Student Achievement

MISSION

Northwestern State University is a responsive, student-oriented institution that is committed to the creation, dissemination, and acquisition of knowledge through teaching, research, and service. The University maintains as its highest priority excellence in teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs. Northwestern State University prepares its students to become productive members of society and promotes economic development and improvements in the quality of life of the citizens in its region.

VISION

Northwestern State University will become the nation’s premier regional university through the innovative delivery of transformative student learning experiences that prepare graduates for life and career success.

OUR CORE VALUES

Our core values capture the guiding principles for how we make decisions and work together. They are the foundation for the type of University community and regional partner we strive to become. Our guiding values are:

  • Our students are our priority. We provide each student with transformational and experiential learning experiences to assist in the development of an ever-growing individual, scholar, and professional.
  • Diversity helps define who we are. We welcome and respect all traveling on a journey for knowledge. Differences make us stronger.
  • We are future focused. We do not rest on our laurels, as we are in constant search of individual and organizational improvement. We seek opportunities to improve our students, community, and region.
  • Innovation is leading the forward edge of change. We strive to be on the forefront in all we do.
  • We honor and respect the ideals of freedom. We protect the freedom of all members of our community to seek truth and express their views.
  • We are careful stewards. We responsibly and sustainably manage the economic and natural resources entrusted to us.
  • Integrity is our cornerstone. We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards as educators, scholars, students, and professionals.
  • We are a team. We are a collaborative community that focuses on ensuring the success of every member.

OBJECTIVE

To achieve its Vision, Northwestern is committed to redefining and strengthening student achievement and experience. Students succeed when we devote our energies to continuously improve all aspects of student life: academic, physical, social, and mental well-being. We will make data informed decisions in our ongoing effort to create new opportunities and enhance existing programs, services, and resources for students. From the first contact with a prospective student through the commencement celebration, we will demonstrate our commitment to success by ensuring students have an engaging, purposeful, and relevant student experience. Coordination between all campus entities ensures the delivery of services, programs, and experiences that meet the needs of all students on all campuses to the highest levels.

METHODOLOGY

Northwestern’s annual assessment processes are focused on validating our assessment approach, refining procedures and processes, and further ingraining a culture of continuous improvement. Northwestern’s Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Model consists of a series of ongoing and systematic institutional procedures and integrated practices reflected in the strategic, operational, and tactical decisions made by the President and his senior leaders, the college deans and unit directors, and degree program coordinators and faculty in the classroom. The Model encompasses strategic and operational planning, the allocation of resources, and the evaluation of student achievement, programs and services, and administrative and experiential learning activities.  It includes the identification and measurement of outcomes across all objectives, including strategic focus areas, student learning and service outcomes, and the analysis of data and assessment results to inform decision making. These coordinated activities are intended to support and enhance the Mission, Vision, and Core Values of Northwestern State University by improving programs and services and increasing student success and institutional quality.

To view the recent strategic assessment results of the below objectives please see Assessment Cycle 2018-2019 – Building Momentum

To view student learning outcomes and assessments of all academic programs, administrative and academic support activities please visit Institutional Effectiveness website and see the tab labeled Assessment Cycle Reports.

Student Achievement Objectives per The Student Experience Strategic Focus Area

Strategies:

  • Provide services for achieving academic excellence by offering one on one mentors for new students.
  • Continue to integrate admissions processes, financial aid, registrar services, and academic advising throughout the campus.
  • Committee of Students, faculty and staff to assess appeals procedures and to review all printed materials for clarity, etc.
  • Continue to provide a series of workshops to assist students in understanding processes, aid packages, remaining eligible, etc.
  • Streamline policies and procedures to enhance responsiveness to students’ needs.
  • Enhance communication flow with third party housing and food vendors to provide better services for students.
  • Evaluate recruiting and retention strategies for effectiveness.
  • Campaign to increase male enrollment in traditionally female areas
  • Manage Natchitoches Campus class availability
  • Increase Dual Enrollment and DE conversions to regular enrollment
  • Increase certificate programs
  • Increase overall number of recruiting contacts

