In September 2015, PSU launched an Advising Redesign Project with goals to build campus-wide involvement and support to assess how we advise students. The Academic and Advising Redesign workgroup presented their final report and recommendations on the next steps for advising at a campus-wide open forum in November 2016.
In this Vlog (video blog) below, you will hear more about the project from one of our advisors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Martha Dyson, and Sukhwant Jhaj, our Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success.
The PSU Academic and Advising Redesign Workgroup will present their final report and recommendations on the next steps for advising on Thursday, November 10, 10-11am and 1-2pm in SMSU, 209M. I encourage everyone interested in this topic toRSVP and attend the event and to read the report to be released at the event and subsequently posted on the Redesign Project website.
The Redesign Project is designed to increase PSU student retention and completion rates, improve the student experience, and make advising more rewarding and effective for both professional advisors and faculty. It is intended to create a unified advising framework to increase student self-efficacy and a sense of agency, as well as improve the experiences of academic and career advisors. It aligns with PSU’s Strategic Plan, Goal #1: Elevate Student Success, Initiative #3.1: Increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services.
Student advising is one of a number of factors that impact student success. PSU faculty and professional advisors use different advising models depending on the school/college/department. Several years ago, PSU added a number of professional advisors and saw an increase in the retention of full-time freshmen. Our retention rate, however, declined the past three years. It is time for us to reassess our advising model in response to the changing demands on students, and implement what we have learned from new, national, high-impact practices.
Over the next 18 months, PSU will be engaged in projects that increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services. I asked Sukhwant Jhaj, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success, to describe some of the advising redesign work underway.
The Portland State University Board of Trustees approved our strategic plan in December 2015.
Some have expressed that we went through a large-scale, campus–wide planning effort, and spent a lot of time and money, but are skeptical that little will change as a result of the plan and it will be business as usual.
I share with you some of the work and prioritization taken place in the last few months to demonstrate the plan’s strong impact.
Each student takes their own unique path towards their degree and each path is marked by a series of decisions: What should I major in? How long will it take to earn a degree? What courses should I enroll in? Can I afford it? What is a good work/school balance?
These are complicated questions that can be very stressful for students. Making the wrong decision about registration can set students back months and cost them a significant amount of money. When students are faced with an unanticipated change to their plan, whether that is a change in course availability, or a change of major, students are forced to revisit many of the same questions.
Our PSU students have told us they want to understand the full implications of a degree choice and know that their decisions align with their academic, career, and financial goals. As part of our reTHINK PSU efforts we are looking at ways to integrate our planning and advisement tools with student- and advisor-facing systems.