The LSUA Experience - Center for Academic Success

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The LSUA Experience - Center for Academic Success
Louisiana State University at Alexandria
The LSUA Experience
Quality Enhancement Plan
SACSCOC On-Site Review: September 16-18, 2014
Louisiana State University at Alexandria
The LSUA Experience
Table of Contents
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
Executive Summary............................................................................................... 1
Introduction to LSU at Alexandria ............................................................................ 2
Introduction ......................................................................................................... 2
Mission, Goals and Institutional Characteristics .................................................. 2
Broad-based Institutional Process Identifying Key Issues – (CR 2.12) ............. 4
Constituency Involvement ................................................................................... 4
Topic Selection ................................................................................................... 5
Analysis of Institutional Data ..................................................................... 5
QEP Survey .............................................................................................. 7
QEP Focus Groups ................................................................................... 8
QEP Think-Tank ..................................................................................... 10
Literature Review .............................................................................................. 13
Fostering Academic Success ................................................................. 13
Engagement .......................................................................................... 14
Best Practices ........................................................................................ 15
The First-Year Seminar .............................................................. 17
Peer Mentors.............................................................................. 18
Faculty Development.................................................................. 19
Creating Supportive Experience ................................................. 21
Conclusion ............................................................................................. 21
Literature Link to the LSUA QEP ............................................................ 22
Seminar Course. ........................................................................ 23
Peer Mentorship ......................................................................... 23
Faculty Development .................................................................. 23
Focus – (CR 2.12)................................................................................................. 25
QEP Goals ....................................................................................................... 26
Impact ............................................................................................................... 27
Institutional Capability – (CS 3.3.2) .................................................................... 27
The Problem ..................................................................................................... 27
Project Scope ................................................................................................... 28
Significance of Target Population ..................................................................... 28
Timelines .......................................................................................................... 28
Development............................................................................................... 28
Implementation of LSUA 1001 .................................................................... 29
Faculty and Peer Mentor Selection and Training ......................................... 30
Assessment Plan ........................................................................................ 31
Five-Year QEP Implementation Timeline .................................................... 32
Human Resources ...................................................................................... 33
Organizational Structure ........................................................................ 33
Faculty Capacity .................................................................................... 37
Physical Resources .......................................................................................... 39
Financial Resources ......................................................................................... 39
Broad-based Involvement in QEP Development and Implementation – (CS 3.3.2) 41
Development Planning ...................................................................................... 41
Actions to be Implemented................................................................................ 47
Seminar for Academic Success ................................................................ 47
Faculty Development ................................................................................ 49
Peer Mentors ............................................................................................ 50
Louisiana State University at Alexandria
The LSUA Experience
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
Assessment – (CS 3.3.2) ..................................................................................... 51
Implementation Monitoring ................................................................................ 53
Research Design .............................................................................................. 53
Data Collection Instruments .............................................................................. 54
Direct Measures ......................................................................................... 54
Indirect Measures ...................................................................................... 55
Data Collection and Timing ............................................................................... 56
Data Management and Maintenance ................................................................ 58
Student Learning Outcomes ............................................................................. 58
Student Engagement ....................................................................................... 60
Supportive Academic Environment ................................................................... 61
Academic Success ........................................................................................... 62
Control Variables .............................................................................................. 63
Analysis Plan .................................................................................................... 64
Assessing the Effect of The LSUA Experience.................................................. 65
Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 67
References ........................................................................................................... 68
Appendices .......................................................................................................... 72
Appendix A
QEP Frequently Asked Questions ............................................. 72
Appendix B
QEP Survey Questions ............................................................. 73
Appendix C
Faculty Workshop Evaluation Survey........................................ 74
Appendix D
Instructor Application Form ....................................................... 76
Appendix E
Teaching Cohort Contract ......................................................... 78
Appendix F
Master Course Outline LSUA 1001 .......................................... 80
Appendix G
Peer Mentor Application Form .................................................. 82
Appendix H
Peer Mentor Reference Form ................................................... 84
Appendix I
LSUA 1001 Faculty Data Log ................................................... 85
Appendix J
Personal Growth Initiative Scale .............................................. 86
Appendix K
QEP Assessment Data Dictionary............................................. 87
Appendix L
Binders with Supporting Materials ............................................ 93
List of Tables ....................................................................................................... 94
List of Figures ...................................................................................................... 96
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 1
The LSUA Experience
I.
Executive Summary
Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LSUA) will implement a first-year experience
program, titled The LSUA Experience, to improve student learning among first-time freshmen.
The decision to focus on a first-year experience program as the quality enhancement effort was
based on analyses of institutional effectiveness data and input from a broad-based group of
constituents. The goals of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) are to
1. Prepare students for academic success;
2. Engage students with the LSUA community; and
3. Create a supportive undergraduate academic experience.
In addition, the university considers that achieving those goals will lead to increased academic
persistence and success among students.
The LSUA Experience is centered on a first-year seminar course, LSUA 1001 Seminar for
Academic Success. The course will be taught by specially-trained instructors with additional
support provided by Peer Mentors.
A pilot version of the program, limited to five sections of LSUA 1001, was initiated in 2014;
approximately 100 students are already enrolled for fall. Faculty training is ongoing, and a
significant cadre is ready for deployment. By the program’s fifth year, the university plans to
make the program available to all first-year students based on best practices developed in the
pilot.
A correlational (non-experimental) research design is proposed to assess the impact of the
program on student learning. The student information system will form the basis of the research
database, but it will be augmented with data from other measures. Monitoring will be conducted
by a QEP Assessment Committee through periodic meetings and annual reports.
The purpose of the assessment will be to determine the impact of enrollment in and
completion of LSUA 1001 on student learning outcomes. The impact on learning outcomes will
be measured in terms of performance criteria and improvement. Multivariate statistical models
will be used to partition the effect of LSUA 1001 on student engagement and success from other
factors.
LSUA is committed to establishing a fully-funded first-year experience program. Its
commitment to student success is strongly embedded in the past and has become the vision for
its future.
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The LSUA Experience
II.
Introduction to LSU at Alexandria
Introduction
Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LSUA) is a publicly supported institution that is a
unit of the Louisiana State University System and operates under the auspices of the Louisiana
Board of Regents. LSUA registered its first students in September 1960. The sophomore
curriculum was added in 1961, and the first degree program, an Associate in Nursing, was added in
1964. In 1974, LSUA was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. In December 2002, SACSCOC
approved a level change request for LSUA, thereby accrediting the University to award both
associate and baccalaureate degrees. Selective admissions began Fall 2007. LSUA’s Southern
Regional Education Board (SREB) classification is 4 Year Level 6. LSUA is primarily a teaching
institution whose mission is the successful education of undergraduate students and service to the
employers and communities within its region. Located approximately six miles south of the city of
Alexandria in Rapides Parish in Central Louisiana, the campus resides on land that was originally
part of Oakland Plantation. Ninety-two percent of LSUA students reside in thirteen Central
Louisiana parishes with the majority in Rapides (52%) and neighboring Avoyelles Parishes (18%).
LSUA had a Fall 2013 enrollment of 2,233 students. One hundred eighty-nine were Early Start
(high school dual enrollment) students and 18 were post baccalaureate students. The average age
of the student population is 25; 65.0% are under the age of twenty-five; 70% are female. The
average ACT Score for Fall 2013, first-time, full-time students is 20.5. The ethnic makeup of the
student body includes 24.1% minority. As of October 1, 2013, over 72.5% of the students receive
some form of financial aid (PELL Grants, TOPS, Foundation Scholarships, Exemptions, etc.). In
Fall 2013 there were 955 students (42.7%) receiving PELL grants. An estimate of first generation
college students based on FAFSA data indicated there were 785 students (35%) for the 2013-2014
academic year who reported being first generation college students. Currently LSUA offers three
Bachelor of Arts degrees, nine Bachelor of Science degrees, a Bachelor of General Studies with ten
different concentration areas, six Associate degrees, and four certificate programs.
Mission, Goals, and Institutional Characteristics
The mission of LSUA is to provide a broad spectrum of affordable undergraduate degrees in
a robust academic environment that challenges students to excel and creates proactive and
reciprocal relationships that meet the needs of the diverse student body and community which it
serves. LSUA envisions itself as a University of choice, recognized for academic excellence,
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 3
The LSUA Experience
committed to student and community growth through teaching, research, and service, and
esteemed as a contributor to the economic, cultural, and intellectual growth of Louisiana. LSUA’s
Philosophy Statement (http://www.lsua.edu/about/strategic-plan) clearly recognizes two important
areas targeted to student learning, Student Success and the Undergraduate Academic Experience
which both played an important part in the development of the LSUA QEP. Under the Student
Success focus, three areas of critical importance include the following:

