Project updates

Student and Retention Success Project - July - 2016

The university-wide, Council-endorsed Student Retention and Success (SRS) initiative continues to develop, implement and coordinate a wide range of initiatives to arrest student attrition and maximise student retention and success.

Publishing of results leads to new student communication. In conjunction with the release of Semester 1 results, the Contact Centre sent a newsletter to all students providing information on results. Previously only students who failed one or more subjects were contacted. This semester the Contact Centre sent all students information and links on accessing grades, what the assessment categories meant, as well as what support services were available. Tracking showed a significant number of students were curious about the assessment categories as well as information on how to access their grades.

Welcome communications sent to all commencing students for Semester 2. Commencing students have received a personalised welcome email and SMS. Faculty based YouTube videos from the Associate Deans SRS promote FedReady, O-Week, the Student Skills website and encourages students to keep asking questions. Continuing students also received a similar YouTube video from their faculty Associate Dean SRS, welcoming them back from the lecture break.

Mid-year orientation activities are a big focus this month. All faculties and schools have been busy preparing activities, information sessions, and program overviews to welcome and orientate their new students.

Online students included in orientation. Traditionally a cohort of students that missed out on on-campus activities, this semester our online, and off campus students have the opportunity to participate in orientation activities. Developed and coordinated through Student Futures, online students can participate in an online trivia challenge with great prizes, as well as a ‘Meet Your Mentor’ chat through Moodle in the Online Student Hub.

FedReady: Self-paced now offered to all students. The hugely successful FedReady program is now offered as a self-paced course to all current FedUni students. Previously offered face to face and as a limited online version, this platform now allows students to cover areas of the course when they wish. Student Futures team members are offering to attend your lecture or tutorial to speak to students on the benefits of enrolling in this course. We encourage academic staff to take up this offer. For more information, please contact Student Futures.

FedUni Living welcomes new residents. In addition to our free airport pickup service for international students, a number of current student champions have been supporting all incoming domestic and international students by welcoming them on arrival and assisting with their settlement into the University Life. The building of, and participation in, on res activities strengthens community connectedness amongst on campus residents, which translates into successful students.

Student Success Plans to be used in Semester 2. The APC Review Working Party has the newly revised Student Success Plan approved by legal and ready for use in Semester 2. The Exclusions Response Form is currently under revision by the working party, and will be finalised soon. A report on the Student Progress correspondence sent to date has been drafted, and plans for capturing data and monitoring student follow up are being considered. The APC Review Working Party will be working closely with the Intervention Working Party to ensure that minimum intervention standards are in place across the university.

FedUni Skills and Job Centre supporting ‘at risk’ apprentices. The Skills and Jobs Centre, located at the SMB campus, are currently helping to relocate several apprentices to new employment. A new Training and Employment Adviser commenced in May and is engaging with the local labour market in order to save these student apprenticeships. The Skills and Job Centre provides support to VET College and TAFE students in the local community.

Student Survey from Unified Communications Working Party receives big survey response. A student survey sent out to gather feedback from our students about current written communications received over 1620 responses. Analysis has now begun on the responses, with the overall feedback being positive, and helpful suggestions and ideas offered. The working party is continuing to develop their student communication guidelines, which will focus on university wide standards for correspondence tone, branding and layout of communications.

Leave from Studies forms are currently being reviewed. In addition to streamlining the leave from studies process, another goal of the review is to ensure the university captures the reasons why our students leave. Concerns raised by Student Senate have been incorporated into the review, with work continuing with faculty and administrative input.

A review of the SRS Strategic Plan objectives and strategies. A recent progress update was carried out against each of the objectives, strategies and targets within the strategic plan. While the initiative constantly strives to encourage and develop strategies and improve student experiences with the goal of giving every student the opportunity to succeed, this can’t be done without the support and dedication of all staff, both academic and professional. Thank you to all who have contributed to date. A progress report, including relevant date, will be produced and made available post census date.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of the Associate Deans (SRS), or Initiative Coordinator, Kim Ferguson, if you have any suggestions or feedback on the Initiative or on how we might better facilitate student retention and success.