This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Andréa Banke, assistant professor of music theory and program director for the Master of Arts in Arts Leadership and Management.
- What role do you think faculty/staff play in a student’s success and persistence?
“I think we can proactively foster a classroom environment in which students feel heard, seen and comfortable seeking support, both academically and emotionally, if they need it. And everybody will need it at some point. Frequent and regular office hours are a must, especially in applications-based courses like the ones I teach. The one thing I try to stress above everything else is to engage in the process, don’t chase the reward. The process and progress is so much more important than the grade, and here’s a success secret: if you deeply engage in and commit to the process, you’ll get the result you want faster than if you had just chased the grade anyway.”
- What is one small thing any faculty/staff member can do to make a student’s day or let them know they’re cared for?
“Greet them whenever you see them — in the hallway, foyers, etc. Students who feel seen will connect better in class. Observe and describe without judgment: ‘I see you’re struggling this week. How can I help?’ then listen to the reply. The best conversations are not started with a discussion of a grade or an absence.”
- How do you promote student success through your campus duties?
“Our field of music has historically been dominated by white, male composers. My goal is to create a diverse classroom advocating for, and using as examples, women composers, BIPOC composers and LGTBQ musicians. When students see themselves represented, they thrive.”
Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.