Improved rates of progression toward degree completion,

Proactive advising, and

Improved academic success rates in general education core courses.
As part of the Undergraduate Academic Experience, the institution is committed to focusing on the
following, (among other things),

Current and rigorous academic curricula,

Relevant general education core,

Undergraduate student success, faculty research and scholarship which informs teaching,
and

Regular assessment.
The overall goals and objectives of the University relate to student academic success and include
the following areas:

Increase fall enrollment,

Increase the percentage of first-time in college, full-time, degree-seeking students retained
to the second fall,

Increase the percentage of first-time in college, full-time, degree-seeking students retained
to the third fall,

Increase the graduation rate, and

Increase the total number of baccalaureate degree completers.
Each of these areas provides the backdrop for the need to develop a QEP which will promote
student learning and success as its primary focus. In order to meet these goals and objectives,
students must make academic progress toward and complete their degrees. Retention at each
level is critical to both student success and University success. The QEP is designed to give
students the support and skill set necessary for achieving academic goals, which in turn will lead to
the accomplishment of the University’s goals.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 4
The LSUA Experience
III.
Broad-based Institutional Process Identifying Key Issues (CR 2.12)
CR 2.12 Institutional Process for Addressing Key Institutional Issues:
Includes a broad-based institutional process identifying key issues
emerging from institutional assessment
Constituency Involvement
Leadership for the QEP process began with the establishment of the SACSCOC Steering
Committee in Fall 2012 by the Interim Chancellor, Dr. Paul Coreil. This committee was focused on
the overall preparation of the SACSCOC Reaffirmation process. Two faculty members, Dr. Mary
Treuting and Dr. Catherine Cormier were appointed to serve as QEP Co-Chairs in December 2012.
Dr. Treuting and Dr. Cormier represented the two colleges on campus: College of Arts and
Sciences and College of Professional Studies, respectively. Other members of the Steering
Committee represented a broad cross-section of leadership across the campus and included the
following members:
 Dr. Barbara Hatfield, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs,
 Dr. David Wesse, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Services,
 Dr. Eamon Halpin, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs,
 Melinda Anderson, Director of Institutional Advancement,
 Deron Thaxton, Executive Director of Information and Educational Technology (IET),
 Stephanie Cage, Registrar,
 Bonnie Hines, Director of Library, and
 Reed Blalock, Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.
A clearer understanding of the importance of including campus-wide constituents throughout
the QEP process was gained after five members of the Steering Committee attended the
SACSCOC Orientation Session for Institutions in the Class of 2015 Track A in January 2013. After
returning from this conference the first initiative was to capitalize on an event already in the
planning stages, a welcome luncheon for the University’s newly appointed Interim Chancellor
scheduled for March 8, 2013.
The QEP Kick-off received equal billing at the welcome luncheon and served as a perfect
venue for launching the QEP, informing constituents about the QEP process, and inviting members
of the LSUA community to participate in QEP development. In collaboration with Information and
Educational Technology services (IET) a Frequently Asked Questions handout was created and
distributed to faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community members in attendance (see
Appendix A). Attendees were also provided information about and encouraged to participate in the
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 5
The LSUA Experience
QEP Survey scheduled to be distributed electronically the following month. Following the survey, a
series of focus groups and a campus Think-Tank helped to shape and identify the topic for LSUA’s
QEP. Figure 1 provides a visual representation of the process of initial QEP development.
SACSCOC
Steering
Committee
formed
December
2012
QEP
Co-Chairs
appointed
December
2012
QEP
Kick-off
March
2013
Institutional
Data Analysis
March-August
2013
QEP
Survey
April
2013
QEP Focus
Groups
May-August
2013
QEP
Think-Tank
August
2013
QEP
Team
Formation
AugustSept 2013
Figure 1. Process for QEP Development.
Topic Selection
LSUA undertook the above outlined process for determining the best topic for a QEP that
would positively impact the success of LSUA students. Data indicated that many LSUA students
were not progressing toward their degrees in a timely or successful fashion. Course-work needed
to be repeated by students, due to failure or withdrawal. This resulted in delays in the progression
toward degree and financial consequences. Viewed in conjunction with qualitative data from the
QEP Survey, students identified a lack of connection to the campus and a feeling of lack of
academic support. Faculty, on the other hand, identified a lack of student preparedness for the
academic rigor required in college course work. A hypothesis for the decrease in retention rates
emerged from the analysis of these data. Students did not feel supported or connected to LSUA
and faculty did not view them as prepared for successful academic progress.
Analysis of Institutional Data. Analysis of trended aggregate data indicated that the
average incoming LSUA student has a high school GPA of 3.15 and an ACT composite score of
20.49 (2013 cohort). Table 1 presents a profile of incoming students.
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The LSUA Experience
Table 1. Incoming Student Profile Data
ACT
FA10
FA11
COMPOSITE
20.57
20.45
ENGLISH
21.19
20.97
MATH
19.60
19.46
READING
21.22
21.31
SCIENCE
21.05
20.75
High School GPA
3.110
3.171
FA12
20.46
20.86
19.53
21.21
20.94
3.149
FA13
20.49
21.15
19.68
21.29
20.91
3.15
Grade reports were reviewed during the analysis of institutional data related to academic
success. It is significant to note that rates of earning a D or an F or withdrawing from a course
(DWF rates) ranged between 21.82% and 23.87%. Table 2 provides student non-success data.
Table 2. LSUA Student Non-Success Rates
Non Success Rates % DWF
%D
%F
AY* 2010-11
23.87%
6.73%
6.54%
AY* 2011-12
23.15%
6.77%
7.57%
AY* 2012-13
21.82%
5.99%
7.39%
*Academic Year
%W
10.6%
8.81%
8.44%
Further analysis of high DWF courses identified several courses, taken by first-year
students, as potential barriers to academic success. Based on this data, it appears that students
come into the academic programs with adequate preparation, or at least a history of academic
success in high school, but have difficulty successfully completing coursework at the college level.
This lack of success can be seen in the GPAs, credits attempted, and credits earned in the first
year of college at LSUA. These data are presented in Table 3.
Table 3. LSUA First-Year Student Data
Fall Term
Spring Term
Cohort
GPA
FALL
2010
FALL
2011
FALL
2012
FALL
2013
2.310
5504
4498
%
Credits
Earned
81.72
2.265
5221
4153
2.187
5441
2.180
4956
Credits Credits
Attempt Earned
GPA
Credits
Attempt
%
Credits
Credits
Earned
Earned
6768
81.4
2.335
8313
79.54
2.499
6970
5842
83.81
4242
77.96
2.399
7422
6128
82.57
3963
79.96
2.380
9034
7449
82.46
