Active Action Projects

Madison College must maintain three active projects with the Higher Learning Commission. Current projects include the following:

  • Development of Admission Advising Function

    The project is in response to the last five Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) results as well as the number of applicants’ not starting class on the first day. The goal of implementing this function is to create a total student experience from recruiting on that can be measured via student satisfaction and increased applicants being enrolled. Many areas of the college had been working on this, but, a centralized, collaborative effort was needed.

    Project Details

    Title: Development of Admissions Advising Function 
    Category: 3-Understanding Students' and Other Stakeholders' Needs
    Updated: 10-16-2015
    Status: IN REVIEW
    Planned Project Kickoff: 12-15-2012
    Created: 06-05-2013

    Target Completion: 05-15-2015 
    Version: 1

    Project Goal

    The project is in response to the last five Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) results as well as the number of applicants’ not starting class on the first day. The goal of implementing this function is to create a total student experience from recruiting on that can be measured via student satisfaction and increased applicants being enrolled. Many areas of the college had been working on this, but, a centralized, collaborative effort was needed.

    Reasons For Project

    As the college is faced with budget concerns and decreasing enrollments the Executive Team prioritized the development of the admissions advising function in order to address this concern.

    Over the last five administrations of the SSI survey, from 2005 to 2012, the college saw an increase in the importance of advising to students and a decline in satisfaction of our students with the college’s advising functions. In addition, the college data shows that over the past five years, although the number of applications to the college remained steady, the percentage of applicants to students attending the first day of classes has been on a steady decline.

    Key Organizational Process(es)

    Many areas of the college had been working on this, but, a centralized, collaborative effort was needed. The key is to create a total student experience from recruiting/prospective student on. Admissions Advising will be able to recruit, create a connection both with the student and internal staff, proactively advise and be accountable for that student successfully being not only in class but prepared.

    Project Time Frame Rationale

    Executive team determined the kickoff date based on when they determined the need and planned to bring key stakeholders onboard. The target completion date is based on being able to develop established and measurable short and long-term goals for this function.

    Project Success Monitoring

    Our baseline benchmarks are the SSI results, funnel numbers and the Academic Advising survey in addition to other ongoing measures to be established.

    Project Outcome Measures

    Student Satisfaction, measured in part by SSI, but, the team is also developing other measures of success. Fall 2013 conversion will be a re-active focus due to the point in time this project is being implemented. Other items regarding this project been tabled/delayed/in need of complete change due to the point in time this function was approved. The attached Student Intake Process model also is under evaluation because the initial recommendation of staffing has potentially been decreased by half, in addition to resources not being allocated and Academic Advising being partnered with this project. New goals and measurables can only be established when the model has been adjusted to reflect the changes.

    Current Project Status Summary

    Under the previous presidential administration at Madison College, the model of Admission Advising was created. Due to changes in executive leadership, in January 2014, Admission Advising and Academic Advising were transitioned into one unit which is called Academic Advising and Transfer Services. The current model has 19 fulltime academic advisors that work with a student from prospect status through transfer or graduation. Additionally, the College created a new recruitment unit, which consists of five recruiters and one administrator. This unit works closely with College Admissions and Advising & Transfer Services to ensure a seamless student experience.

    1. The new comprehensive Advising and Transfer Services unit creates a seamless experience for students seeking assistance with the beginning of their academic career at the College and, for interested students, eventual transition to a four-year university. The Advising and Transfer Services unit advances priorities of the College’s student services plan related to: 1) assisting students with monitoring academic plans and making needed adjustments; and 2) provide seamless delivery of services to students. 
    2. With the advent of the new Recruitment unit, the college has increased its frontloading capacity to provide effective outreach, information and navigation of college admissions systems and processes to prospective students.

    Original Project Goals And Delivrables

    1. The project is in response to the last five Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) survey results as well as the number of applicants’ not starting class on the first day. The goal of implementing this function is to create a total student experience from recruiting on to the first day of class that can be measured via student satisfaction and increased applicants being enrolled. Many areas of the college had been working on this, but, a centralized, collaborative effort was needed.
    2. Student Satisfaction, measured in part by SSI and the College’s Student Intake Process model evaluation.

