Initiative updates

Student and Retention Success Project - March, 2018

SRS Operational Plan underway. As the Learning, Teaching and Student Success Plan 2018-2020 has now closed for comment, work is underway to align the SRS Operational Plan with the LTSS plan objectives. A dedicated working party is drafting that operational plan.

Active tracking of student attrition doing well. The Department of Education and Training (DET) measure student attrition in terms of commencing bachelor students who do not complete or return in the following year. This year we are actively tracking the Semester 1 enrolments of students who commenced a bachelor degree in 2017. As at the 7th of March, 72.2% of our 2017 domestic commencing bachelor cohort have enrolled in Semester 1 2018, which compares similarly to last year (72.8%). A further 12% have either formally withdrawn or are undertaking leave from studies.

Student Retention and Success Data Briefing #1 for 2018 is now published on the data page of the retention and success website and provides analysis of student progression across various cohorts. Data on progression of international students studying at our partner providers will soon be available.

FedReady continues to support our commencing bachelor students. Student Futures, along with faculty support, conducted their successful FedReady program before commencement of semester. Attendance across the campuses was similar to 2017 but did host a significant increase of 28% at Berwick. Students who attended provided positive feedback including:

“As I currently walk the hallways or sit in the library and listen to conversations. I can hear people speaking of their bewilderment by the whole Uni experience. Yet if they took one week to attend Fedready the conversations may well be so different.”

“It exposes us to important information that helps so much with the transition into university, and I had the opportunity to make some great friends! The time on campus also allowed me to learn how to navigate around and learn where key parts of the Uni are.”

Live>Learn>Lead program continues to engage and support residential students. Across February and March, FedUni Living have hosted 5 Commencement Dinners across the Ballarat, Gippsland and Berwick campuses. These annual dinners form part of the Live>Learn>Lead program and provide an opportunity for each hall/location to come together and celebrate the start of the academic year. Students hear about the support services available to them as FedUni students/residents and participate in community building activities throughout the evening.

In addition to this, residential students have had the opportunity to become involved in a number of ResFest activities including a surf trip and skydiving.

Research Services supporting HDR candidates. Induction for new Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates was held on March 7 and 8 at the Mt Helen Campus and Churchill campuses. The annual Graduate Centre Program (GCP) seminar series resumes on March 14, which supports HDR candidates that are recently enrolled at FedUni.

Group Study Spaces extended to more campuses. Last year the Library launched an online booking system for Group Study Spaces at Mt Helen, which has proven a great success with students and staff who use the Library there. We now have two rooms available for booking at the Berwick Library (for up to 6 or 16 people), one at the SMB Library (for up to 8 people), and one at the Gippsland Library (for up to 6 people). Bookings can be made from the Library homepage or directly from https://federation-edu-au.libcal.com/spaces?lid=615&gid=1127 . Coming soon to Horsham Library too!

FoST focuses on University and industry engagement. The growing IT societies are currently planning their approach and activities for the year to enable the CT5 students to be more engaged with both the University and industry. There has been significant attention to the support of FoST mentors to enable both entertaining and intervening interactions with their mentees. The support from Faculties to Mentors, along with providing students with industry has a positive reaction to supporting all students.

Great start to the School of Nursing Midwifery and Healthcare. All campuses are reporting excellent attendance and engagement in active learning and laboratories. The school has invested in regular student representative meetings to address student voice in its program delivery and have kicked off with its first meeting with the Head of School and Program Coordinators. The newly formed nursing society have also kicked off in Gippsland with their first event for the year. There are a number of activities planned for this semester to engage nursing students in the social elements of their university life.

Success Plan trial starts in HC5. Faculty of Education and Arts have identified the Bachelor of Community and Human Services as a high attrition hotspot. In order to address this, a trial use of success plans is being undertaken this semester. In conjunction, all FEA staff are being encouraged to begin flagging all students for participation, language and academic performance. For more information please contact Associate Dean SRS, Alison Lord.

Federation Business School.  The FBS Save a Student! Tick a Box! Campaign is in full swing.  Students who have been identified through this campaign as needing additional support will be contacted and referrals to appropriate support services will be made.  Additionally, the Academic Advisors project is now up and running.  Our Academic Advisors have begun meeting with FBS students who could benefit from intervention strategies at each of our campuses to develop Student Success Plans. For more information, please contact Amy Barnhouse at a.barnhouse@federation.edu.au

PVC International and Partnerships meets with partners. We have had strong international student intakes for Ballarat and Berwick, and are now waiting for our partner enrolments. PVC, Jessie Harman, along with Executive Deans Business and FOST are meeting with each of our partners at the end of the month. These operational meetings will also focus on identifying and implementing retention strategies for our students at partner providers.

SPARK Training conducted at one of our partners. The Teaching International Students workshop from SPARK Training was delivered at MIT Melbourne as part of MIT’s commitment to providing lecturers with professional development opportunities.

Campus Life finance team supporting new residents. International and High Achiever scholarships have provided students with increased access to residence across our campuses. Students who live on-campus are more likely to have a positive transition to university and be more successful with their studies, which in turn assists with the reduction of overall student attrition. The Campus Life finance team have been working closely with new residents to assist them with payment plans and extensions whilst they are settling into University and awaiting their Centrelink payments.

Weekly themes reviewed and ready to help. Communications Officer Julie Howes has updated the weekly themes to coincide with appropriate weeks of Semester 1. Our themes offer ideas and tactics to help staff support our students, including intervention processes to track at risk students. Teaching guides are also being developed to assist visiting lecturers to be more informed and enabled to lecture with our off-short partnerships.