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 7
The LSUA Experience
It is also significant to note that during the academic year 2012-2013 statewide freshmen
student retention rates ranged between 48.8% and 82.8% (Louisiana Board of Regents, 2013) with
LSUA at the bottom of the list. Although poor academic performance is not the sole reason that
students leave LSUA after their first year, it undoubtedly influences the decision not to return. Over
the past three years, LSUA has seen a decrease in the number of students returning for a second
year of college. This retention data can be seen below in Table 4.
Table 4. LSUA Retention Data
Cohort
Fall 09
Fall 10
Fall 11
Fall 12
1st to 2nd Year Retention
Full-Time
Part-Time
59.1%
47.6%
56.0%
35.5%
48.8%
41.7%
49.5%
36.6%
1st to 3rd Year Retention
Full-Time
Part-Time
40.7%
30.2%
37.5%
16.1%
38.2%
33.3%
n/a
n/a
Several additional factors may contribute to the poor retention rate; unrealistic expectations
of what it takes to be a successful college student, lack of identification with the University, poor skill
set necessary for academic success, or difficulties knowing what to do when faced with barriers that
interfere with academic success. Data to support the lack of identification with the University can
be found in records provided by the campus call center. The campus call center initiated calls to
assist with contacting non-returning students in July 2014 and found that of the 200 students
contacted who were enrolled in the Spring 2014 and not registered for the Fall 2014, 74 gave a
reason for not returning. Reasons for not returning varied but the two most frequent reasons
included transferring to another institution (42%) and the need to work (20%). Only five indicated
that transferring to another institution was because a program of study was not offered at LSUA.
QEP Survey. The QEP Survey focused on open-ended questions related to student
learning at LSUA. Respondents were asked for their opinions on what LSUA should do to improve
student learning, perceptions regarding strengths and weaknesses of LSUA, and suggestions of
what should be changed to improve student learning.
As scheduled, the QEP Survey was distributed electronically to administrators, faculty, staff,
students, and community members in April 2013. Members of the campus community were
contacted by email and invited to participate in the QEP Survey. The email provided a direct link to
the electronic survey, created using Survey Monkey (see Appendix B for survey questions). The
survey could also be accessed through the LSUA QEP website. IET services played a key role in
assisting the QEP Co-Chairs with creation of the survey as well as development of the QEP
website. Participation in the survey was voluntary and responses were anonymous. The survey was
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 8
The LSUA Experience
available to participants for a period of three weeks; two follow-up emails were sent to encourage
participation. Signs were posted across campus with the theme “Let Your Voice Be Heard” to
encourage participation. Data were aggregated into six categories: administration, alumni, faculty,
students, staff, and community. Responses were posted on the QEP website for constituents to
view. A total of 478 responses were generated by the survey. Results of the QEP survey indicated
a number of emerging themes, not all of which were appropriate for the content of a QEP, but which
did provide valuable feedback to the institution (e.g., issues with Financial Aid and scheduling).
According to Spring 2013 data, LSUA has 210 full-time employees. Eighty-six are instructional
(faculty) and 124 are non-instructional. Administrators are included as non-instructional as they are
classified by primary duty. The number of participants and response rates are presented in Table
5. Due to the fact that the QEP Survey was posted through the LSUA webpage, response rates for
community members and alumni could not be calculated. Responses were posted on the QEP
website and a copy of all responses by constituent group can be found in binder 1.
Table 5. QEP Survey Responses by Group
Constituent group
# Participants
% of group
Students
281
13%
Faculty
72
85%
Staff
73
59%
Administrators
16
73%
Community
Members
26
-
Alumni
10
-
Totals
478
*note % based on HR numbers for Spring 2013
QEP Focus Groups. Focus groups with students, faculty, staff, department chairs and
administration provided additional data to assist with identification of the QEP topic. Results
indicated a wide variety of areas, some not clearly related to learning outcomes, but still valuable
information for the University to address. In June 2013, Dr. Treuting and Dr. Cormier emailed
department chairs, faculty, staff, and students inviting them to participate in focus groups scheduled
June - August 2013. Participation was voluntary. Dr. Treuting and Dr. Cormier conducted the focus
groups, serving as either a facilitator or note taker. At the beginning of each focus group,
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 9
The LSUA Experience
participants were asked to sign-in, but assured that all responses would be anonymous. Notes from
each focus group were recorded and transcribed in the form of minutes.
Student focus groups were scheduled before and after courses populated by specific
student groups. Groups were chosen using purposeful sampling of students attending summer
courses. These groups included: student ambassadors (students who interact with large numbers
of incoming students), nursing students (one of the largest programs on campus, having difficulty
with retention due to academic success), biology (one of the high DWF groups), and students
enrolled in general education courses. Focus group times were announced by faculty teaching the
courses and students were encouraged to attend. The focus groups were held in the same building
as class sections for the convenience of students in the hope of increasing attendance. Pizza was
provided during student focus groups to further encourage participation. A description of the focus
groups with type of respondent, number of focus groups conducted and total number of participants
are presented in Table 6. Faculty and staff focus group participants were asked to review QEP
Survey data before attending a focus group. Constituent involvement is presented in Table 6 and
demonstrates involvement across campus. Attendee lists and minutes are included in binder 2.
Table 6. Constituent Involvement in Focus Groups
Type of Focus Groups
Dates
#Attendees
Administrators
6-11-13
7
Department Chairs
5-29-13
9
Faculty
6-17-13
2
6-17-13
3
6-18-13
2
6-19-13
4
6-19-13
1
8-20-13
8
8-20-13
13
Staff
6-12-13
7
6-18-13
4
6-25-13
17
6-20-13
1
7-11-13
6
Students
6-18-13
0
6-19-13
5
6-20-13
6
6-27-13
11
7-31-13
11
19
117
Total Focus Groups
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 10
The LSUA Experience
Focus groups were held during the summer months, similar themes emerged and data
saturation was reached. Qualitative data from both the QEP survey and focus groups were read
and re-read to identify emerging themes. The QEP Survey included very broad open-ended
questions in an attempt to explore student success issues on campus. The focus groups provided
an opportunity for a more in-depth exploration of themes and to verify and clarify information
obtained from the survey. Table 7 presents themes that emerged from both the QEP survey and
focus groups. It is interesting to note the similarities across these two sources of data.
Table 7. QEP Survey and Focus Group Emerging Themes
QEP Survey
Focus Groups