    Accomplishments Over The Past Year

    To lead the college in the development of a quality, comprehensive and workable academic advising system for all students at Madison College in collaboration with all college Schools, programs, and cross-college advising services. Academic Advising is structured to support students in each academic school while providing services at each campus.

    During the 2014 -2015 year, 31,906 student contacts were made between academic advising and transfer services assistance and a student via 1 on 1 appointments, phone advising or email.

    The new recruitment unit has provided these outreach contacts over the past year.

    Madison Area 
                                                        # of Schools             School Staff             Students
    High Schools                               50                              80                            51

                                                        # Events                    Number of contacts
    Community Organizations         0                                0

    Community Events                      7                                100

                                                                              Total Number of Contact   231

    North Region
                                                        # of Schools             School Staff             Students
    High Schools                               27                              100                          48

                                                        # Events                    Number of contacts
    Community Organizations         0                                0

    Community Events                      8                                55

                                                                              Total Number of Contact   203

    East Region
                                                        # of Schools             School Staff             Students
    High Schools                               11                              12
                                                        # Events                    Number of contacts

    Community Organizations         2                                2

    Community Events                      6                               83

                                                                              Total Number of Contact   97

    Institutional Involvement

    All advisors, who were part of the two separate units, were merged into one team. Efforts were made to provide intentional opportunities to build up staff through an initial orientation ongoing clear and open communication. All staff members went through the Art of Conflict, a two-day mediation session. The Academic Advisors are grouped into 4 units to support a specific school, and within each unit there is a lead academic advisor to coordinate the work for the unit and serve as the connection between Advising and the School Office. In addition, during the summer of 2015, we were able to repurpose a position vacancy to create a Project Lead, who has been tasked to coordinate consistency across the 4 school teams and provide a more comprehensive student experience across all schools.

    Best Practices

    The College has successfully implemented centralized advising services. In collaboration with offices across the campus, Academic Schools, faculty and staff, the Academic Advising and Transfer Services unit communicates with students about preparatory requirements for programs and courses at the College, holds daily informational events for prospective students and provides individual service appointments for prospective, current and students new to campus.

    Most notably, each April - August and each November - January, Madison College holds new student orientation sessions for incoming students who have applied to programs. During the general orientation session, students become acquainted with college expectations, receive a brief overview of college policies and register for classes with the help of advisors. The best practice that might benefit other institutions is the ability to collaborate across the campus horizontally with all units instead of vertically as individual units. Madison College has embraced that we are all in this together to assist students in applying, enrolling and graduating students.

    Anticipated Challenges To Project Success

    Structure of units are always dependent on leadership visions and strategic initiatives.

    Planned Next Steps And Timeline

    1. Increase self-service information for students to understand an easy and consistent pathway to begin and complete their education at Madison College - ongoing
    2. Increase advising resources by recruiting and training faculty advisors to assist students with program and transfer opportunities - Ongoing
    3. Assess student satisfaction via surveys and focus groups by June 2017
    4. Develop and organize the website to best guide students through the transfer process – Spring 2016
    5. Develop and organize targeted communications to students by program to create a seamless advising, registration, and graduation plan each semester while a Madison College student. – December 2016
    6. Coordinate and collaborate on initiatives with Recruitment, Admissions, Enrollment, and Advising to ensure a smooth student transition into and out of Madison College. ongoing
  • School of Academic Advancement (SAA) Data Upgrade

    Create a process to track non-degree students. All students enrolled in SAA courses will be assigned the SAA plan, consisting of sub-plans: 1) Developmental, 2) High School Completion, 3) Basic Skills and 4) English as a Second Language. SAA students enrolled in multiple areas will have multiple sub-plans. Progress will be measured in each. Functionality to monitor sub-plan progress as well as transition to degree credit coursework and achievement of employment outcomes will be built into the college Data Warehouse. Students in specific projects, grants, or delivery methods will be tracked with PeopleSoft Groups built into the data warehouse to facilitate analysis of student outcome achievement and transition tracking. Groups include Discover Manufacturing, Patient Care, CNA, Gateway Grant, Bridge Program, Youth Options, Middle College dual credit, and others.