Metrics:

  1. Academic Excellence and Value (AEV)– Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (NLSSI) Academic Advising and Instructional Effectiveness scales and NSU Graduating Student Survey (GSS).
  2. Satisfaction with Support Programs (SSP)–NLSSI Campus Services scale.
  3. Satisfaction with University Policies and Processes (UPP)–NLSSI Processes and Procedures, Recruitment and Financial Aid Effectiveness, Student Centeredness, and Campus Life scales.
  4. Responsive and Helpful Faculty and Staff (RHFS)–NLSSI Student Centeredness and Campus Life scales.
  5. Retention, Enrollment and Graduation Increases (RR, EI and GR).
  6. Campus Housing and Dining Satisfaction (HDS).
  7. Elevate LA Financial Health Analysis Score with ULS (LAFH).
  8. Increase number of Natchitoches Campus students.

Strategies:

  • Articulate the diversity plan in all University policies and procedures
  • Continue to broaden programs and services for students, faculty, and staff to create an environment that accommodates, includes and celebrates the NSU community.
  • Evaluate recruitment, admission and retention efforts of underrepresented minorities and other diverse students
  • Educate campus community on Disability Services
  • Highlight programs to focused on male and international students

Metrics:

  1. Diversity represents regional demographics (DD)
  2. Campus climate of advocacy and inclusion (CCAI)
  3. Safety and security satisfaction (SSS)
  4. Satisfaction with Support Programs (SSP)

Strategies:

  • Continue to transform campus spaces to create a unique and engaging campus environment, which adapts to the changing trends of a diverse student body.
  • Establish collaborations and partnerships with University Departments and Community Stakeholders that contribute to the growth and development of NSU students.
  • Rebrand programs to build allegiance to NSU by rebranding to Campus Alma Mater Programs – AMP.
  • Provide opportunities for students to increase their knowledge of civic engagement, inclusion, and respect for others.
  • Develop award program for civic engagement
  • Develop women’s living and learning community.

Metrics:

  1. Number of Alumni actively supporting the University (NASU).
  2. On-campus Facilities Satisfaction (CFS).
  3. Number and types of internal/external programming collaborations.
  4. Number of students involved in co-curricular activities.
  5. Number of those in the NSU community engaged in civic service.

Strategies:

  • Enhance a series of high-impact career experiences for freshmen
  • Support upperclassman to secure experiential learning position(s)
  • Assist students to obtain employment or placement in graduate/professional schools
  • Increase student involvement in career center and number of employers to campus.

Metrics:

  1. Number of programs with capstone internships or related activities (QEP)
  2. Percent of graduates working within 6 months of graduation (GW)
  3. Number of students and employers using Handshake

Strategies:

Assess and identify the health needs of students

  • Increase awareness of drug and alcohol prevention efforts
  • Create and conduct outreach programming to increase visibility of wellness resources
  • Identify, develop and maintain campus and community partnerships which increase student health and wellness
  • Health services on other campuses

Metrics:

  1. Number of health-related encounters by NSU students per year
  2. Number of health-related programs and services
  3. Number of campus and community partnerships
  4. Satisfaction with Support Programs (SSP)

Student Achievement Objectives per Academic Excellence Strategic Focus Area

Strategies:

  • Foster the assessment of expected outcomes for the improvement of instruction
  • Provide online and face-to-face instruction on technology/techniques that will improve the educational experience of our students and professional development of our faculty
  • Create a program of faculty-led workshops for tutors in key areas (English, Mathematics, Sciences) to better equip these peer tutors to meet the needs and expectations of our students
  • Develop a plan for online and off-campus students so these students have the same level of academic support and access to tutoring as our main campus students
  • Ensure that faculty and staff are well-informed about the services offered by the Academic Success Center so that they may direct students who would benefit from these opportunities for academic support
  • Use student fee accounts for upgrading consumable classroom and laboratory equipment and supplies
  • Provide stipends for faculty to design new or to re-design established courses that focus on integrating technology with content to improve student learning

Metrics:

  1. Number of assessed academic degree programs with student learning outcomes that help drive improvements in quality and innovative instruction.
  2. Courses focusing on implementing current technologies or best practice principles in teaching.
  3. Mean student evaluation of instruction for each course (overall course quality) and course instructor (instructor’s effectiveness).