Freshmen Experience

First-year academic support

Student Participation

Need for academic & social support

Active Learning

Lack of awareness of campus resources

Critical Thinking

Lack of understanding regarding what it takes to be

Reading Comprehension

Writing Skills
a successful college student

Hesitant to ask questions

Initially overconfident regarding academic skills

Not making a connection with LSUA

More success when actively engaged in learning
QEP Think-Tank. Following the QEP survey and focus groups, the QEP Think-Tank was
conducted on August 16, 2013. The QEP Think-Tank was a four hour workshop designed to inform
and involve members of the LSUA campus in selection of the QEP topic. A total of 73 faculty,
library staff, and student support staff participated in this endeavor. The sign-in sheet, PowerPoint
and notes from the Think-Tank can be found in binder 3.
Five goals were identified for the workshop:
•
Analyze data to identify institutional needs,
•
Determine topic for the QEP,
•
Generate ideas for implementation of the QEP,
•
Initiate discussion regarding assessment of the QEP, and

Establish QEP Advisory Teams
Attendance at the Think-Tank demonstrated a strong interest in the QEP with 77% (n=65)
faculty, 67% (n=6) department chairs, 50% (n=3) library staff, and 33% (n=2) from Student Support
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 11
The LSUA Experience
in attendance. Participants were intentionally grouped into 12 teams representing a cross section of
academic, library, and student support departments. Each team designated a team leader and
recorder. Dr. Treuting and Dr. Cormier served as facilitators. The forum commenced with an
overview of key components of the QEP established by SACSCOC. The University’s Mission and
Strategic Plan were also presented to ensure that it remained a focal point from which to move
forward with an action plan for the QEP. Following the presentation of institutional data, QEP
Survey data, and focus group themes, three questions were poised to the groups for discussion:
1. What should be the topic for the QEP?
2. How can we put the QEP into action?
3. How will we measure the success of the QEP?
Following individual group discussion, questions were addressed one by one with time
allotted for each table group to report back to the entire group. After much discussion a final list of
suggested topics was developed with six of the twelve teams identifying a “Freshman Experience”
for the QEP topic. Interestingly, the remaining six teams identified topics that correlated closely with
a “Freshman Experience”: peer counseling, study skills, class retention, active learning, access to
support, and how to learn. The overall consensus of the group was to move forward with a QEP
action plan that focused on a ‘Freshmen Experience”. Although there remained some ambiguity to
what this would look like at LSUA, the concept generated enthusiasm. It would be the responsibility
of the QEP Advisory Teams to more clearly define the concept of a “Freshmen Experience” and
determine how to implement the program. At the conclusion of the QEP Think-Tank participants
were asked to voluntarily serve on one of the following four QEP Advisory Teams: Literature
Review, Program Development, Assessment, and Marketing. It was exciting to note that 52% of
participants (n=37) signed up to participate on at least one team, several individuals signed for
more than one team, others signed up as alternates. Without a doubt there was a sense of
excitement in the room at the conclusion of the QEP Think-Tank with much optimism regarding
LSUA's future with this course of action.
The loosely defined QEP topic “Freshman Experience” was the end result of the QEP ThinkTank. The clear focus was on preparing incoming students to succeed in their college courses and
providing a connection to the University. There was some hesitation to use the term “freshman” as
it indicated support only during the first year and the focus was on keeping students successful
throughout their college experience. The challenge was to determine what a “Freshman
Experience” would look like at LSUA.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 12
The LSUA Experience
The Literature Review Team was the first team activated and charged with reviewing best
practices for first-year experiences to provide a foundation from which the Program Development
Team could cultivate an action plan. It is important to note that committee membership was
voluntary, and evolved with the QEP process and was not limited to QEP Think-Tank participants.
This was especially true for the Marketing Team which grew to include staff from IET Services,
Student Support, Admissions, and a core group of student communication majors. A QEP Oversight
Committee was also established and tasked in an advisory capacity for overall consideration as the
QEP action plan evolved. Broad-based support for this topic emphasized the importance to the
institution. Willingness to serve on committees and enthusiasm from student groups such as the
Student Government Association and the Student Ambassadors supported the project from the
start. The core tasks and activation dates of each group with a role in the process of developing the
QEP are illustrated in Table 8. Minutes of meetings are included in binder 4.
Table 8. Core Tasks and Activation Dates of QEP Teams/Committees
Dates
Activated
9/16/2013
9/23/2013
Team
Core Tasks
Literature Review
Team


