The fact that student success is based on many factors has changed my perception of what student success is and how it can be achieved by the student and the institution. For example,in week one we looked at the video , ‘Understanding students: Learning, Development, and Diversity(2010) and we listened to students discuss how their college learning experience was at times challenged by social factors.The students felt these factors like making friends or being stereotyped played a role in their academic success. It is reasonable to say that unless students can overcome these challenges, they can not have a successful academic experience.(Laureate Education Producer).
The challenges that students face in higher education can prevent them from excelling in their academic and social roles and prevent them from remaining in college and graduating. If institutions are to help create student success they should start from theory based research and create programs that foster student development and began implementing programs using ‘effective practices’ to create an environment of learning and engagement. ‘‘According to Evans et.al. 2010, “There is a challenge to using theory because practitioners may fail to remember what they have learned and may need to constantly examine literature on effective practices”.Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010).
Is there a standard of student success that can be measured by institutions or is that success different for each student? In week two we looked at Jillian , a student who was not a first generation student who was ready for college. But when she went to college she found the environment did not compliment her idea of college life and she finally left.But, She later returned to college. Many would say that Jillian’s college experience was a failure .But the fact that she later returned to college could be viewed as what institutions are trying to create with students and that Tinto’s Theory of Departure is very applicable to why students leave and if they return Tinto(1997).
I wanted to study the Curriculum in Higher Education and Curriculum Design because I saw it as a way to help students learn and create engagement in their coursework, assignment and studies. We can create that curriculum that builds on each course. If a student has to take a remedial course then let that course integrate into the curriculum. If students must take a remedial course then provide accountability for those courses, this will help the student to learn how to prioritize their learning and see it as not just something they are doing. In week three our discussion was about social identity and I would like to see a curriculum designed with that in mind. Not just social activities but maybe something to help students learn more about culture and diversity.
Now as a Higher Education Professional, I feel that because of this course , I have a better understanding of students. I feel that now I can identify with students who are First Generation and first year students. I understand how social identity and academic performance are connected within the learning environment. But more importantly, I am excited about working in colleges that use effective practices and create a learning environment for its students.Based on my peer presentations and our inclusion of Technology as an effective practice, I would like to teach more about diverse colleges and universities that are examples of the growing and diverse workplace environments. The knowledge of the student population and the characteristics of that population can help institutions , staff and policymakers to be better prepared.
The most important aspect of student success is that institutions should be prepared for the student population and the trends that will affect these students in the coming years. It is more than just having data about the population it is about helping students develop socially and academically. When we create programs we need to be able to assess those programs and fit them to the students we are trying to serve. We should rely on theory and not informal theory .”According to Evans et.al. 2010, the problem with informal theory is it is not self correcting”.
If institutions are prepared to meet the challenges of the student population then we can create that student success using effective practices. Students will come to college and integrate into the learning community and develop not only intellectually but socially. They should be prepared to meet the needs of students like Jillian and others who are highly interested in pursuing their education
Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.pp. 27
Tinto, V.(1997) Classrooms as Communities: Exploring the Educational Character of Student Persistence: Journal of Higher Education,63(6) ,659-673: Retrieved from the Education Research Complete Database
Venney, Carmen(2018) How Students Can be successful in college,Richard R.Riley School of Education,Walden University
Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Understanding students: Learning, development, and diversity: Today’s college students.Baltimore, MD: Author.
Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Understanding students: Learning, development, and diversity: Jillian’s story. Baltimore, MD: Author.