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NSO 2009


									Presentation Overview:
 • Demographics of PTC Students
 • The Evolution of Advising at PTC
 • Four Innovative Advising Strategies
   – Challenges
   – Data /Assessment of Programs
 • Factors of Success
     Pulaski Technical College
• Basic Facts
   – Spring 2011 Enrollment
      • Credit Headcount: 11,466
      • Full Time: 49%
      • Part Time: 51%
      • Enrollment Increase (since 1991): 1000%
      • 5th largest college in the state
      • Largest two-year college in the state
      • Fifth largest public higher education institution in
      • Pulaski Tech ranks next-to-last in amount of state
        revenue per student
     Pulaski Technical College
• Basic Facts Continued…
   – Spring 2011 Enrollment
      •   Occupational/Technical Education: 30%
      •   General Education: 70%
      •   Male: 34%
      •   Female: 66%
      •   Average Age: 29
      •   White: 42%
      •   African-American: 53%
      •   Other: 5%
      •   Continuing Education (Noncredit): 7,484
          registrations in 2009
       Common Characteristics
• Largely non-traditional student population over the
  traditional college age of 18-22
• Delay between college and high school
• GED students
• Large number of students who require developmental
  courses in reading, writing, and math. Most entering
  students require some kind of math remediation.
• Single parents
• First generation college students
• Most work at least part time with many working full time
• Want to be able to enter the work force quickly
       Common Characteristics
• Many interested in health professions and transferring to
  health profession programs, such as nursing at UAMS, UALR,
  UCA, and Baptist Health
• Large African-American population
• Large population of students who come from lower
  socioeconomic backgrounds
• Many with little or no computer skills
• Large number of students whose enrollment depends upon
  the awarding of Financial Aid
• Despite barriers, we have students who are dedicated to
  being successful and bettering their current situation
  through education.
     Advising Challenges
• Students’ circumstances
   – Financial barriers
   – Job schedules
   – Child care
• Students are underprepared in reading,
  writing, math, and computer skills
• Scheduling developmental courses and
  college level courses with the goal of
  student success
• Referring students to appropriate offices
  for assistance
• Helping students determine transferability
  of course work
• Verifying student’s eligibility to take
  courses by checking for appropriate pre-
     Advising Challenges
• As first generation college students,
  many do not know or understand the
  process and structure of higher
• Many students do not know what
  questions to ask or where to start with
  beginning their education.
• Advising is NOT MANDATORY at Pulaski
  Tech for students after their first
   – Most students do not visit the Advising
     Center on their own
  Evolution of PTC Advising
• 2003-2007:
   – One advisor, who was also responsible for other areas, such
     as Disability Services.
   – Select faculty
• 2007-2008:
   –   Centralized Advising began
   –   Director of Advising
   –   One full-time advisor
   –   Part-time advisors, but no consistency
• 2008-2009
   – Director of Counseling and Advising
   – Three full-time advisors
   – Two permanent part-time advisors through Achieving the
• 2010
   –   Director of Counseling and Advising