Program
Development
Team






11/19/2013
Assessment
Team




11/22/2013
10/18/2013
4/23/2014
Marketing Team
QEP Oversight
Committee
Staff Resource
Group



Review best practices related to first-year experiences.
Summarize information and make recommendations to
the Program Development Team by October 1, 2013.
Review recommendations from Literature Review Team.
Align program goals with LSUA Mission.
Identify high impact pedagogies for academic success
program.
Identify queries for Assessment Team.
Develop rough draft for academic success program by
November 1, 2013 (should include major components
and what program will look like at LSUA).
Review QEP’s related to first-year experience from other
Institutions.
Develop indirect and direct assessment measures for the
Academic Success Program.
Review student learning outcomes developed by the
Program Planning Committee for LSUA 1001.
Consider outcomes for faculty development and peer
mentoring.
Explore the use of national instruments with established
reliability and validity.
Develop and implement QEP marketing strategies.
Provide input on QEP action plan during development
phases.
Create a campus resource list for students and faculty.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 13
The LSUA Experience
Literature Review
The Literature Review Team included membership from four different academic
departments including a librarian, who chaired this team. A systematic investigation of other
colleges utilizing successful first-year experiences led to a number of well-received QEP’s on the
topic of first-year success. In particular, South Florida Community College, identified as a model
QEP at the 2013 SACSCOC Summer Institute, served as a model for the LSUA QEP development.
While none of the investigated campus plans were identical to the program envisioned by the LSUA
campus, the review of other first-year experience QEPs identified important aspects for
consideration. The National Resource Center and The John N Gardner Institute for Excellence in
Undergraduate Education served as a scholarly base for resources and best practices in the
development of the LSUA QEP. The topics of

fostering academic success,

engaging students with the campus, and

creating a supportive environment for students
guided the scope of the literature review. Furthermore, a review of Best Practices indicated three
important elements for a successful first–year experience:

first-year seminars,

peer mentors, and

faculty development.
These areas are also covered in this Literature Review.
Fostering Academic Success. Gardner, Upcraft, and Barefoot (2005) provided a review of
strategies and initiatives designed to foster academic success. They narrowed the measure of
success to the two following aspects: “(1) successful completion of courses taken in the first-year
and (2) continuing enrollment into the second year.” (p. 8). However, they make the case that
academic success impacts many other areas of measurement including the following:

developing academic competencies (skills of a successful college student),

building good interpersonal relationships,

developing an individual sense of identity,

setting career goals,

making healthy decisions,

dealing with stress,

solidifying beliefs and values, and

increasing multicultural awareness and civic responsibility.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 14
The LSUA Experience
According to Cuseo (2012) the most frequently cited indicators of student success in higher
education concern the following measures:

student retention (persistence rates),

degree attainment,

academic achievement,

advancement (educational and/or career), and

holistic development.
Kuh (2005) supports the notion that initially students need constant support to guide them in
behaviors necessary for their academic success. This indicates the need for support extending past
the typical beginning week of orientation. According to Kuh, students begin college with unrealistic
expectations in terms of the amount of reading, writing and studying necessary for their academic
success. There is often a disconnect between faculty and student expectations necessary for outof-class efforts. Kuh reviewed data concerning student expectations and follow-up behaviors and
stressed that it is incumbent upon the institution to articulate clearly expectations and hold students
accountable. Areas of disengagement were reported in number of hours expected for study. Kuh
reported in his review of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data, that by the end
of the first-year, more than a fifth of students reported that they “frequently come to class
unprepared and two fifths spend ten or fewer hours per week studying. Nine percent of full-time
first-year students get by with no more than five hours of weekly study time.” (p. 92).
Engagement. George Kuh (2005) promotes the idea that engagement is a key factor in
student success. Kuh outlines ways (such as use of campus rituals and traditions and fall
convocations) for institutions to create a success-oriented campus culture. He does caution that
there needs to be clear academic expectations from the start, so that connection to the campus is
not relegated to extra-curricular activities. Many faculty have anecdotal stories of students who
came to college and enjoyed the extra-curricular activities but forgot about the requirements for
academic success and were ineligible to return, a losing situation for both students and campuses.
According to Kuh, (2005) engagement is made-up of two overall components, one which the
student controls, such as time and effort devoted to activities, and the other which the institution
controls, such as resources, curricula, learning opportunities, and support services. The question
here is how well the campus induces students to be engaged in these activities. Kuh challenges
campuses to evaluate available student support services and the usage of these services by
students during their first-year. Kuh explicitly directs campuses to link support services in
meaningful ways to courses, and to encourage utilization by setting up clear expectations or
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 15
The LSUA Experience
requirements for using these resources. Student awareness of available support services which are
designed to assist them is a key for success.
Inherent in the student connection to the university is the motivational or drive factor.
Without a feeling of belonging, students may be less likely to persist even if they are academically
successful. Metz, Cuseo, and Thompson, (2013) describe the impact of relationships on personal
development in what they refer to a “social capital for personal growth” (p. 3). They make the case
that new students have a need to belong and to connect, in order to make a successful transition to
college. These authors promote the idea of peer leadership as one way of encouraging the
occurrence of this social phenomenon. In his summary of recommendations for building
engagement on a college campus, Kuh (2005) highlights a number of considerations including:

