Student Affairs and Student Success

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Student
Student

Student Life

Career Services

Counseling, Health and Wellness

Financial aid (To be added)
The Career Services team identified two overriding issues: 1.) More and more services
are being provided to the students but very few students are taking advantage of the opportunities;
and, 2.) The career activities are not coordinated with the academic activities
and do not receive support from the academic side. This is clearly demonstrated in the
student satisfaction surveys showing only 58% of the students attending the career fair to
be satisfied or very satisfied. Another indicator is the measurement showing that only 61%
of recently graduated students are employed within their chosen field within one year of
graduation vs. the objective of 75%.
The above concerns hold true in the Student Affairs organization as well. In general,
there are too many events generating too little involvement from students. The events that
are being held are not the right ones. The programs and events are not achieving the goal
of student engagement. Adding more staff and running more acticities has not achieved
better results.
A common theme is that there is no coordination and harmony between Student Affairs
and Academic affairs. Each works in a silo. The two areas do not share the same objectives
and are working at cross-purposes. There are frequent requests from Student Affairs
to pull students from class to attend external events. This disrupts class attendance and is
not received well by the students. This also creates conflict between Student Affairs and
the Colleges.
In the past, there were student satisfaction surveys to gauge the value of Student Affairs’
activities and to help guide the SA team in improving the events. Satisfaction surveys are
no longer being used. There have been sporadic requests for input from faculty which was
helpful but this has not been continued. A consistent, ongoing involvement from students
and faculty is needed to better coordinate activities and improve the results.

Mirror managers are in place for Student Life and Career Services, creating duplicate
organizations for the two campuses. This causes differences in the way the two teams are
managed, inconsistencies in approach and different level of services to the students. Issues
include differences in backgrounds, education, experience, attitudes, vision and leadership
capabilities of the respective managers.
Student financial aid used to be part of Student Affairs but was moved to the Registrar’s
Office. This has made the coordination of student services more difficult. Benchmarking
and best practices suggest that students are better-served by the financial aid function being
housed within the Student Affairs function.
The Student Success Unit is one person; no admin support, no backup, no budget. Not
being part of a broader team makes it difficult for Student Success to coordinate with other
units, cover activities on two campuses and to achieve the unit objectives. A committee
structure is used to try to coordinate activities related to student advising but closer coordination
is required. Degree Works is a software package used by Student Success for
advising. It is an Ellucian product (like Banner) and gets information from Banner. It is
recognized that Banner can also be used for advising but Banner is perceived to be less
user friendly than Degree Works. Today, the degree requirements must be manually entered
into Degree Works to support the advising activities. This data can be loaded automatically
from Banner. However, Degree Works requires an annual expense of USD 50,000. Given
that Banner/CAPP will be the primary package going forward, the cost/benefit of building
the interface and the annual maintenance cost of Degree Works should be re-evaluated.
Sharepoint is a package that was being used for workflow and file sharing. Recently,
there was a directive to stop using Sharepoint but no alternative was provided. Blackboard
has some file-sharing abilities but is harder to use than Sharepoint.
Students with accessibility requirements (primarily related to medical issues) are being
transferred from the Provost’s Office to the Counseling Center. Medical records have been
transferred. Counselors and the clinics meet with each student with medical accessability
needs and the Counseling Center works directly with the faculty on required support. This is
a time-consuming set of tasks. No additional resources were added to support this activity.
Health and Wellness was recently added to the responsibilities of the Counseling Center,
with one staff member being added. The Shawar program has been implemented, funded
by the royal family. This provides counseling resources which are coordinated with the
Counseling Center team.

Students historically have not been very open to using the Counseling Center. This has
changed significantly in the last several years with more and more students taking advantage
of the Center. In a number of cases, very serious concerns are being raised by
the students, creating an issue about how far the Counseling Center team should take the
discussions. Caution should be exercised in providing student psychological counseling
beyond crisis intervention and referral services. Maintaining a clinical treatment service
for students is outside the scope of Student Affairs and raises considerable legal risks for
the University.
Recommendations
Our efforts should first take into consideration the recommendations of Dr. Denise Gifford,
Associate Provost and Dean of Students, Widener University and Dr. Julie Ramsey, Vice
President for College Life and Dean of Students, Gettysburg College, following their study
of the ZU Student Affairs operations and programs completed in the summer of 2015. Their
recommendations are as follows:

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