Student Success Conference 2023

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Education Sessions

Please find the titles and abstracts for the possible education sessions for the Student Success Conference 2023 below. Please note: These sessions may change and do not necessarily represent the final conference offerings.  


A Longitudinal Summer Pathway Program Model that Boosts Student Success 

NERA, A Longitudinal 3-year Summer Pathway Program that Boosts Student Success for disadvantaged 2-and 4- and 4-year college-level students interested in medicine. This multi-institutional partnership program is intentionally designed as academic enrichment using frameworks that foster self-confidence and well-being. Our results indicate that low-income/first-generation student success (100% college graduation rate) can be augmented by an institutional culture supporting psychological safety that maximizes personal and academic growth. 

A Paul Robeson Living-Learning Community Experience: Perceptions of Success, Belonging and Connectedness, and Exploring Hidden Figures

LLCs promote engagement in both a classroom and residential setting, creating a closer sense of community and interconnectedness amongst peers. The Paul Robeson LLC at Rutgers University is designed to explore the history and origins of the African diaspora as well as assist in the transition of incoming students to the RU environment. The presentation will briefly discuss study findings: perceptions of student success, belonging and connectedness, and an awakening in regard to Black history. Current LLC members will also share their views. 

Academic Coaching: Foundational Principles and Applications to Other Learning Contexts

The presenter will share information about the academic coaching model, including the fundamental principles of coaching and an outline of an academic coaching session. There are ways in which foundational beliefs and certain skills from academic coaching, including asking open-ended questions and remaining curious, can be applied to other interactions with students on campus. Attendees will have a chance to brainstorm with colleagues if and how these skills translate to their current role. 

Academic Mentoring: Welcoming First-Generation students to the SEBS Community 

Since 2015, all first-generation students at SEBS have been welcomed to our Beloved Community via enrollment in a 1-credit Academic Mentoring course. This small seminar course specifically supports the academic and social transition of students who are first in their family to attend college in the U.S. Join us for an overview of the pedagogy, learning goals, and outcomes of this program that supports new STEM students. 

Artificial Intelligence and Student Success

The widespread availability of large-language-model artificial intelligence programs such as ChatGPT has disrupted higher education, leading educators to scrutinize the rigor of our coursework, the assignments we use to measure learning, and how we ensure academic integrity. In this session, the presenters address the other side of AI: how large language models can be leveraged to increase access and support students who are less academically prepared. We will explore different ways students can interact with AI chatbots as a tutor, how AI can serve as a personal assistant by translating, organizing, and summarizing instructions and readings, and how instructors can design activities to take advantage of the strengths of large language models. 

Back on Track Support Group: A Student-Driven Academic Coaching Initiative

Inspired by a proposal written by a student who found herself repeatedly falling off track, the Rutgers Learning Centers Academic Coaching program launched the Back on Track Support Group. Learn about how we work to create community among students facing challenges, provide targeted and iterative guidance, and introduce productive mindsets through academic coaching and how we assessed the effectiveness of this coaching group. 

Byrne Seminar: "Practicing Precision Medicine with Data Analysis"

The Byrne Seminars program is a unique high-impact learning opportunity designed to assist first-year students in their transition to university life by introducing them to research faculty in a small seminar setting. The “Practicing Precision Medicine with Data Analysis” seminar taught by Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed focused on important areas that contribute to the development of precision medicine initiative. Students in this seminar published a manuscript in Frontiers in Genetics and several have gone on to work on NIH funded projects. 

Centering Undocumented College Students: The Role of Institutional Agents in an Undocuserving Environment

Undocumented students face unique challenges in accessing, financing, and navigating college. However, through the commitment of institutional agents, higher education institutions wield autonomy in providing undocuserving environments to their students. Based on her recent research on undocumented students at another campus of Rutgers University, the presenter will share critical recommendations for offering a welcoming, equitable, and supporting learning environment for undocumented students at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. 

Developing Equity-Minded Resident Leaders: DEI Skill-Building for Success 

Resident Assistants are charged with building welcoming and inclusive residential communities for a diverse student population. In support of this charge, the “Resident Assistant (RA) DEI Phase Training” program was developed to help RAs understand concepts, historical references, the impact of language, and facilitation skills/techniques to build more equitable and inclusive communities. The presenters will discuss the learning outcomes and activities that make up the five phases and speak to the impact the program has made. 