    Project Details

    Title: School of Academic Advancement (SAA) Data Upgrade
    Category: Any Category
    Status: ACTIVE
    Planned Project Kickoff: 09-04-2013
    Created: 07-26-2013
    Target Completion: 09-30-2016
    Version: 2

    Project Summary

    Status: In-progress. As mentioned in last year’s update, this project directly supports Madison College’s Pillars of promise by: 1) contributing to the support of personalized educational plans for students served by the School of Academic Advancement (SAA) and 2) providing exceptional support services. The project also addresses 2 systems portfolio opportunities for improvement.

    Project Rationale

    The original goal was to create a tracking system for all SAA students. The importance of this goal is directly related to two 2013 Systems Portfolio opportunities.

    This project addresses System Portfolio opportunity 7P2, 0 by:

    • Simpler tracking of steps along the way to completion for SAA GED/HSED students (e.g. attending orientation, meeting with an advisor, completing career readiness) improves the college’s services to students.
    • Adding the necessary fields in PeopleSoft to record the required steps by students interested in completing their High School equivalency (HSE). Prior to this addition, the testing staff controlled all the records of where a student was in the process of obtaining a HSE. This new step now allows SAA staff and faculty to access this information and assist students directly eliminating the need to contact testing center staff.
    • Building completion data for Madison College GED / HSED completers into PeopleSoft to follow trends in obtaining a GED or earning one of the Wisconsin High School Completion Options.

    This project addresses System Portfolio opportunity 712, 0 by doing comprehensive review of SAA course offerings. Tracking specific populations of SAA course takers has been enabled through the systematic assignment of course attributes for students taking Developmental, ELL, and other SAA courses. This project tracks students after they take a course, so the assignment of course attributes puts students into a data category based on the type of courses they have taken.

    Project Goals And Deliverables

    The original goal was to create a tracking system for all SAA students enrolled in non-degree courses. A milestone was reached by building the SAA Workspace, a combination dashboard and portal that can be used by administrators and faculty to track student outcomes. The SAA workspace incorporates 5 defined measures in Enrollment, Success, Retention, Completion and Transition along with a page that accesses all published reports that SAA staff use in their day to day work. Progress in building the workspace is demonstrated as each of the 5 measures comes online. Enrollment and Success tabs have been built into the workspace to date. What has been accomplished with this project over the past year:

    • Reviewed SAA course offerings / standardized use of course numbers.
    • Assigned Course attributes to SAA courses so that they could be aggregated into designated categories and tracked in the SAA Workspace.
    • Built SAA Workspace in Cognos with functioning Enrollment and Success tabs.
    • Added High School completion fields in PeopleSoft to clearly identify those that have achieved GED/HSED completion.

    Timeline for completing next steps:

    • Final review of the SAA master course list and assigned course attributes – 3 months.
    • Create a process to allow the course offering to fluidly accept new grant initiatives that would require new courses to be added in each SAA category – 6 to 12 months.
    • Complete the SAA workspace:
      • All tabs except progress done – 6 months
      • Student progress tabs – 12-24 months
      • Review operational reports used to manage SAA and link to workspace to provide integration of operations management with related analytics-12 months.
    • Communication plan to SAA faculty and staff - 12 months.
    • User acceptance – ongoing.

    Institutional Involvement

    Jim Merritt, Testing Director, provided GED process refinements.

    Marty Crabbs, Process Improvement, Innovation & Enrollment Services Manager- created a place for GED completion information in PeopleSoft.

    Annie Neuberger, Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator, provided advising data base integration.

    Kelly Schulte, Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator, contributed course attribute assistance.

    Janice Mettauer, Chris Vandall, Deans of Academic Advancement, provided user acceptance / feedback.

    Lori Sebranek, Dean of Enrollment Services , provides ongoing consultant on project vision and the migration of SAA courses from non-Degree to Degree career courses in PeopleSoft.

    SAA courses still do not apply toward degrees, but do prepare students for success in degree credit courses.

