As we enter the fifth week of the semester, in the context of improving student persistence and success, I ask you to focus on how we can better establish meaningful relationships with our students. We know that learning is inherently a social endeavor and that students are more likely to succeed if they feel connected to the college.
On Friday, I attended the 375 Student Voices workshop led and facilitated by our Equity NOW team co-chairs – Stephanie Bjork and Leila Palis, during which time they shared their research on our students. The survey research was conducted during the spring semester in order for us to learn how to better serve students.
One startling finding, at least to me, was that only 55 percent of our students reported a strong connection to at least one faculty or staff member. I know that in most classes an emphasis, especially early in the semester, is placed on building relationships – yet this survey finding indicates we can get better. Here is a quick reference article on strengthening our capacity around building a sense of community with our students.
Your continued work to build many communities of learners is appreciated.