Engaging Post-Graduation Survey Data in High-Impact Career Development Program Development 

The Rutgers-New Brunswick Post-Graduation Survey (PGS) provides primary source information about student participation in high-impact experiences and post-graduation outcomes. Cross-sectional analysis of PGS data provides invaluable information about the who, what, how, and impact of engagement. The presenters will give an overview of the PGS survey instrument, describe data available, and give examples of how higher education professionals can leverage PGS data to drive the creation of high-impact programming that scaffolds post-grad success. 

General Biology’s Support of the First Year Transition with High Impact Practices: Promoting Equity through Study Skills Development and Inclusivity

Emphasizing workplace preparation, student learning, and inclusivity, General Biology assists students with their first-year transition, provides academic support, and supports living learning communities. To develop a community of active, collaborative, and reflective learners, students need the entire community’s support to move beyond the development of skills to their incorporation into their daily routine. We hope to discuss how we as a community can best support our students in their first-year transition and career preparation. 

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Driving Institutional Change through Collaboration and Community 

Robert Frost's poem "The Mending Wall" is a powerful metaphor for fostering relationships in higher education. Tasked with developing and advancing a One Stop, the team at Rutgers–NB embraced the poem’s most famous quote, “good fences make good neighbors”, and its two major themes; to (1) create clear boundaries that extirpate operational ambiguities and frustrations, and (2) recognize the act of doing so is an act of community that brings people together. Accordingly, the poem serves as a framework for affecting change through collaboration. 

Improving the quality and impact of academic advising by tapping into upperclassmen experiences and developing their leadership skills 

The presenters will share a peer advising program model that selects and trains a group of volunteer upperclassmen students to help share critical and timely academic policies and procedures to the engineering first years. The program model also focuses on the professional development of the student leaders by offering training in topics like interpersonal communication, social identities, presentation and public speaking skills, project management, active listening techniques, problem solving and building a professional network. 

Leading with Languages at Rutgers and Beyond: Three Ambassador Programs

In this panel, faculty advisors will introduce the audience to three language ambassador programs at Rutgers (ALC Student Ambassador Program, LEP Ambassador Program, and Rutgers Global Study Abroad Ambassador Program) that provide experiential learning opportunities for students to build the skills to lead through multilingualism and with intercultural competency at Rutgers and beyond. Ambassadors will then share how their experience participating in each program has impacted their academic/professional development as well as personal growth. 

Nurturing the Future: Undergraduate Leadership Throughout Rutgers 

This presentation will discuss the Fellows in Racial Justice Learning Community, a program that aims to identify, accompany, and mentor generations of life-long intellectual activists in racial justice. The program is an unprecedented effort that spans Rutgers-Newark, Rutgers-New Brunswick, and Rutgers-Camden. It brings together undergraduate students who are passionate about social justice activism and who are pursuing projects to renew, enrich, and maximize on-going racial justice efforts on campus, locally, and globally. 

Purpose and a Paycheck: An emerging framework for engaging faculty in credit-bearing post-graduation student success high impact practices (HIP's) 

Presenters will discuss the imperatives that are driving colleges to expand their focus on preparing students for post-graduation success and outline a framework for engaging faculty in these efforts in ways that complement their disciplinary expertise. The speakers will offer examples from pilot projects with faculty from two academic departments to customize the 1.5 credit Career Explorations in Arts and Sciences course. The presenters will build in time for discussion and feedback on assessment and scaling strategies. 

Rethinking Our Virtual Space: Reimagining and RevolUtionizing the Student Experience with the Creation of the myRutgers Dashboard 

The presenters will highlight the student-centered approach, situated in a process improvement framework, that led to enhancements in virtual and self-service options. Attendees will leave with the theoretical underpinnings of the process improvement framework and adapt the strategies to meet the needs of their departments, further bolster the student experience, enhance self-service options, and embody a collaborative approach across divisions to drive student success outcomes. 

RJ at Rutgers 

The presenters of this session will share information about the use and applications of Restorative Justice (RJ) on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Used both proactively and reactively, RJ is a process used to address harm, hold others accountable, and build or repair community. RJ is derived from the First Nation’s people of North American and Australia. It is used around the world in elementary schools, institutions of higher education, communities, and as an addition or alternative to processed in the criminal justice system. 

