Help Students Stay On Their Path
- A structure to redirect students who are not progressing in a program to a more viable path
PRACTITIONER, PRESIDENT, AND PARTNER PERSPECTIVES
Tina Hart, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, Indian River State College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
If they run into difficulty in a gateway course or at a certain point in their program that is, that’s very revealing to the advisor, “We need to talk. Maybe this is not the path for you. Let’s — before you waste any more time and money, let’s get together and let’s maybe do another career assessment — let’s maybe go together over to the Career Center.” Our advisors have referral forms that they can also refer the student, then the career staff, they don’t have to wait for that student to take the initiative. If they’ve been referred by the advisor, they’re going to take the initiative to reach out to the student. Your advisor is concerned. Apparently they talk to you, whatever the scenario is. So we’re trying to go at it from all different angles to try to get students back, to get students to stay on the path or to redirect if they are on the wrong path.
Anthony Fassett, Student Success Navigator, Jackson College, Pathways College; Beth Hale, Student Success Navigator, Jackson College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
(1) We use a software platform called JetStream, that we’ve called JetStream, that allows navigators to develop long-term plans for students, I guess semester-by-semester plan. In those face-to-face meetings that students have every semester with their navigator, that allows us to basically control their ability to register for classes. In the context of meeting with students regularly in a given semester, we get a feel for how they’re doing in their classes, and can easily see in those regular meetings if they failed a course, like maybe in the math sequence, we’ve planned their next college-level course in an upcoming semester. We can try to address that as early as possible to potentially revamp their plan and discuss, “Okay, well, what went right? What went wrong? What do we want to put in place for this next semester? Do you need to go to the Center for Student Success for tutoring more often?” Or et cetera, et cetera. Something along those lines.
(2) I think sometimes students are reluctant to give us full information, and so we’re really basing a lot of the concrete evidence based on how well they’ve succeeded or not succeeded in their previous coursework. We’re really heavily relying on our relationships with faculty members and information that they can provide to us, as well as those final semester grades. If we have identified that a student has fallen off track, it’s embarking on a more uncomfortable conversation, perhaps, where we’re really asking the difficult questions of, “Is this the correct pathway for you? What can we do to help to get you back on track?” Whether that means just singly focusing on maybe a milestone course and taking it by itself so that the student can really focus all of their effort and energy for that particular semester on that specific course. And really using that semester to sort of dig deep internally and wonder if that’s the correct area for them. I think that’s one of the strategies we’ve used in the past. Beyond that, maybe also on the flip side, wondering if a different pathway could be a better fit.
Even when you change your major, like I went from nursing to healthcare management, and there’s certain classes that I wanted to take in my own order, it would like come up with red flags. So then I would have to go and schedule an appointment with the advisor, and then they would have to go and take those red flags, and then they’d have to input why you’re changing this or why, if it’s family circumstances or whatever the case is, and then they’d put those information in so that even if that advisor’s not available, the next advisor would be able to see those notes and just stick with those changes.