    Project Control

    Progress is monitored by the completion of each of the SAA w orkspace tabs:

    1. Enrollment
    2. Course Success
    3. Retention
    4. Completion
    5. Transition

    Completion of the above will result in:

    • Increased consistency in course delivery and more targeted use of SAA course offerings. E.g. Math 1 Survey is the same course and curriculum at each location it is offered. Fewer SAA courses may be offered going forward.
    • Greatly improved record-keeping of outcome information for GED students. For example, the SAA workspace will show how many students completed a GED in the last year.
    • SAA students’ performance and progress metrics in the SAA workspace makes SAA student progress parallel to students in degree credit programs. This should help this student population be seen by faculty in other schools as part of the mainstream of college rather than as a separate disconnected population.

    Anticipated Challenges To Project Success

    • Building out a culture of assessment / accountability in SAA presents a culture change to the college. Access to new SAA specific effectiveness metrics is changing the way SAA operations are managed. For example, the ESL program lead can see that ESL 2 had a much lower passing rate than the other ESL classes, facilitating targeted improvements to student success issues at the course level. Further changes are anticipated as new data categories of completion and transition are brought online in the SAA workspace. Communication of new management tools & training on the new ly developed SAA workspace will present a new challenge as administrators and faculty put newly available metrics in the SAA workspace to use.
    • Recent change of all SAA course offerings to degree career in PeopleSoft has caused some course management issues for SAA, but has also shown the use of course attributes to be an effective solution for tracking SAA student progress.
    • Monitoring student progress through SAA curricula presents some technical challenges. The use of PeopleSoft Advising Data Bases (ADBs) is being downplayed for student tracking due to the complexity of implementing this solution. The ease of use course attributes to achieve this functionality is proving to be increasingly attractive.
    • The WTCS is moving to a performance funding model which presents challenges as it demands evidence of student progress and transition. The SAA Workspace should assist with this challenge.

    Additional Information

    • While the Voluntary Framework for Accountability (VFA) provided an initial framework for tracking developmental student progress, this college is no longer participating in VFA.
    • Responding to emerging needs in bridge programming, workplace training and TAACCCT grants is a continued challenge for SAA. The workspace will need to reflect these needs in the data provided.
    • Use of Cognos analytics is being developed by the college to predict retention risk factors. SAA anticipates using Cognos analytics to improve retention in its student population, with possible integration of Cognos analytics into the SAA workspace.
  • Madison College Retention Plan

    This action project was created following the 2011 administration, and subsequent results, of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). The project kicked off in February 2013 with the goals: "1) to provide focus and direction for the college’s retention efforts taking into consideration current student success and completion trends, 2) to retain students to completion, by creating and/or improving processes that will enhance student persistence and retention toward student success and completion and 3) to improve student outcomes for all student groups, including shorter-term students’ persistence, success in gatekeeper courses and graduation levels."

    Project Details

    Title: Madison College Retention Plan
    Category: 3-Understanding Students' and Other Stakeholders' Needs 
    Updated: 10-16-2015
    Status: IN REVIEW
    Planned Project Kickoff: 02-05-2013
    Created: 03-06-2013|
    Target Completion: 08-05-2016
    Version: 1

    Project Goal

    Retaining students is not what we do - it is the outcome of what we do and everyone is responsible for it. Retention is a deliberate result of faculty and staff connecting with students in ways that create welcoming and supportive environments which fosters their success. The current retention rate for first-time, first-year students at Madison College is 55.8%. This places us in the 50th percentile in comparison to peer institutions (NCCBP, 2011) and it has decreased slightly in recent years. We need to reverse this trend. Our goal is to increase retention to 64% within three years - that's an increase of 8.2%.

    Reasons For Project

    The reasons for taking on this project are to:

    • Provide focus and direction for the college’s retention efforts taking into consideration current student success and completion trends
    • Retain students to completion, by creating and/or improving processes that will enhance student persistence and retention toward student success and completion
    • Improve student outcomes for all student groups, including shorter-term students’ persistence, success in gatekeeper courses and graduation levels

    Organizational Areas Affected

    Every institutional department, program, division or unit will be affected by this project: Academic Departments, Enrollment and Marketing, Student Services, Infrastructure Services (Technology, Facilities, Human Resources, Fiscal).

