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Division Updates

 

Restructuring by Fall 2020

Based upon feedback from more than 100 faculty, staff, and students, and in collaboration with the Student Success leadership team, the functions of Center for Career Development, FirstYear Programs, Academic Success Center, and the Office of Academic Inclusive Initiatives will be reorganized to:   

  • Provide students with a clear understanding of the academic support services available to them to complete their degrees. 
  • Increase efficiencies and collaborations between the academic colleges, enrollment management, and student life. 
  • Provide data to the university that will help leaders understand factors impacting persistence and engagement. 

 

The reorganization includes: 

  1. Office name changes to better reflect the excellent work happening in each unit;
  2. Staff transitions between offices to better align the staff’s work with the purpose of each office; 
  3. Updated office goals to help each office identify and align their work with institutional goals; 
  4. Vol Success Team – transition to a case-management model or “Care Team” retention model. A successful model used at the University of South Florida and Georgia State University provides students a “Care Team” to support their academic efforts. The “Care Team” includes an academic coach, academic advisor, and OneStop counselor.   
  5. Consolidate and expand our diversity and inclusion efforts into one office.

 

Names & Functions Following Reorganization

  • Student Support Services
  • First Generation
  • Initiatives for Students of Color
  • Case Management Model: Academic Coaching
  • Grade Alerts
  • Tutoring/SI
  • Transition Advising and Career Exploration
    • Summer Bridge Programs
    • First-Year Seminars
    • Residential academic programming

 

Reorganization Goals

  • Develop a strategic plan, in coordination with ASC and campus partners, to improve first-year retention rates of first-generation students and students of color;
  • Develop an intentional signature inclusion program during Welcome Week and is coordinated with the First-Year Seminars;
  • Work with Enrollment Management to develop and deliver a First Generation, Black and Latino Leadership Symposia series for prospective students;
  • Develop a minority male academic initiative program.

  • Develop, implement, and assess a strategic plan that moves the ASC to a case management model approach to retention. Whereas each scholar is assigned a personal coach to support their transition to UTK. This plan should include:
    • Communication plan based upon predictive model and retention level
    • Engagement goals for each Academic Success Coach and based upon student engagement levels.
  • Develop accountability, training, professional development structure to support each AS Coach
  • Create a data-rich culture, strengths-based, customized approach to retention consider an individualize retention plan for scholars that require additional engagement.
    • Required meetings in the first six weeks of school or a set schedule of meetings based upon students.
    • Mid-semester Checks
    • Classroom checks
  • Assess and review a new tutoring and supplemental instruction plan that’s data-driven and streamlines UTK’s tutoring services.
  • Collaborate with the New Student Orientation, First Year Programs, the Veteran’s Resource Center, Student Life and the Office of Academic Inclusive Initiatives to find ways the ASC can intentionally engage students.

VPSS definition of academic coaching: The goal of academic coaching is to help maximize each scholars’ strengths, understand how their strengths contribute to their career path and personal well-being, develop semester goals, and create an individual retention plan.

  • Develop, implement, and assess a strategic plan that engages each new first-year student with a high-impact practice.  This plan should include:
  • Communication plan based upon predictive model and retention level
  • Engagement goals for each Academic Success Coach and based upon student engagement levels.
  • Develop accountability, training, professional development structure to support each AS Coach
  • Create a data-rich culture, strengths-based, customized approach to the first-year experience based upon best practices.
  • Assess and review the current summer bridge programs and make recommendations for 2021 and 2022.
  • Assess and consider how UTK can partner with University Housing to better align residential programs with the academic mission and the first-year experience. This includes but is not limited to Living, Learning Communities, Residential Curriculum, residential academic programming, or Faculty Fellows.
  • Collaborate with the New Student Orientation, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Student Life, and the Office of Academic Inclusive Initiatives to include intentional diversity and inclusion workshops in the First-Year Seminars.
  • Develop a strategic plan for UTK’s Volunteer Bridge program to increase enrollments for fall 2022.
  • Revamp UTK’s first-year seminar to help scholars focus of college strategies for success and better understand their strengths.
  • Develop a plan to engage first and second-year instructors through regular communications and in-person meetings.
  • Operationalize the recommendations from the First-Year Task Force.
  • Research the opportunity for UTK to develop a fourth-week belonginess survey to assist with retention efforts.

Move the transition advising function from first year programs into the major and career exploration unit of the Center for Career Development

  • Develop and execute career development training for transition advisors and advising training for career counselors; Utilize expertise of advising community and career staff
  • Create infrastructure and address current policy issues to make the process of transition advising more seamless for students needing assistance; Discuss practices and policies with AALG and Enrollment Management to seek improvements
  • Utilize student and staff input to name this new position and unit; Create a sense of belonging for transition advisors within the CCD

Explore ways to enhance career conversations in the academic arena

  • Develop plans to expand the Career Advocates program to provide training to faculty and staff around providing career development to students
    • Partner with colleges to create training opportunities
    • Seek ways to train lecturers who teach introductory courses
  • Research opportunities to create career development content on Canvas that could be standalone courses for students or plug in modules for faculty