having students live on campus,

requiring a balance of orientation activities between social and academic,

tying together in-class and out-of-class activities,

requiring a first-year seminar,

promoting academic faculty advising, and

providing opportunities for diversity in multiple areas of programming.
Best Practices. A broad research base exists for the support of student-centered
campuses. The conceptual shift from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered focus took root late
in the 20th century (Barr & Tagg, 1995). Prior to Barr and Tagg’s call for a paradigm shift in 1995,
Chickering and Gamson (1987) published their conceptualization concerning good practice in
undergraduate education. Their article called for the establishment of the following seven practices:

contact between students and faculty,

reciprocity and collaboration between students,

promotion of active learning within and outside the classroom,

maintaining timely feedback loops,

emphasizing time on task,

communicating high expectations, and

respecting diverse talents and learning styles.
These approaches have stood the test of time and have been supported by the review of
evidence-based practices in the large scale volume by Pascarella and Terenzini, (2005), in which
institutions have been challenged to focus on student success and ways of engaging students.
These findings are outlined in How College Affects Students, an in-depth review of research on
college success. Campuses have also been encouraged to consider continuous, ongoing
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 16
The LSUA Experience
improvements in evidence-based practices (Kuh, 2005; Barefoot, 2005; Greenfield, Keup, &
Gardner, 2013; Friedman, 2012; Schrader & Brown, 2008).
Pascarella and Terenzini (2005), in their exhaustive review of three decades of
research on college success identified two aspects critical for the successful completion of
college: individual effort and engagement. This review recognized that there are a
complexity of connections inherent in student engagement and within collaboration
between peers and faculty both “in and out of class” (p. 603). Student learning showed a
positive link with teaching behavior, particularly in terms of clarity and course
structure/organization, which, as they point out, are both learnable skills. Early academic
success has been shown to predict subsequent academic success and degree completion
(i.e., good grades in the first-year). Early academic achievement reduced chances of
stopping-out and increased probability of timely degree completion. First-year seminars
reported a consistent positive correlation between persistence and academic performance
(pp. 402-403). These researchers did recognize the wide variability in structure and
content of first-year seminars, but noted a common goal of promoting academic
performance, persistence, and degree completion. First-year seminar programs have
shown consistent evidence of significant advantages for students, including benefits across
multiple categories of students (gender, ethnicity, age, majors, commuter versus
residential, and traditional versus at-risk) (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).
A first-year experience is not a new idea. As evidenced by the plethora of supportive
research and the perennial offerings of conferences and literature concerning the impact of a firstyear experience, its efficacy has been demonstrated. The cornerstone of many campus-wide
programs appears to be a first-year seminar. The 2012-2013 National Survey of First-year
Seminars indicated that out of 896 reporting institutions surveyed, 89.7% offered some type of firstyear seminar (Young, 2013). Tobolowsky, Cox, & Wagner (2005) explored research from multiple
campuses in their monograph, highlighting 39 different campuses and their first-year seminar
programs. Hunter and Linder (2005) recognized the vast array of seminar programs, outlining the
various types of programs into five categories:

extended orientation seminars,

academic seminars with uniform content,

academic seminars with various topics,

professional or discipline-linked seminars, and

basic study skills seminars.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 17
The LSUA Experience
This typology was originally developed by Barefoot and the National Resource Center
(2002). These reviews support the conclusion of a positive impact from first-year programs.
Gardner, Upcraft, and Barefoot (2005) provide a framework for good practice for the first-year of
college which includes an institutional commitment to the success of the first-year initiative from
each of the campus stakeholders (board, administration, faculty, and staff). These researchers
recommended that campuses do the following:

focus on student learning both within and outside the classroom;

ensure working partnerships between student affairs and academic affairs;

have a balance of challenge and support for student learning;

hold students accountable to high standards;

be inclusive and supportive of all students;

integrate assessment to improve, support and communicate effectiveness of the firstyear program;

treat all with dignity and respect;

teach the strategies and skills needed for educational success;

involve faculty in the first-year initiative; and

empower first-year students to become self-responsible for achieving their own
educational goals (Gardner, Upcraft, & Barefoot, 2005).
The First-Year Seminar. In a synthesis of the research on the success of first-year
seminars, Cuseo touts the empirical evidence of a positive link to both persistence and degree
completion (2009b). Others have concurred that the overwhelming results of the body of research
studies have supported the positive outcomes from first-year seminars (e.g. retention/persistence
rates, GPAs, credit hours attempted, graduation rates, student involvement rates, satisfaction rates
and attitudes and perceptions) (Hunter & Linder, 2005; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Greenfield,
Keup, & Gardner, 2013). Further evidence is addressed in Cuseo’s (2011b) critical look at the
positive impact resulting from first-year seminars. He posits that unlike discipline-based courses,
first-year seminars have had to “justify their value and impact on student success” (p. 11).
Swing
(2002) noted institutions offering one to two credit hours was the most common format. However, a
three credit hour course achieved the most highly effective ratings by students. Swing further
suggests that if course goals include academic skills then a three credit hour course may be more
likely to produce those desired learning outcomes. Swing indicated that there were larger reported
gains in learning outcomes with a higher number of designated hours (2002). Cuseo (2011a)
offered the following additional considerations: with increased credit hours more content and skill
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 18
The LSUA Experience
development is possible, the student is more likely to develop significant social relationships, and it
is more likely that both students and faculty will take the course seriously and invest more effort,
thereby increasing the course’s impact. As the credit hours increase so does the academic
credibility of the course.
In their review of first-year seminars, Hunter and Linder (2005) defined the core aspects of
successful first-year seminars. They identified the following aspects as keys to successful
implementation:

offered for academic credit,

centered in the first-year curriculum,

involved both faculty and student affairs professionals in design and instruction,

