Students’ Views on Using Technology at PSU

Technology is ubiquitous in our learning and work environment. It is good to take a pause and assess how our students access and use technology to enhance their learning experience. Our Chief Information Officer, Kirk Kelly, recently shared with the President’s Executive Committee and the Academic Leadership Team survey results of PSU student technology use.

In this guest blog, Kirk shares the results in order for us to be responsive and better understand student behavior and needs.

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Advising Redesign Interview: Final Recommendation Adopted

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.

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Vlog: Highlights from the PSU Foundation

We are entering the season of giving thanks.

In this Vlog (video blog), we acknowledge the significant role that philanthropy plays in the success of our students and faculty and in advancing PSU’s mission and purpose.It is through the generosity and support of friends and donors of PSU that we can provide student scholarships, endow professorships for faculty, and fund centers and programs.

The vlog features a discussion between Professor Rob Gould, PSU Foundation CEO and President Bill Boldt, and me, highlighting the valuable philanthropic work at PSU.

Please contact your dean or appropriate vice president if you wish to get involved in fundraising, or to become a donor.

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PSU Opens Two New Cultural Centers

centers1PSU held a grand opening celebration two weeks ago for the new Pan-African Commons (PAC) and Pacific Islander, Asian and Asian American Student Centers (PIAAA). The centers were created in response to the December 2015 PSU Students of Color Speak-Out. While these centers were long overdue, the hard work and dedication of many students, staff, faculty and administrators made it possible to plan and open them in less than ten months.

The recent presidential election has brought to the forefront how important and valuable these cultural centers are in creating safe spaces for dialog, reflection and support.

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Seeking Input on Final Recommendation of Advising Redesign

redesign-update5The 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 to RSVP 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.

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How Faculty Can Help Reduce Student Costs

free-the-textbookGoal #1 of PSU’s Strategic Plan is to Elevate Student Success.  The first initiative is to put students first by reducing the cost of completing a PSU degree.

I blogged two years ago about how the cost of course materials impact the cost of a degree. At that time, the College Board estimated the 2013-14 cost for textbooks and supplies for the average undergraduate to be $1,207. That cost increased to $1,298 for FY 2015-16.  In some cases, the cost of course materials exceeds a course’s tuition.

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Vlog: Listening to Your Voices

There are many opportunities at PSU to hear from students–in our classrooms, office hours, public events, student organizations, meetings, surveys and casual conversations. That said, there are not enough occasions where students are invited to freely share their experiences, questions, concerns and suggestions. Three years ago the Vice President of Student Affairs, Global Diversity and Inclusion, and Academic Affairs created an opportunity for traditionally underrepresented students to speak their mind and meet in an informal setting.

Dozens of students have attended the regularly-held “Listening to your Voices” events.  We follow up each session with information and, where possible, implementation of students’ suggestions.

This is not the only way for us to hear directly from students, but it is an open invitation to students for participation and sharing of ideas directly with three vice presidents.

I have asked Dr. Carmen Suarez, our Vice President for Global Diversity and Inclusion, and Dr. John Fraire, Vice President for Student Affairs to share their perspectives on these gatherings with us.

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