June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.632.1 - 15.632.10
GREAT Environments for Student Success Abstract
GREAT is an acronym that stands for Graduate, Retain, Engage, Admit, and Tell. It is an organizing framework that reverse-engineers the process of how students interact with our school. By beginning with the end in mind and working backward, the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) was able to identify value-creating activities and efficient processes that have a direct and indirect impact on student success in engineering and technology.
The premise for GREAT acknowledges that many of our stakeholders (e.g. students; parents; policymakers; employers) expect us to graduate students in a timely manner for success in a variety of post-degree roles. To do this, we must first retain students in our programs to degree completion. Because retention is an outcome of engagement, we need to engage students through relevant in-class, online, and co-curricular experiences; powerful pedagogies and high-impact educational practices; and meaningful relationships with peers, faculty and staff members, and our business/industry, government, and community partners. In order to ensure student success and to meet the needs of a changing marketplace, we must admit better-prepared and more diverse students to our programs. This requires all of us to be able to tell prospective students and other stakeholders about the value our programs offer them. Finally, to tell the story persuasively, we need to answer this question: “What value are we creating for students who choose to attend our school, and to what extent is this value differentiated from other institutions or departments offering similar programs?”
The GREAT Environments Task Force placed an emphasis on practices and activities that impact student graduation from our programs. Specific activities were inventoried, analyzed, and evaluated based on the utility and effectiveness of various parts of the process that lead to desired results. The Task Force communicated to and involved other school stakeholders in its important work. Key outcomes included strategies and recommendations to guide implementation efforts to maintain, enhance, or improve school-based activities that contribute to student success.
This paper describes the purposes, processes, and perspectives associated with this planning and improvement initiative. Each component of GREAT will be explained, and examples of best practices and indicators of performance will be identified. How to involve stakeholders in a deliberative, representative, and evidence-based approach to determining present activities and comparing them to best practices on-campus and elsewhere will be discussed. Finally, issues to consider in replicating GREAT Environments in other engineering and technology contexts will be shared.
In the GREAT Environments structure, five important components are considered with the ultimate goal of creating a meaningful and effective college experience for all students. Each element of the framework is meant to evaluate important moments in the college progression and build off one another to move students through college in a timely manner.
Hundley, S., & Talbert-Hatch, T., & Koehler, A., & Hathaway, D., & Keelen, K. (2010, June), Great Environments For Student Success Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15737
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