included instructor training and development,

compensated/rewarded instructors for teaching,

involved upper level students, and

included concrete, reportable assessment (p. 277).
Swing (2002) provided evidence to support college transition themed or special academic
themed seminars as more effective than discipline specific seminars. Swing reported high
correlations between learning and teaching approaches. In Swing’s research, he found an
advantage of using “engaging pedagogies” if the purpose of the seminar was to improve learning
outcomes. These engaging pedagogies included a variety of teaching methods, challenging
assignments, meaningful homework, and productive classroom activities. Other proponents of high
impact pedagogies promote the idea of creating more than a stand-alone course, but instead
creating a campus community (Cuseo, 2010a). This is more effectively accomplished in a college
themed course rather than a discipline specific one.
Peer Mentors. The positive impact and influence of peers on the educational experience is
well documented. The power of peer leadership has been touted by a large research contingent
(Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Greenfield, Keup & Gardner, 2013; Cuseo, 2010b; Metz, Cuseo, &
Thompson, 2013). Benefits have been shown for both mentees and the mentors. Gains for peer
leaders have been reported in self-concept measures, learning outcomes, and graduate school
admission test scores (Metz, Cuseo, & Thompson, 2013). These researchers point out that it is a
“win-win-win situation” (p. 8). The peer leaders benefit, the incoming students benefit, and the
university benefits. Positive change is affected in all three areas.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 19
The LSUA Experience
Greenfield, Keup, and Gardner (2013) summarized the following as fundamental for
effective peer leader programs:

intentional recruitment and selection;

training and ongoing support;

clarity of roles and responsibilities;

challenging duties;

reflection and self-evaluation; and supervision, and

support and feedback.
Astin (1993) goes as far as to say that peers are the “single most potent source of influence
on growth and development during the undergraduate years” (p. 398). Research cited by Latino
and Ashcraft (2012) in their volume on Using Peers in the Classroom, outlines a rich history of the
positive impact from students teaching other students. In addition, they make the case that peer
education programs are a major contributor to the successfulness of first-year seminars as well as
the personal growth of the peer educator. Metz, Cuseo, and Thompson (2013) promote the idea
that action-oriented strategies based on leadership principles form a solid foundation for developing
effective leaders. They indicate the benefits of peer leadership involvement include “promoting
retention, learning and academic performance, social and emotional development and career
success” (pp. 6-7). Leadership skills are important for career development and few discipline
specific courses emphasize these types of skills. Working with instructors and faculty members in
areas of syllabus design and learning activity development gives the peer leaders a unique
perspective for understanding their own educational experiences (Latino & Ashcraft, 2012).
Latino and Ashcraft (2012) also noted a range of compensation approaches for peer
leaders, with about 30% receiving course credit. Other types of compensation included financial
remuneration (68.8%), gifts, tokens, and awards, with approximately 50% reporting receiving no
compensation. The format of offering a leadership course for peer mentors is supported by the
National Resource Center for First-year Experience and Students in Transition in the volume on
designing and implementing first-year seminars (Latino & Ashcraft, 2012).
Faculty Development. The National Resource Center for the First-year Experience and
Students in Transition devotes an entire volume to instructor training and development (Groccia &
Hunter, 2012). These authors estimate no more than half of instructors have had formal training in
teaching approaches. However, they make the case that excellence in teaching has been
demonstrated as important to student learning, persistence, and success.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 20
The LSUA Experience
Cuseo, (2009c) builds a case for offering faculty development under the sponsorship of firstyear seminars, indicating it can be a vehicle for stimulating campus-wide improvements in college
teaching. He cites empirical support that faculty development linked to first-year training “enhances
and elevates campus-wide awareness of and interest in improving the quality of undergraduate
teaching” (p. 5). Gardner, Upcraft, and Barefoot (2005) recommend placing the faculty at the center
of an initiative promoting first-year student success and including all types of faculty, full-time and
part-time, in the training process. Studies on the impact on faculty identified the following four
benefits associated with faculty involvement with the first-year seminar:

improved teaching and the development of new pedagogical styles and techniques
that can be applied to discipline-based courses,

better understanding of students,

increased knowledge about the institution and its resources, and

increased vitality and collegiality (Friedman, 2005, p.14).
Groccia and Hunter (2012) reviewed the research on connections between teaching and
student success. The student success impact appears to be strongest for persistence between the
first and second year; with teaching behaviors that are engaging and active, clear, organized and
move beyond lecture as being the most beneficial. These data indicate that teachers early in a
student’s college experience may have considerable influence on student persistence to
graduation. These authors make the case that first-year seminar teachers are particularly important
at this time in a college student’s development. Given this connection between good teaching and
student success, faculty development is clearly an important aspect of a good first-year program.
In a review of best practices of common training paradigms Padgett and Keup (2011),
described a half-day or less as the most commonly reported time frame for first-year seminar faculty
training. Padgett and Keup (2011) report only 11.5% of programs offer two-day training events and
only 5.1% offer three-day events. An extended period of time is in line with the recommendations
for success supported by Groccia and Hunter, (2012). These researchers further promote the
following four components as ideal for the preparation of first-year seminar instructors, the training
should be:

learner-centered,

knowledge-centered,

assessment–centered, and

community-centered.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 21
The LSUA Experience
Groccia and Hunter (2012) promoted the idea of first-year seminar faculty training as a
method to improve teaching in all undergraduate courses. This idea is also supported by the work
of Joe Cuseo, presented in his series of articles in 2009.
Creating a Supportive Experience. Efforts in first-year programs for collaboration
between academic departments and students affairs professionals result in a holistic campus
community. On campuses with higher than averages graduation rates, a distinctive feature of
collaboration has been recognized (Cuseo, 2011a). In his review of data, Cuseo noted reasons for
students dropping out and concluded that only a small minority of students reported that being
academically unprepared would cause them to withdraw (19%), but rather issues related to caring
for dependents (29%), working full-time (38%) and lack of finances (45%), were more likely to
underlie their reasons for withdrawing. Hence, there are compelling reasons for connecting firstyear students to other campus community partners. Clearly there are advantages for students in
going above and beyond a short, single day orientation program. These advantages have been
shown in a number of areas including academic assistance, academic and career advising, and
financial aid (Cuseo, 2009a). Important student support services such as orientation, advising and
financial aid should be intentionally brought together in an organized way. This structure will assist
in the transition to college and increase the chances for student success. Integration of these
critical partners is also consistent with the call for a “constellation of support programs” making up a
true first-year experience advocated by Greenfield, Keup and Gardner (2013, p. xxvi). In his series
of articles for the National Resource Center, Cuseo (2009) advocates promoting partnerships with
other campus initiatives and/or support services.
Conclusion. In the conclusion of their book, Developing and Sustaining Successful First-Year
Programs: A Guide for Practitioners, Greenfield, Keup, and Gardner (2013) suggested the
following 15 principles and practices:

Align program goal with institutional missions, goals, and strategic priorities.