   –   Coordinator of Advising and Orientation
   –   Four full-time advisors
   –   3 permanent part-time advisors provided through
       Achieving the Dream and the Perkins Grant.
  Evolution of PTC Advising
• Prior to the institution of a centralized
  advising center:
   – Advising was not “advising”.
   – Registration was a “cattle call” in which students
     stood in long lines to obtain classes.
   – There was little focus on plans for future
     semesters and graduation.
   – No mandatory new student orientation
   – No collaboration with other elements of First
     Year Experience, including College Seminar
• Current PTC Advising:
   – Focuses on “teaching” students how to use their
     resources, plan for the future, and be successful.
   – Uses innovative and intrusive advising strategies
     to reach students
        What was next?
• Bring advising to the students
• Collaborate with the campus community
  to foster support for advising
• Switch from registration “cattle call” to
  implementing focused and intrusive
  advising strategies to help teach students
  how to better plan for the future
• Create a vision statement:
   – The staff of the Counseling and
     Advising Department provides
     comprehensive and supportive
     advising services that creates a culture
     of empowerment and accountability
     through extensive collaboration with
     the campus community.
           Strategy 1:
    Classroom Presentations
• Fall 2008-Spring 2009
  – The beginning of classroom presentations
    in PTC classrooms
  – Collaboration with College Seminar
    courses to present in all classrooms
  – The Advising staff visited 38 College
    Seminar classrooms in Fall 2008 and 37
    College Seminar classrooms in Spring
    2009 to discuss Counseling and Advising
    Services and some basics on advising
  – Support from the Chair of the College
    Seminar department in partnering with
    Advising Services to bring information to
            Strategy 1:
     Classroom Presentations
• Fall 2009
   – Advisors presented in 47 classrooms,
     including select College Seminar classrooms
     and developmental education classrooms
   – Change in leadership of College Seminar
     department and curriculum changes of
     College Seminar course led to a decrease in
     the amount of classrooms visited. As a
     result, presentations were offered in various
     developmental education classrooms.
   – Advisors visited various classrooms to
     discuss Counseling and Advising Services
     and some basics on the advising
           Strategy 1:
    Classroom Presentations
• Spring and Fall 2010
  – Classroom presentations were opened
    campus wide.
  – Advisors visited 65 classrooms in Spring
    2010 and 76 classrooms in Fall 2010 of
    varying disciplines to discuss Advising
    Services, basics of the advising
    relationship, basic financial aid, and
    registration tips.
  – Presentation was restructured to include
    how to access the campus computer
    system and how to add/drop courses
           Strategy 1:
    Classroom Presentations
• Spring 2011
  – Collaboration resumed between the
    College Seminar department and
    Advising Services. Classroom
    presentations were offered primarily in
    College Seminar classrooms.
  – Advisors visited 38 classrooms, most
    being College Seminar classes, to discuss
    Advising Services, basics of the advising
    relationship, basic financial aid, and
    registration tips.
            Strategy 1:
     Classroom Presentations

