The purpose of this MTN module is to coordinate and fully integrate support services proven to advance student’s academic and personal success, as well as develop comprehensive systems and approaches that enable the campus to anticipate and effectively intervene when students experience academic and personal struggles that threaten their ability to persist.

To date this team has identified three initiatives:

Initiative 1: Develop a greater understanding of the Critical Middle (CM) at OWU, with the goal of increasing retention and overall levels of success. This is to be accomplished through targeted focus groups, interviews, and surveys with current students. A key element of this initiative is to develop a way to make data about the CM accessible on a permanent on-going basis by integrating CM data collection into institutional systems and developing a CM Institutional Dashboard. 

Initiative 2: Design and implement small peer advisory/mentorship groups, with the goal of establishing a greater number of peer-to-peer connection points for OWU students. This initiative is a result of preliminary data from Initiative 1, above. These groups will fall under that umbrella of OWU Connection. These groups will help students establish productive relationships with peers across age and interest groups as well as assist students in achieving their OWU Connection requirements. A key aim is that these groups could be integrated with advising and FYE structures. Thus, these groups would serve many purposes. 

Initiative 3: Create a strategic plan for targeted extension and growth for Sagan ARC. 

Fall 2022 Accomplishment Highlights

  1. The team initiated and has nearly completed an extensive assessment of challenges, experiences, and observations of student success initiatives, including learning about CM at OWU. 

  2. The team was able to collect quantitative data from multiple sources that partially describes critical middle students. 

  3. The team wrote a proposal to conduct focus groups and interviews of continuing CM students, including interview guides. Pilot interviews were conducted. A full complement of focus groups and interviews will begin in late January. 

  4. Based on the pilot interviews from Initiative 1, the team developed a pilot program for peer advisory/mentorship groups under the auspices of the OWU Connection.

Aspirational Goals for Spring 2023

  1. Initiate Student Interviews/Focus Groups. Recruitments will start in the second week of classes. Interviews/focus groups will start in the third week of classes. Interviews and focus group activity will be coordinated with the needs of Advising and First Year Experience. The Qualitative Data Lab (QDL) will be used to input and analyze the data collected. 

  2. Develop and pilot the peer advisory/mentor program in conjunction with OWU Connection. Organizational meetings with OWU Experience, Advising, and First Year Experience will occur before classes begin. 

  3. Write the proposal for strategic recommendations for Sagan ARC.