Identify specific outcomes for programs.

Be mindful of campus culture.

Gain support from relevant administrators.

Ensure an administrative home and dedicated leadership.

Carry out an internal institutional campus scan or audit, (both internal and external).

Connect with the broader academic world.

Use an approach and rationale that speaks to multiple constituencies, opening up potential
for collaborations, resource contributions and ideas to the programs.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 22
The LSUA Experience

Explore ways to partner with students.

Pilot and assess programs by focusing on a specific student cohort or outcomes.

Be mindful of the role and authority of standing committees especially faulty committees.

Think strategically about both fiscal and human assets.

Develop a communication plan that speaks to critical partners and provides a road map for
engaging them as the process develops.

Engage in robust formative and summative assessment that provides data to help frame,
develop, and modify the program.

Recognize and celebrate accomplishments as you move ahead (pp.271-275).
As Hunter (2006) articulated, “every student has a “first-year experience” regardless of what
a campus does (p.6). LSUA wants to ensure that the first year is intentional, purposeful, and
academically successful for students. The University wants to define success not merely in terms of
retention, although that is one measure that will be tracked, but more importantly in terms of
development of academic and intellectual competencies, interpersonal relationships, and selfidentities. These are among the competencies marking success espoused by Upcraft, Barefoot,
and Gardner (2005). The goal is to promote the conceptualization of a first-year experience that is
an intentional initiative, is student-centered, and utilizes a combination of academic and cocurricular efforts. It is more than simply a course for incoming freshmen. As promoted by
Greenfield, Keup and Gardner, (2013), it is a movement to re-conceptualize the first-year of college
that crosses over many roles, and practices. Similar to this conceptualization, LSUA sees the
implementation of the QEP as a holistic and inclusive experience. It is an initiative which ultimately
will integrate intentional practices and careful measurement and assessment to inform effectiveness
and transform the larger campus culture. The guiding principle is a focus on student success.
Literature Link to the LSUA QEP. The LSUA QEP is a campus-wide initiative, focusing on
the academic success of first-year students. As LSUA’s conceptualization of a first-year experience
evolved, a number of areas derived from the literature influenced the design of the program. A
holistic approach and a broad sense of success underlies LSUA’s conceptualization of a first-year
experience and fits well with the notion that the overall experience is more than simply a freshmen
orientation class. Best practices seem to suggest that a three-credit hour seminar course,
organized around supportive college transitions and academic success, and incorporating peers
and engaging pedagogies is the gold standard. These practices form the foundation for LSUA's
first-year experience. LSUA intentionally modeled many of the aspirations outlined in the literature
review in the development of the first-year experience. The focus of the program is on student
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 23
The LSUA Experience
learning and includes a first-year seminar course, supported by the peer mentorship and focused
faculty development.
Seminar Course: LSUA’s QEP proposes a first–year seminar course for incoming students
or those with less than 30 hours. One of the purposeful decisions LSUA made was to have the
seminar course taught by full-time faculty, at least in the initial stages, so that faculty would take
ownership of the preparation of students as they matriculated into discipline areas. As a result, the
seminar’s instruction will not be relegated to Student Support Services, but rather linked with these
support areas while maintaining an important academic emphasis. Another purposeful decision was
made to offer the seminar course for a full three hours of credit, in line with the evidence that this
allowed for an increase in the seriousness of the course for both students and faculty. The benefits
of integrating service learning experiences, supported by Kuh’s (2005) research, led LSUA to
incorporate a service learning component into the seminar course to engage students through civic
engagement. Knowledge and use of campus resources and services will also be an integrated part
of the LSUA first-year experience.
Peer Mentorship. The necessity of support from peer mentors is clearly reinforced by the
literature. Currently LSUA has a successful student ambassador program which is heavily involved
in recruitment and orientation. As a result of the literature review, and following consultation with
John Gardner, the option of offering a Peer Leadership course to recruit and train peer mentors
seemed to best fit within LSUA’s overall QEP conceptualization. A leadership course involving
successful upper level students intentionally working with incoming students will assist with
integration on campus. Peer mentors will also develop their own leadership skills and allow for
closer relationships with incoming students and with faculty to evolve. The options for motivating
peers to participate in the role of peer mentors seemed to best be solved by providing course credit
as outlined in Latino and Ashcraft’s work (2012).
Faculty Development: A campus-wide initiative in 2010 resulted in the creation of the E.F.
Mulder Center for Teaching Excellence as a venue for providing faculty development opportunities.
A hallmark goal of this program has been the promotion of engaging pedagogy practices. A
number of nationally recognized experts have visited the LSUA campus as speakers in the Summer
Teaching Institute, among them, John Tagg, Sandra McGuire, and Ken Jones. As a result of the
current QEP endeavor, there has been a purposeful combination of the first-year initiative with the
QEP and the Mulder Center for Teaching Excellence. These two entities now comprise the Center
for Academic Success. With the combination of the first-year experience and the program for
faculty development under a single umbrella, LSUA demonstrates recognition of the importance of
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 24
The LSUA Experience
high impact pedagogies across the campus. By providing training for all faculty, and requiring it for
those teaching the first-year seminar, the emphasis is clearly faculty-centered. The intention is to
expand the skills and talents generated in the faculty development workshops and assessment
practices to other classes across multiple disciplines thereby influencing a greater percentage of
students and altering the culture of the LSUA campus as it fulfills its main mission of excellence in
undergraduate education. As the plan for training evolved, consideration to timing and breath was
important. LSUA chose to incorporate two full days of training at the end of the Spring 2014
semester, followed by a half-day training at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, and a half-day
training at the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester for the initial rollout of instructional support.
Additionally, the intensity of assessment inherent with the QEP process will underlie the actual
instructional process. LSUA will utilize the First Year Initiative Survey (FYI) as an assessment tool
for student learning gains resulting from a first-year seminar. This instrument, developed by
Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI) and the Policy Center on the First-Year of College, is
designed to provide specific as well as comparison data for first-year seminars. These data will
allow the program to evaluate performance and identify areas contributing to or inhibiting success.
It will also allow for a review, by section, of teaching effectiveness information. