BREAK THE SPELL: VOODOO
SECRETS FOR SERVING
“INVISIBLE STUDENTS”
Texas Woman’s University
Annie Phillips Newton & Amy O’Keefe
“ V I S I O N I S T H E A RT
OF SEEING WHAT IS
INVISIBLE TO OTHERS .”
JONATHON SWIFT
(IRIS H AUTHOR AND
SATIRIST 1667-1745)
SPELL INGREDIENTS
Unique needs of non-traditionals and commuters
National best practice standards
Role of orientation to meet these needs
Social media, tools, applications
WHOOOOOO
 Commuter
 Non-traditional students
 Student parents
 Adult learners
 Veterans
 Onliners
 Transfer
OLD SCHOOL: COLLEGE’S MOST
I M P O R TA N T T R E N D I S T H E R I S E
O F T H E A D U LT S T U D E N T
Who’s a typical college students?
Of the 17.6 million undergrads now enrolled in higher education:
 43% attend two-year institutions
 37% are enrolled part-time
 32% are working full-time
 25% are over the age of 30
 Only 15% attend four year colleges and live on campus
(The Atlantic, 2011)
UNIQUE NEEDS
 Juggle school, family and work & integration of all of these roles
• Transportation, childcare, finances
 Little time or patience for policies that make no sense for them
 Very focused on timely completion of their degree
 May need more assistance navigating the university
 May feel disconnected/lack of support due to physical distance
• May struggle to develop a sense of belonging
A S T I N ’ S T H E O RY O F
I N VO LV E M E N T
 “the more students are passionate and
wholehearted about their educational experience,
both psychologically and physically, the more likely
they are to succeed and be satisfied with their
collegiate experience” (Astin, 1984).
GET STUDENTS INVOLVED
Connect them to your institution through:
• Student organizations, honor societies,
traditions, more interaction with other
students and faculty
Involvement yields:
• Learner success
• Retention
T I N T O ’ S T H E O RY O F
D E PA RT U R E
• Academic and social integration are fundamental to student
retention (Tinto, 1993)
• “the more central one’s membership to the mainstream of
institutional life the more likely, other things being equal, is one
to persist” (Tinto, 1987).
• “a person will tend to withdraw from college when he [or she]
perceives that an alternative form of investment of time,
energies, and resources will yield greater benefits” (Tinto, 1975).
TEACHING NAKED
“All of your students are already in this virtual
community [facebook] and asking them to join a class
group creates a virtual community where they already live;
posting an announcement on Blackboard is the equivalent
of asking them to come to office hours in your building.
Posting on Facebook is more like showing up in the dorms
for dinner.”
Bowen, 2006
3 FAC T O R S I N F L U E N C I N G O N L I N E
STUDENT RETENTION:
1.
Student support & student connection with
the institution
2.
Quality of interaction between faculty &
students = “eSolated” (Appana, 2008)
3.
Student self-discipline
(Heyman, 2010)
C O U N C I L F O R T H E A D VA N C E M E N T O F
S TA N DA R D S I N H I G H E R E D U C AT I O N ( C A S )
 CAS – Orientation Programs
• “Programs have evolved from simply providing individualized faculty attention
to focusing on a multitude of important issues while responding to the needs
of an increasingly diverse student and family population”
 CAS- Adult Learner Programs
• “must provide programs and services that assist in increasing the retention of
adult learners…including orientation”
 CAS – Commuter Programs
• Provide programs that meet specific needs of commuter students and
• “ensure that all students must have equitable access to all institutional services,
engagement opportunities and the total educational process regardless of place
of residence”
C O U N C I L F O R T H E A D VA N C E M E N T O F
S TA N DA R D S I N H I G H E R E D U C AT I O N ( C A S )
 CAS –Distance Education Programs
• “Formal higher education in which the student and faculty member
are separated by time and/or space”
• “Institutions must provide appropriate student services for all
students enrolled in distance education programs. These services
must be sufficiently comprehensive to be responsive to the special
needs of all distance students”
• “-must be of comparable quality to services provided to on-campus
students”
• “Orientation must be offered”
ROLE OF ORIENTATION
 Provide mechanism to address transition issues
• Meet and greet avoid defeat
 Utilize orientation as the beginning of the retention plan
• Large numbers of commuter students may be under
prepared for college (Jacoby,1993)
• Opportunity to collect valuable data about the
minority/majority
• Opportunity to address unique needs and concerns
immediately
BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES
 5 steps for effective commuter student orientation (Wilmes & Quade, 1986)
• Accurate & timely info
• Promote institutional identification
• Encourage involvement with others
• Interact ion with campus personnel
• Integrating outside support systems & significant others
 University of Houston Veteran Orientation
•
•
•
•
Financial aid, tuition fees, money management (VA benefits)
Career, Counseling & Health Services
Academics: tutoring, library, computer
Getting involved: SVA, ROTC, Vet Museum, VFW, American Legion
T H E O H I O S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y
C O M M U T E R P R E V I E W DAY

Commuter Preview Day is a one day, orientation-like program just for new commuter students. Commuter
Student Affairs sponsors the day and it will provide new commuters the opportunity to:

Practice parking in the West Campus or Central Campus parking lots

Practice using the CABS Bus system (which shuttles student from and to the parking lots)

Find all of your classroom buildings (even the exact rooms)

Visit the bookstore to purchase books

Take care of campus business

Meet other new commuting students

Get helpful information to help you get started at Ohio State

Any commuter student, freshman, transfer, or regional campus change student, may attend Commuter
Preview day!
U N I V E R S I T Y O F N O R T H C A RO L I N A
G R E E N S B O RO

Welcome Session

Student Health Services Station (8 - 10am)

Taking Care of Business (Information from Parking Operations & Campus Access Management, SpartanCard, Dining,
Bookstore, Printing & Postal Services)

TASL Groups (Meet your Transfer & Adult SOAR Leader - TASL)

Student Computing (Learn about UNCG's laptop requirement, checking grades and more)

Get Involved

Accelerate you Academics (Learn more about UNCG advising and registration preparation).

Cashier's & Student Accounts; Financial Aid

TASL Q&A Panel (Join our Transfer & Adult SOAR Leaders as they share their experiences at UNCG).

Taking Care of Business (Get information about Parking, SpartanCard, Printing and Postal Service).

Transition from a Community College to UNCG
U N C G R E E N S B O RO
A D U LT / T R A N S F E R S OA R
 Especially for Adult Students
 Student Health Services & Counseling Center
 Career Services
 UNCG Traditions (Learn the history & traditions of UNCG).
 TASL Groups (Meet your Transfer & Adult SOAR Leader - TASL)
 Self-Guided Time
 Spartan Expo (Visit a wide array of UNCG services and offices).
 Transfer Articulation Station
 Campus Tours
 College & Schools Welcomes, Advising & Registration
TOOLS & APPLICATIONS
Social Media
Facebook
Twitter
Blackboard
Second Life
Ustream
You Tube
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News announcements
Videos promoting events/services
Provide links to information
Staff to student communication
Student to student communication
Photos of events
News announcements
Provide links to videos promoting events/services
Provide links to information
Provide links to photos of events
Some two-way communication
News announcements
Discussion boards
Email
Resources & Links to information
Build community
Alumni Relations Open House
Alumni Relations Art Night
Art Gallery Lectures
Student Government Forum/Hearings
EOE Honor Society Induction
Relevant Speakers & Events
Promotional videos for events/programs
Informational videos about services
Videos from actual events/programs
PROS & CONS
Facebook
PRO
Twitter
Second Life
CON
PRO
CON
PRO
Fans could create a “viral”
effect which can potentially
spread content worldwide
Cannot change look of profile
(some see this as a pro due to
consistency of pages)
Mobile – can send and receive
updates on your cell phone –
instant communication
Limited to 140 character
updates
Can provide online students
with virtual ‘experiences’
Steep learning curve
Fan pages can target a
specific network or age group
Harder to use than Twitter for
recruitment searches
Could be very useful in an
emergency situation, in
addition to existing tools
Limited profile info: allows
picture, name, location,
website, & bio
Gives a sense of community
and presence
Requires a broadband
connection and graphics that
all students might not have
Ability to view “insights” –
statistics on the usage of our
page
Relatively frequent updates.
Have to learn new ways of
navigating site
Use Twitterfeed & Tweetdeck
to search for mentions of
institution or other terms;
allows us to engage students
in a conversation
If we don’t tweet regularly, we
will lose our existing audience
Allows online students a way
to connect with the university
by experiencing events and
visiting landmarks
Important to use Second Life
for the right reasons – using it
just to use it can affect student
satisfaction and overall
experience
85% of students at 4-year
universities have Facebook
profiles
Cannot track “fans” to see if
they are current students
Can link RSS feeds into Twitter
with Twitterfeed, EasyTweets
or HootSuite – every new feed
automatically tweets the
headline with a link to the full
story = automation
Twitter followers tend to lurk,
rather than engage
Provides a meeting space for
online study groups and
courses
Requires updates at times that
may cause problems if being
used on campus in computer
labs
Combines profile, photos, blog,
instant messaging
Twitter & Facebook can be
linked in order to share content
on both tools
Must link to photos, websites,
videos
Provides a way for online
students to meet and interact
with students and faculty from
other campuses
Very new to most students to
they can feel overwhelmed and
confused
More than 350 million users
accessing Facebook through
their mobile devices
More than 100 million active
monthly users
No cost for students to create
account and interact in this
space
CON
APPLAUSE PLEASE…
Questions?
twucommuter.com
BEST PRACTICES
• Student satisfaction
• Empowered frontline staff
• Student’s perspective
• Cross-functional teams
• Added value
• Strategic to institution
• Choice
• Executive support & participation
• One-stop centers
• Shift from transactions to
• Staffing by self-service (70%),
relationships
generalist (20%), specialists (10%)
• Web portals
GAPS IN SERVICE
 Transfer student quotes
• “It’s a good school that has a safe feeling to it, along with the
willingness to help its’ students succeed in life as well as academia”
• “Easy transition, nice campus”
• “Helpful; TWU made my transferring stage very smooth”
 Collaboration
 Diversity of this population is a challenge
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Break the Spell: Voodoo secrets for serving *invisible students*