    Key Organizational Process(es)

    • To increase enrollment to address learning and workforce needs of our students and community (through retaining current students)
    • To increase the financial stability of the College (through increased revenue from retained enrollees and reduction in student attrition)
    • Other changes/improvements are forthcoming as a result of the work of the Attrition Root teams

    Project Time Frame Rationale

    Initial ground work and development for this project commenced in Spring 2012 (research conducted; planning and listening sessions were held) and continued throughout Summer and Fall 2012 (cross college committees were formed to review data, research, formulate ideas and plan) and in Spring 2013 (to review, finalize plan and actions and report on progress). Once action plan is put into place, the plan is designed to systematically increase retention, grow /maintain enrollment and increase completion incrementally over three years: at the end of YEAR ONE – by 2%; at the end of YEAR TWO by 3.1%, and at the end of YEAR THREE by 3.1%.

    Project Success Monitoring

    Research suggests the reasons students leave college fall into several broad areas. At Madison College we have made the decision to focus on seven (7) areas for improvement. We have termed these areas as 'Attrition Roots'. These seven areas are: Teaching & Learning (faculty/student interaction); Academic Preparation; Cognitive and Academic Skills; Motivational; Psychosocial; Financial; Institutional & Organizational.

    Each identified project/activity in the Retention Plan from the seven teams will have its own individual and measurable outcome(s). Activities will be monitored for successful implementation and will be assessed and reviewed by each of the seven cross-college “Attrition Root” teams that sponsored each project. All planned projects will be also be regularly assessed and monitored by the college-wide Committee on Retention Effectiveness (CORE). In addition to the seven team leads, the CORE is comprised of representatives from academic affairs (operations), technology services, institutional research, and student government. The Committee is chaired by the Associate Dean of Retention and Student Development, who reports to the Vice President for Student Development.

    Project Outcome Measures

    Targeted Outcomes:

    1. Double the completion rate 2025 - 2,408 by 2025
    2. Increase fall-to-fall retention rate by 8.2% (to rate of 64%)

    Targeted Strategies:

    1. Develop immediate and deliberate actions to impact retention in first year.
    2. Direct resources to expand data sources (e.g.: cubes, dashboards) to increase accessibility to and monitoring of retention and completion data
    3. Provide tools & resources for faculty & staff to use with students at risk of stopping out.
    4. Determine the resource barriers that limit completion of plan outcomes.
    5. Reduce the number of students needing remediation and the length of time in remediation courses.
    6. Identify & review best practices (internal and external) to assess viability and scalability.
    7. Focus on course completion as an indicator for retention and success.
    8. Identify characteristics and create profile of students that complete and those who do not retain through completion/academic goals


    Current Project Status Summary

    Formal Retention Committee meetings have been suspended but a number of the identified recommendations from the project’s work (“attrition root”) teams have been completed (in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015) or remain in progress:

    1. Stakeholder Responsibility – Increase and engage the College’s awareness of retention and completion as being a responsibility for all stakeholders; retention and completion is and remains a strategic goal and a committed institutional principal
      • Formally adopt the Retention Commitment Statement
      • Create a Retention “champion” unit/committee
      • College Sponsored Convocation on Retention/Completion and Best practices
    2. Academic Probation Policy – Develop or update the academic probation policy for the college
    3. Faculty Advising - Assigned, intrusive and intentional
    4. Course Repeat Policy – Create a college-wide Academic Policy regarding repeating course (restricting enrollment without intervention)
    5. Tracking and communicating with non-enrollees
    6. Intrusive case-management and advising for Probation students, Early Alert Referrals, at-risk or target student populations (including early identification of at-risk populations)
    7. Peer Coaching–Academic support for identified students through ENGAGE assessments
    8. “Learn 4 Life” – Co-curricular certificates and recognition (“badges”) for approved student opportunities engagement
    9. Faculty professional development – Create intentional activities to increase retention among faculty

    The Associate Dean, Retention and Student Services continues to reach out collaboratively to colleagues and areas across the college to move some of the identified projects forw ard. Detailed status reports of some of the identified projects are included below in #3.

    Explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institution’s most recent or soon-to-be
    submitted systems portfolio, if applicable:

    When this retention action project was proposed, it was in alignment with the number one 2013-2014 strategic goal of the college: retain students to completion. Retention and student success is an outcome of what we do each day and remain central in and to work of the institution and will be reflected in our soon-to-be submitted systems portfolio. Two of the college’s current strategic directives (2015) are student success/retention driven as well: to focus on successful outcomes for students and address their preparedness.


