Does your department discuss student success? This advances SEM Goal 3.3

During fall 2021, Wichita State launched its new 2025 Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plan with the overarching goals of expanding enrollments to 17,000 students, increasing first to second-year retention rate to 75%, and closing the equity gap for underserved students. The success of the new plan is dependent on the contributions of everyone on campus.

Check out the featured strategy this week to see more steps departments can take to promote student success.

Strategy 3.3 Promote faculty dialogue and engagement around best practices for student success

  • Promote early feedback and timely grading for students’ awareness of their academic performance (Student Early Alert System reports and early formative assignments).
    • Students may not be familiar with how to view their grades in Blackboard or how to see electronic comments on their graded work. Take a moment to provide instructions for students to track their progress and be responsive to your feedback.
    • Students need graded work before the class withdrawal deadline of April 1 to help them make informed decisions about their progress and likelihood of success in class.
  • Encourage departments to establish metrics beyond the Student Perception of Teaching Effectiveness (SPTE) for quality instruction to use in annual evaluations.
    • The SPTE is an imperfect metric to assess instructional quality. Policy 4.31.IV.4.d allows departments to use multiple criteria to evaluate teaching.
  • Support ongoing professional development for graduate teaching assistants (GTA) related to student retention.
    • Many of our graduate students will move on to become instructors of record for classes following graduation. We strengthen our graduate student’s ability to compete in the job market when we give them strong teaching skills, while also helping our current undergraduates be successful.
  • Create a teaching partnership program that pairs junior and senior faculty to share teaching practices.

Shout-outs: WSU’s College of Applied Studies (CAS) has provided a robust faculty mentoring program for 10 years, with 25 mentor-mentee pairs this year. This program, coordinated by Dr. Jody Fiorini, CAS interim senior director of Faculty Development and department head brings the partners together monthly to engage in dialogue around teaching and research. The Office of Instructional Resources (OIR) collaborates with the Graduate School every semester to provide specialized GTA training sessions at the Academic Resources Conference (ARC) to help our GTA’s learn classroom management skills.

For more information, contact Dr. Carolyn Shaw 316-978-7130 or