RU Intentional? Promoting career readiness and a high impact focus in the student experience 

Career Exploration and Success (CES) uses a career journey model focused on intentionally connecting students with opportunities that help them develop and articulate competencies/skills important for their future goals. This session will highlight ways to assist students in identifying specific skill development, reflecting on connections to career interest areas and articulating the importance and application of the skill to future employers and graduate school committees. 

Sewing your way to the student voice: Quilting as an assessment method 

Today’s higher education environment necessitates a greater level of accountability requiring student affairs professionals to engage in the assessment and evaluation process in new ways. This interactive workshop will provide a basic foundation of assessment and evaluation including the importance and benefits of assessment and the variety of methods used to collect data. Too often we rely on surveys for collecting data from students, which often results in low response rates or survey fatigue. 

Students Teaching Students: Exploring the First-Year Interest Group (FIGS) course 

This fall semester, 79 undergraduate students are teaching a first-year seminar that they developed based on the lessons they've learned "On the Banks." Through the Office of Career Exploration and Success, the First-Year Interest Group Seminars (FIGS) offers both a valuable course for incoming students and a unique experiential education opportunity for Peer Instructors. Join us for a brief overview of the FIGS model, stories and insights from FIGS PIs, and a reflection on creating meaningful student leadership on campus. 

Summer Session: Ingredient to Student Success 

Summer Session is an optional term for students, outside of the fall and spring traditional educational model; however, this optional term is not clearly articulated in a manner that supports student success. Administration, faculty, and students often have misperceptions of the whys and hows summer session operates. Summer Session can be beneficial, yet it can also be complex based on factors such as the structure of the program, the intensity of the courses, and individual student circumstances (Kops, 2009). Information in key to success. 

Talented and Highly Pressured: Success Strategies for High-Achievers 

Sometimes academically talented students give the impression they have it all figured out. But just like other college students, they need inclusive and culturally sensitive support to help them fulfill their potential. This session highlights research on talented students, their unique characteristics, and the challenges they face. Using case study analysis, participants will collaborate to strategize effective practices to enhance learning and development for high-achievers - whether in the classroom, their organizations, advising or beyond. 

Teaching in a Multilingual Space: Strategies for Creating a Welcoming and Equitable Learning Environment for a Linguistically Diverse Campus 

Reflective of our diverse and global community, multilingualism is the rule, not the exception at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. In this educational session, the presenter will share data on multilingualism at Rutgers, review scholarship on the presence and exclusionary effects of linguistic discrimination in higher education, and present principles for creating linguistically responsive and sustaining classrooms across disciplines. 

The How To and the How Come of Building a Peer Mentor Program 

In this education session, the presenter will share the key components and structure on how to build a successful peer mentor program, including a comprehensive timeline from recruitment to engagement using the SAS Honors Peer Mentor Program as a model. Based on participant data, the presenter will also demonstrate how a peer mentor program is a high-impact student opportunity and resource that contributes to student success, builds community, promotes engagement, and helps to prepare students for success at Rutgers and beyond. 

The Instructor vs. ChatGPT Cage Match 

The Instructor vs. ChatGPT Cage Match is a unique opportunity for instructors to delve into the realm of AI-powered teaching tools and explore the pros and cons of incorporating ChatGPT (a state-of-the-art language model) in the classroom. It aims to foster a dynamic and thought-provoking discussion about the potential benefits and challenges of utilizing AI in education. 

Universal Design Principles for Inclusive Classroom Activities 

"Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an instructional strategy designed with learner diversity in mind, can help create more inclusive campus cultures and supplement traditional accommodations. This workshop will use interactive discussions and scenarios to introduce core principles of the framework and explore how UDL can promote greater inclusivity, and will offer concrete advice to guide the development and design of UDL workshops and classroom activities. " 

Walking Through Our Doors: A look at the past, present, and future of incoming undergraduate students at RU-NB 

The campus community at RU-NB continues to evolve/transform each year as the individuals who compose the incoming undergraduate class is forever changing. This sessions takes a look back at the last incoming classes of undergraduate students prior to and through covid, the post covid classes including the Fall 2023 incoming class, and provides thoughts and predictions on how the class will evolve and change in the future.