    Original Project Goals And Deliverables

      At the time this project goal was proposed in Spring 2013, the College’s rate for first-time, first-year students at Madison College was 55.8%. This placed us in the 50th percentile in comparison to peer institutions (NCCBP, 2011). Our goal was to increase retention to 64% within three years - an increase of 8.2%, above the current rate at the time by completing and launching retention initiatives that would engage the entire the college community; assess current retention resources and services and conduct a comprehensive assessment of learner needs to identify gaps. In our initial research on retention planning, we soon realized that there was no “one size fit all” concept for improving retention. Using this premise, we created seven (7) attrition “root groups” based on the reasons why students were not completing and sought to create a comprehensive myriad of “fixes” (short and long-term) to specifically impact those reasons for departure. The seven root groups were: Academic Preparation; Teaching and Learning; Psychosocial; Financial; Motivation; Institutional and Organizational Culture and Cognitive and Academic Skills.


      Accomplishments Over The Past Year

      Our retention planning guided us in the realization that while our overarching goal was to quantifiably increase student retention and completion rates, many of the planned initiatives/recommendations would likely only produce qualitative results that could positively impact the student experience, thereby increasing success and completion. The following are accomplishments from some of the suggested major retention recommendations slated for implementation and additional research/discovery for 2013-2015:

      • Early Alert – A recommended initiative was to improve our Early Alert (EA) system by simplifying its process and increasing awareness of the system among faculty. The Retention Team worked with our Technology Services department to make the system more user friendly by creating an EA notification (“red flag”) to the class roster in the student record system for ease in submission. In fall 2013, we had 98 alerts in the targeted subject areas (Math, Social Science and English) submitted by 62 instructors (32.7% Part-time and 67.3% Full-time). After the technological enhancements of 2013-2014 and a more intentional effort in educating faculty on the benefits of the system by utilizing course success data from COGNOS, creating a brochure and sharing information at faculty meetings, our EA data from fall 2014 indicated a greater use of the system from our faculty. In fall 2014, 597 Early Alerts were submitted by 62 instructors. Results indicate a shift from a greater number of FT instructors to a greater number of PT instructors making referrals (78.6% Part-time and 21.4% Full-time) referrals in fall 2014. In Early Alert data from spring 2014, w e had 113 alerts in the targeted subjects submitted by 44 instructors (65.9% Part-time and 34.1% Full-time). In spring 2015, 153 Early Alerts were submitted by 47 instructors. Results indicate a shift from a greater number of FT instructors to a greater number of PT instructors making referrals (83.0% Part-time and 17.0% Full-time) referrals in spring 2015. Overall, we can surmise that the increase in the number of Early Alerts can be attributed to a greater awareness of the EA process from the intentional publicity of the system and multiple conversations with faculty and School administrators. We believe our overall outreach efforts and a more user friendly system led to a better understanding by faculty of the importance of making referrals and making them timelier.
      • Intentional/Proactive Outreach - To create processes to better identify and connect with targeted student populations who may be at risk (probation, first generation, low -income) for academic difficulty, several initiatives were developed:
        • Utilizing our newly created retention advising unit, advisors provided intrusive advising and case management to probation students following each term; they made personal outreach efforts to probation students via email and personal phone calls; appointments were scheduled with students upon successful contact to assess difficulties experienced the prior semester to minimize repeat instances; additionally retention advisors outreached to students who failed to return the following semester to determine reasons and trends for discontinuation of enrollment.
        • Retention advisors scheduled walk-in service hours in the Student Achievement Center to provide on demand access in a campus location frequented by students
        • African American, Hispanic and Asian American student retention rates and term grade point averages have been consistently lower than non-minority students. To combat this, institutional and grant funds were secured and utilized to develop the Scholars of Color Mentoring Program (SCMP), a mentoring program. For the past three years, annually 60-80 students of color were paired with college and community faculty, staff and partners to create learning communities to provide guidance on academic, career and personal goals. Data from 2014-2015 indicates students of color who participated in the SCMP achieved higher grade point averages and credit completion rates their second semester in the program.
      • Student Development (Retention, Counseling, Testing and Advising) staff collaborated with Technology Services and Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IRE) to create a SPSS Student Success predictive model to provide individual student risk scores at the College for those students who were more likely to drop-out. The scores will be used to identify students with scores in defined ranges who will have certain proactive intervention strategies applied and/or recommended to them. This project was designed in two phases: the technical build of the Student Risk Score Model and the Business Process Integration. IRE staff tested many variables for correlation and predictive value in determining success. From these, a total of 23 were transformed and used in the GPA and Completion/Retention Rate Models due to being good predictor variables. The GPA Model has an accuracy rate of 80%, while the Retention Model has an accuracy rate of 83%. Together, the combined success model has an accuracy rate of approximately 75% (students who earned a GPA => 2.0 and completed 67% or graduated). Essentially, for three out of four program students, the model will predict correctly. The team developed the model to provide staff additional information to provide intervention strategies. Each of the variables will be grouped into the aforementioned attrition roots. Students w ith high risk in an attrition root may need to have intervention strategies applied to them before the student starts to fail.
      • Faculty Advising (FA) – Research supports the belief that increased faculty engagement increases student retention and persistence. While many of our technical programs have strong faculty advising programs, strengthening faculty advising in the liberal arts program has been more challenging. Improving faculty advising across the college, more specifically in liberal arts was achieved by the new ly created Faculty Advising (FA) Committee that was convened in spring 2014. The committee led the charge to survey existing faculty advising resources, identify current best practices and support training and development of faculty advisors. The FA in liberal arts was piloted in fall 2014 in the newly created Transfer Center. The Faculty Advising Fellow, who was provided course release time to engage in this work was very instrumental in the success of the pilot. Academic advisors were assigned to serve as a point person/trainer for each faculty advisor during the pilot. Six faculty in the follow ing disciplines volunteered and completed the WTCS certified FA professional development course (History, Psychology, Speech/Communications, Math, English and Pre-Health) along with two liberal arts “generalist” faculty. In 2014-5, there were 256 student contacts with faculty in the Transfer Center this past year. Additional research is in progress to assess the persistence and retention of students who successfully connected with faculty advisors last term.
      • “Teach to Retain” Faculty Development Seminars – The “Teach to Retain” (T2R Initiative was developed to create the “buzz” among faculty on the importance of their role in student retention. Beginning in spring 2014, faculty development seminars show casing various instructional methods and strategies to enhance faculty-student engagement, promote retention and student success were presented. The sessions were designed and facilitated by Madison College colleagues, visiting faculty/administrators or through featured webinars. Some of topics presented included: Retention Through Course Design, Creating a Positive Classroom Environment, and Retaining Diverse Student Populations. Faculty participants received professional development credit towards their WTCS certification. The T2R series, recommended by the Teaching and Learning attrition group, was planned and sponsored by CETL, Office of the Provost/Learner Success and the Office of Student Success and Retention Services.

      Institutional Involvement

      Various members of the learning community participated in one or several aspects of this action project over the course of the past two and half years. Listening and convocation sessions focusing on retention and the on-going planning of the project were held across the college in Spring 2012. The Madison College Committee on Retention Effectiveness (CORE), a cross college collaboration of faculty, staff and students, was formed to champion the process. The committee and its attrition root teams were developed using the strategic AQIP planning concept, with sponsors, team leaders and members selected to participate based on their institutional role, relevance to the proposed w ork, and commitment to serving. Each Attrition Root team w as comprised of 6-8 members from the various employee groups [administrators, faculty (full and part-time) and academic staff (paraprofessional staff)] The Vice President of Student Development was the Project Sponsor. The composition of the Retention Committee included the Associate Dean, Retention and Student Development, as Chair; a Team Leader from each of the seven (7) Attrition Root Groups; and representatives from the IRE Office, Learner Success Operations Hub, the Student Senate, Technology Services, Learner Development Operations and the Student Senate. Each of the seven attrition root teams were comprised of 10-12 college personnel from the various Madison metro and regional campuses, representing each classification: faculty (full and part-time); professional support/classified staff, and administrators. In total, approximately 70 people were active participants of the Retention Committee and Attrition Root Teams. The full retention committee initially meet bi-weekly throughout Fall 2012 and then monthly in Spring 2013. Each of the root teams meet on a bi-weekly or monthly basis until their project work was completed and short and long-term recommendations were researched, developed, and submitted.

