Student Success Center Faculty Newsletter
The Student Success Center at Saint Louis University aids students in fulfilling their individual academic and career potential by providing intentional, developmentally appropriate opportunities for self-reflection and discovery, encouraging experiential learning, and supporting students' discernment in vocational, personal and academic choices.
In this newsletter, we hope to open conversations with faculty as we partner to support students' success. If you have questions or suggestions for content, please email Jessica Perolio at email@example.com. The newsletter will be published once per semester.
Stephanie Mooshegian, Ph.D., Chair of Organizational Studies and Assistant Professor
I teach adult learners in the Organizational Studies program housed within the School for Professional Studies. My students are returning to school after years of applied work. Often they are intimidated to ask for help, especially with writing. As an instructor, my goal is to connect students to campus resources. Therefore, I bring Jessica Perolio, Program Manager of Academic Support into my classroom to offer additional writing support for my students. When Jessica or other staff present and interact with the class, students realize that the writing consultants are approachable and genuinely want to support them. It opens the door for students.
Here are a few ways that I am using writing services (WS) in my courses this year:
- Incorporate writing component into course learning objectives.
- Arrange student contact with the writing consultants in and outside of class. WS delivers presentations on APA style and peer review. I also link to the writing services in SLUGlobal.
- Assess student writing in grading criteria in all assignments.
- Encourage students to schedule an appointment prior to their final paper submission by promoting WS online consultation, which is available to SPS students who cannot make it to campus during normal hours.
- Incorporate online tutorials and presentations in my online classes so distance learners benefit, too. Jessica conducts an asynchronous question and answer sessions in the SLUGlobal discussion boards.
- Invite WS to present at multiple campuses and learning modalities. They have travelled to our Belleville campus, BJC Healthcare Center for Lifelong Learning, online/distance, and the high-technology Herman-Miller Learning Studio in Des Peres 213.
Of the 101 students who have had 226 writing consultants so far this academic year, there are many success stories. One student met with the writing consultant multiple times, submitting many revisions to ultimately bring a failing draft paper to a quality submission. She earned a passing grade in the class. Another student used the video tutorials and writing services website to master APA style in-text citations. Following Jessica's presentation on peer feedback, several students reported feeling more confident with the process and self-initiated opportunities to provide each other with peer feedback throughout the term. Overall, writing services proves to be a tremendous support to students- and me, and I look forward to continued collaboration.
Kim Reitter, Ed.D., Director of Career Services
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) provides a set of ethical standards for guiding the job-search process.
Employers may contact you to request names of students who would be excellent candidates for job opportunities. At first glance, it seems harmless to provide the names of your best students; however, there are some potential legal and ethical pitfalls.
If you or colleagues refer a few students without publicizing the position to all who may be qualified, you are not maintaining "a fair and equitable recruiting process." Also, by identifying individuals for employment on a "regular" basis, you may be considered an "employment agency" for purposes of compliance with equal employment opportunity laws. For example, if it appears as if you are (innocently or otherwise) referring only male students or only minority students, you may be open to charges of discrimination. Employers who act in accordance with the NACE Principles understand and expect students to receive open and equal access to information about job opportunities.
A Suggested Course of Action:
If you receive a request for student referrals, you can, of course, notify individual students who have declared an interest in such positions and encourage them to apply. However, also contact Career Services at 977-2828 so that they can post the position in CareerLink, Career Services’ on-line database.
There are practical reasons for these actions. Career Services may have an existing relationship with the requesting employer through co-op, part-time/summer job, internship, job fair, or other recruiting programs. Or, the career center practitioners may wish to develop a broader relationship with the employer. Sometimes unproductive misunderstandings occur when an employer works with more than one campus office.
Academic advising has long been proven to help support and retain students during their undergraduate years (Habley, 1981; Nutt, 2003). At SLU, we follow a developmental advising model in which students have both academic advisors and faculty mentors to assist them in their undergraduate journey and holistic growth. According to Crookston (1994), developmental academic advising "is concerned not only with a specific personal or vocational decision but also with facilitating the student's rational processes, environmental and interpersonal interactions, behavioral awareness, and problem-solving, decision-making, and evaluation skills. Not only are these advising functions but . . . they are essentially teaching functions as well (p. 5)."
We must be intentional in our approach to advising/mentoring. Kramer (1999) makes these 6 suggestions for developmental model mentors:
- Know and apply student development theory.
- Build one session upon another.
- Challenge students to achieve their learning potential and to take academic risks.
- View students as active partners who are engaged in intellectual and personal growth.
- Challenge students to articulate what is important to them in their academic and personal lives.
- Set short-term and long-term goals. Discuss ways to achieve and monitor progress towards those goals.
Shelley Sawalich, Ph.D., Director of Academic Support
Each fall, incoming freshmen complete an online survey, MAP-Works, which assesses students’ behaviors and expectations in various areas of their college experience. In the context of asking SLU freshmen about their academic experiences and behaviors, the results of the Fall 2011 surveys provided valuable information that can assist faculty in encouraging students in promising academic practices.
Areas where our freshmen seem to struggle include academic behaviors like studying on a regular schedule, communicating with faculty outside of the classroom, or starting large assignment or projects early as well as academic self-efficacy especially related to their confidence to do well in their hardest courses, and anxiety surrounding exams. For courses that enroll many freshmen that are transitioning and learning how to be successful in their college courses, you might consider specifically initiating the some of the following conversations:
- Professors are approachable. Many freshmen report that they see their faculty as intimidating and are afraid to ask questions or for help.
- Assessing self-knowledge is part of studying. Many students misjudge their acquisition of course content. What do you think signals full understanding of a concept? How can students know that they are prepared?
- Starting early can be key to a quality assignment. We may feel like we say this to students all the time, but keeping up with the work and starting projects or studying for exams early really can make a difference in the end.
- Tutoring or writing support is available for many courses. These services can help keep students on track and also help evaluate knowledge and progress.