywhere from three to four semesters, depending on where the program or the major is that they choose,” said Dr. Oxendine.
Additionally, Oxendine hopes to alleviate caseloads of faculty advisers.
“We’ve got some programs now that are kind of overloaded with students and they don’t have enough faculty to advise them in an appropriate caseload from a faculty standpoint,” he said. “With these four academic advisers, what we’ll be able to do is handle the entire freshman class that comes in this fall.”
Other employees of the center will also carry a caseload, but not as much as academic advisers. The only exceptions to advising changes are freshmen whose majors are specialized, such as Art or Music majors.
These students will be sent directly to advisers in their specified majors. Also, Honors College students will have an adviser in the Honors College.
New Advising Software
The “first official advising software the university has had” is on its way, Oxendine said. He hopes that this software will help in the case of supporting and “steering” students to success in their academic journey.
“We are moving forward and partnering with an online company called tutor.com. What that will do is it will enhance our current tutoring program,” said Oxendine. “It [tutor.com] will actually allow us to serve our online and distance education students at a capacity that we are not doing so now.”
The software allows same day tutoring and can connect students with an online tutor in less than 45 seconds, he said.
“So it’s 24/7, 365. Right now, we don’t tutor on the weekend,” he said, citing the disadvantages that may cause for students.
Tutor.com also integrates with Canvas, creating a more streamlined experience. Online tutoring is set to begin summer I of this year.
“Beginning summer I, everybody will be using Canvas,” Oxendine said. “In my opinion using as a student at UNC Greensboro, it was very user friendly and more intuitive than Blackboard.”
Additional Academic Success Coaches
“So one of the other things that just happened is general administration of the UNC system did a grant program regarding student success… Our grant proposal that we got in was funded at $266,850 for 18 months. That will allow us to hire additional academic success coaches,” Oxendine said.
Supplemental Instruction Program
The Supplemental instruction (SI) will return and work alongside of tutoring programs to help students achieve success.
“This program will allow us to revitalize SI, provide extra support and additional peer tutors for math and general education courses,” said Oxendine.