      • The Faculty Advising Initiative, has been supported by the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), the College’s professional development center for faculty/learning from 2013-2015 through funded a faculty fellow to work with the Faculty Advising Committee to improve faculty and transfer advising at the College.

      • The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the College’s Division of Technology Services have been instrumental in the data elements, project development and management of various initiatives (Early Alert modifications, probation outreach processes) that have developed from this action project.

      • For this academic year, the School of Arts and Sciences has provided a two course release for an instructor to continue to champion the Faculty Advising in liberal arts and promote Transfer Advising services. Additionally, there has been a commitment from the School of Business and Applied Arts to also provide release time for an instructor to work with the Faculty Advising Initiative.

      • The Office of Retention Services, which includes specialized retention advisors, has taken on the project recommendation to provide intrusive case management and advising for probation students, Early Alert referrals and at-risk student populations (first generation, developmental education students). Retention Advisors work collaboratively with faculty from each program areas to impact student persistence and retention.

      • Madison College moved to a shared governance model in fall 2014. Faculty, staff, administrators and students make up the College Assembly and the seven governing councils of the Assembly. Some of the recommended retention action project initiatives still in progress have been forwarded to the respective shared governance councils for further discussion, action or resolution. One example of this is the retention work team’s recommendation to review the college’s probation and standards of progress policy, adopting policy revisions if appropriate. The Student Affairs Council of the College Assembly is has taken on the responsibility for this work.

      Effective Practices

      This project created significant “buzz” and a more increased understanding across the college, focusing on the importance of retention, persistence and completion of all students as the responsibility of the entire college community, and not just student affairs or enrollment services. This buzz was heightened by the ensuing national conversation around the Obama Completion Agenda launched in 2011 and growing legislative and public accountability concerns. This project work gained momentum through the collective conversations and shared information on retention to all college stakeholders via multiple media sources and strategies (convocation and listening sessions, website development, departmental meetings, etc.). The finalized recommendations of the project teams were reviewed and supported by the full retention committee in spring 2013, and presented to college administrators, with the goal of starting the implementation (or pursue additional research) process on the majority of the recommendations fall 2013. Our research of other institutions attempting to do similar retention planning work provided no “best way” to begin the work and the processes being used at other institutions were as varied as the number of institutions consulted. We believe our process of establishing work teams for the identified attrition root groups proved to be helpful in addressing some of reasons of our non-completers. This allowed the teams to focus on specific short (“quick-wins”) and long term projects germane to their areas instead of proposing more globally defined and larger scaled projects, given budget and staffing limitations. Another lesson learned from this process was the importance of hearing and incorporating the voices of all of stakeholders in this work in order to move the process forward.

      Anticipated Challenges To Project Success

      As mentioned previously, while much of this work has been accomplished, there are more recommendations from the work teams that can reasonably be accomplished due to budget and staff limitations that we now face. Additionally, the college has undergone several major changes in the years since this project was planned that have created unanticipated challenges. These changes have been new college leadership (new president in August 2013) and the college’s move to a shared governance system.

      Planned Next Steps And Timeline

      The SPSS Predictive Student Success Model – our proposed strategy to identify and provide more immediate intervention to identified at-risk populations is still a work in progress. Currently the model is being tested for pilot implementation in spring 2016. The College has developed Strategic Directives for 2015, to compliment recently developed Academic (“Impact Initiative”), Facility Master and Diversity Plans. Presently, a Student Service Plan (“Pillars of Promise”) has been developed that will focus on services that significantly impact successful student outcomes. The Student Service Plan was presented to the College’s Board of Directors in fall
      2014. In 2015-16, action toward the development of an Enrollment Management Plan will begin. It is our belief that upon the completion of the Student Services and Enrollment Management Plans, we will be in a better position to move forward with the remaining recommendations from the fifteen months process of impacting retention, persistence and completion.

      Additional Information, Questions, Or Concerns

      None to mention at this time.