• Plans for Fall 2011
   – Increased collaboration between the
     College Seminar department and
     Advising Services.
   – Classroom presentations will be offered
     primarily in College Seminar classrooms.
   – An advisor will be assigned to each
     classroom for students to have a direct
     advising contact.
           Strategy 1:
    Classroom Presentations

• Challenges
  – Adapting the presentation to make it as
    beneficial as possible without “losing” the
  – Getting access to the classrooms, especially
    College Seminar
  – Changes in leadership in College Seminar
  – Dealing with frustrated students who may see
    the presentation several times, as advisors
    visited many different classrooms
                  Strategy 1:
           Classroom Presentations
• Assessment:
   – Feedback collected through paper surveys and
   – Feedback from students began as an evaluation of the
     presenter and the benefit of the presentation.
   – Assessment is now focused on student learning – are they
     getting what we’re trying to teach them?

   – Faculty Feedback and Comments
       • 95% of faculty agreed or strongly agreed that the
           presentation was overall beneficial for students.
       •   “Advisor is personable and our students connected to his
           genuine interest in their progress.”
       •   “Advisor was really great and explained everything very
           well. It helped the students when she would give
           examples as well as letting the students know how
           important a degree plan is.”
       •   “My students were very complimentary of the
           information and found it very helpful.”
       •   “Overall, it's a very, very informative presentation. I
           learned a lot, too!!! And the presenter is the best!!!!”
               Strategy 1:
        Classroom Presentations
• Assessment:
   – Student Comments about classroom presentation
       • Helped me know classes to get to graduation.
       • Helped me realize I need to see an advisor often and early!
       • I will take more responsibility
       • It will help me be more effective in planning
       • It made me aware of other things PTC has to offer
       • I am going to work on creating a short term goal of graduating
         with my accounting certificate
       • To check for important dates and with financial aid and
         registration need to be done early
       • I learned there are pre-requisites for certain classes
       • How to register online and when
       • I finally understand how to access the course catalog and how
         to exactly use it. I also understand about the different degree
         plans because at the very start I was lost.
       • Resources on the campus and on the PTC website, including
         where to locate their degree plan and the course catalog
       • The difference between degrees and the correct degree plan
       • Understanding the developmental course sequence
           Strategy 2:
     New Student Orientation
• The implementation of the Title III grant
  led to a mandatory new student
  orientation program for all first-time
  entering degree seeking students.
• For Fall 2009 registration, these
  students were required for the first time
  to register online for an on-campus
  mandatory orientation session.
• Students who attended orientation for
  registration in the following semesters:
   – Fall 2009 – 1759 students
   – Fall 2010 – 2002 students
   – Spring 2011 – 687 students
          Strategy 2:
    New Student Orientation
• Program delivery
  – On campus
  – Group Advising:
     • 5-7 students with an advisor
  – Presentation
  – Registration
           Strategy 2:
     New Student Orientation
• Plans for Future Orientation Sessions
   – Make orientation more engaging:
      • Adding the use of clickers, where students
        will be automatically assessed on the
      • Adding short videos to further explore
        material and provide another means of
   – Work with College Seminar faculty to
     streamline orientation material with
     College Seminar curriculum
   – Have “early orientations” throughout
     the year to help reduce the amount of
     students who cycle through during
     regular registration.
           Strategy 2:
     New Student Orientation
• Challenges
  – Staffing
     • The Advising staff must cover both New Student
       Orientation and the Advising Center during this
       busy time
     • Have to rely on part-time temporary advisors
       who are trained, but are not advisors by
     • Funding for part-time advisors to last throughout
       the fiscal year
  – Technology:
     • Using computer labs that may have networking
       or hardware issues, making it hard to have
       functioning computers for all students
     • Obtaining functioning laptops to alleviate relying
       on outside department’s computer labs
     • Unreliability of servers at times, especially during
       high volume times.
          Strategy 2:
    New Student Orientation
• Assessment
  – Feedback gathered through surveys
    students complete at the end of the session
  – Students complete assessments that focus
    on session benefits and ability to complete
    tasks presented in the session.
  – Will move more towards assessing student
    learning of the material presented.
    Assessment will be worked into the
    presentation through the use of clickers.
  – Assessment will be used to help streamline
    the College Seminar curriculum and new
    student orientation material.
          Strategy 2:
    New Student Orientation
• Assessment
  – Student comments about benefits of
     •   All information was helpful
     •   Financial aid process
     •   Free tutoring
     •   How to keep up with my financial aid and where I
         can find my classes and assignments to make sure
         they’re on time
     •   Being able to look up the information and get what
         you’re looking for right away from the website
     •   The difference between associate of applied
         science and associate of arts and associate of
     •   Learning how to use the PTC Portal
     •   Being able to ask any question and have it
         answered today.
     •   Knowing who to talk to when I have questions.
  Strategy 3:
Mobile Advising
              Strategy 3:
            Mobile Advising
• Funded through Achieving the Dream, the
  department was able to buy two mobile
  advising carts.
• The mobile carts include a laptop
  computer, printer, and other materials that
  allow advisors to leave the Advising Center
  and set up anywhere on campus to advise
  where wireless Internet and a plug in is
• Advisors can access all advising resources
  online via our website.
• The materials in these carts have also been
  helpful during other Advising activities,
  such as classroom presentations, new
  student orientation, and Advising Week.
             Strategy 3:
           Mobile Advising

• Plans for future use of the carts:
   – Continue to take advising out to the
     students at various campus activities
     and in other buildings across campus
   – Increase use of carts during pre-advising
     periods to reach more students and help
     promote a proactive culture of planning.
             Strategy 3:
           Mobile Advising
• Challenges:
  – Advising carts were funded once through
    Achieving the Dream. Once the carts or
    equipment began to age or fail, funding for
    replacement materials may be difficult to
    come by.
  – Finding time and staff to be able to utilize
    carts to their fullest extent.
  – Helping students understand that they can
    be completely advised at a cart without
    ever having to set foot in the Advising
    Center. Some students look at it as an
    “information desk”.
  – Troubleshooting technology issues that may
    be present from building to building.
              Strategy 3:
            Mobile Advising
• Assessment
  – When students visit the Mobile Advising Carts,
    they are asked to sign in using a paper sign in
  – Carts are effective in that they allow more
    students to have access to academic advising in
    locations where they congregate.
  – During one week of setting up the cart in a
    different building across campus, 30 students
    were advised via the cart. This helped decrease
    the traffic in the Advising Center and bring
    advising to students where they typically do not
    have access.
  – During one week long event, 73 students were
    advised via the cart. This helped to decrease
    traffic in the Advising Center.
               Strategy 4:
              Advising Week
• Starting in Spring 2010, Advising Week is a week
  long event created to further outreach to
• Partially funded by Achieving the Dream, the goal
  of Advising Week was to again go to where the
  students are and help them plan for their time at
  Pulaski Tech by making advisors available and
• Advising Week always corresponds with the first
  day of registration.
• Advisors set up in the main foyer of our Campus
  Center Building at the North Campus and in the
  main foyers at the Little Rock West and Little
  Rock South campuses where they can fully advise
  students and answer any questions. Advisors,
  staff, and faculty from other divisions also make
  themselves available to answer any question and
  advise students.
               Strategy 4:
              Advising Week
• Spring 2010:
   – Advisors periodically set up a table in the main
     foyer of our Campus Center Building where they
     fully advised students and answered any
   – Presenters from other departments, including
     faculty, staff, and advisors, offered sessions to
     help educate students on degree plans, financial
     aid, career planning, and academic suspension
     and probation.
   – Transfer advisors from other schools were also
   – Advising Week was at our main North Little
     Rock campus only.
   – Students who participate filled out an entry
     form and a survey for a chance to win prizes,
     including book store vouchers, food court
     vouchers, and tuition monies.
                 Strategy 4:
                Advising Week
• Fall 2010 and Spring 2011:
   – Transitioned to a “fair style”
   – Advisors set up tables in the main foyer of our
     Campus Center Building where they fully advised
     students and answered any questions throughout
     the week
   – Faculty, staff, and advisors from other divisions set
     up tables to advise and answer questions about
     degree plans
   – Transfer advisors from other schools were also
   – Advising Week activities also took place a the Little
     Rock West and Little Rock South Campuses
   – Registration Labs were offered for College Seminar
     classes to help students physically register for classes
     for the upcoming semester
   – Students who participated filled out an entry form
     and a survey for a chance to win prizes, including
     book store vouchers, food court vouchers, and
     tuition monies
              Strategy 4:
             Advising Week
• Challenges:
  – Determining how to best reach students
    through various formats
  – Gaining support from faculty, staff, and advisors
    in other departments
  – Marketing to students, faculty, and staff on
    what Advising Week is and the benefits of it
  – Staffing Advising Week at all campuses and
    keeping adequate staff available at the main
  – Making Advising Week activities convenient for
    evening students and students at all campuses
                Strategy 4:
               Advising Week
• Assessment
  – Assessment was gathered through various methods
  – Students must fill out an entry form with a survey to enter
    for a chance to win prizes. The survey evaluates the
    effectiveness of Advising Week, including the delivery of
    information, improving services, and marketing
  – College Seminar students who visit Registration Labs also
    complete surveys, but do so via These surveys focus on
    student knowledge of advising resources and benefits of
    College Seminar and meeting with an advisor prior to
    visiting the Registration Lab
  – The goal of assessment for Advising Week is to improve
    services and increase collaboration with other
     What data is telling us…

• Students who complete new student
  orientation, College Seminar, and
  view a classroom presentation are
  being retained at higher levels and
  have higher GPAs.
  – Average retention rate from Fall 2010 –
    Spring 2011 – 77.9%
  – Average retention rate for students who
    complete these three activities – 85.3%
  – Average 1st year student GPA: 2.67
  – Students’ average GPA who complete
    these three activities – 2.96
         Factors of Success
• Great administrative and leadership
• Financial assistance through the
  Achieving the Dream grant
• Instituting strategies and initiatives that
  are long-term in nature and can
  continue for many years to come
• Advising is slowly becoming part of the
  culture. The registration “cattle call” is
  becoming disassociated with advising.
  Advising is becoming associated with
  proactive strategies that empower
  students to plan for the future.

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