The following article is written as part of an assignment for Week 4 of my Research course for Educational Technology Leadership.
I met with my site mentor, Andrea Stephenson, to review and discuss the Action Research Plan for Student Support Services. As we reviewed the plan it was determined that we should meet on a monthly basis to review the progress toward completion of the plan. As SSS program director, Andrea has been working on the yearly program calendar and decided that the plans for professional development for staff could be added to our schedule.
Andrea also was able to recommend some websites to begin looking for information on research that has been done on motivational methods to implement in working with first generation college students. Andrea is also a first generation college graduate, as I am, which highly qualifies her as an expert on this topic. She has also presented academic enhancement workshops at the university sharing information to students to help them with budgeting, finding financial resources, and staying out of debt.
Andrea and I agreed that the focus of our data review should be to not only look at the reason students fail or drop out of college, but also the contributing factors as to why they are successful. Andrea liked the ideas of creating a blog to share the research findings and as a way of soliciting comments from students and advising staff. She also felt that the brochure was a good opportunity to reinforce the staff training and provide consistency in identifying barriers and addressing the needs of first generation students. She suggested that we use multimedia to present the successful student interviews as one of our motivational methods by placing them on the SSS website in order to encourage other students in reaching their goals.
We also discussed the fact that lack of consistency in advising staff in the past may have been a contributing factor to student’s failure to be successful in the program. She suggested that we may want to pull some prior program data to draw some comparisons from previous year’s retention rates to compare to the present since we have had a higher rate of consistency in advising staff for the past year. These additions and revisions will be added to the Action Research Planning Template as part of our strategic planning for the new program year.