Strategies:

  • Expand the online resources available through the Academic Success Center to include discipline-specific links to useful websites and resources/tutorials
  • Appoint course stewards for each course in the University core curriculum
  • Review and strategically monitor the size of classes in the University core curriculum
  • Review student satisfaction with instruction in core classes
  • Evaluate the measure(s) for each core competency to insure alignment
  • Develop a proactive advising system for students not successful in University core classes, beginning with procedures to follow for students not passing the first exam or first major assignment.

Metrics:

  1. Average class size in University core courses.
  2. Mean student evaluation of instruction in University core courses Number of University core courses with a designated course steward

Strategies:

  • Establish a workshop series aimed at preparing students for graduate/professional school admission exams.
  • Support student and mentor travel to present research at professional conferences.
  • Offer mini-courses/workshops on test-taking skills, tips on the application process, and interview preparation.
  • Offer discipline-specific courses focused on student transition from undergraduate to graduate/professional school.

Metrics:

  1. Number of graduate students engaging in research/scholarly activities and mentored by faculty.
  2. Number of undergraduate and graduate students mentored by faculty who publish, present, or perform scholarly endeavors in a professional setting.
  3. Undergraduate student performance on graduate/professional school admission exams (e.g., GRE, LSAT, MCAT).

Strategies:

  • Create and utilize program-specific advising packets to improve/streamline the advising process
  • Establish a Meet the Faculty program
  • Identify successful/meaningful student-faculty interactions
  • Provide transportation or other funds for faculty and students who take educational trips or engage in experiential learning activities
  • Reward faculty who serve as recognized student organization sponsors
  • Create a space for faculty/staff and students to meet in informal gatherings and engage in conversations about educational and social topics
  • Create and promote opportunities for faculty to interact with students and their families such as academic recognition ceremonies or extracurricular activities

Metrics:

  1. Mean scores from student evaluation of instruction that represent quality student-faculty interactions (e.g., my teacher encouraged interactions between faculty and students; my teacher gave prompt feedback; and my teacher displayed an appropriate demeanor).
  2. Number of department or college events, such as social functions or academic ceremonies, that bring faculty, students, and families together.

Strategies:

  • Survey faculty to determine needs in teaching, research, and service.
  • Establish policies for internal research and travel funding opportunities.
  • Participation (directly/indirectly) in the strategic budgeting process.
  • Promote the goals/activities/outcomes of The Center for Faculty Excellence in Research and Teaching.
  • Develop methods for establishing faculty workload policies.
  • Ensure that faculty across the University are equitably compensated for their rank, expertise, and service to the University, profession, and/or community.
  • Inform faculty of University endowed professorship policies and encourage their participation in the application process.
  • Recognize faculty for their contributions in teaching, research, and service.
  • Ensure that all classroom/laboratory technologies are functional and updated and that faculty are trained on their usage
  • Promote the activities of The Center for Faculty Excellence in Research and Teaching

Metrics:

  1. Number of faculty participating in and receiving internal funding opportunities, including grants, EPs, operating, strategic planning and budgeting.
  2. Percent of faculty/staff receiving external grants.
  3. Number of faculty attending department or college-sponsored workshops focusing on innovative instruction in content or pedagogy
  4. Number of faculty/staff attending University, department and/or college-sponsored professional development workshops including lunch and learn.
  5. Number of departments or sites acquiring new classroom or laboratory technologies.
  6. Number of events or activities to recognize faculty for their contributions in teaching, research, or service.
2019-01-17T12:47:38+00:00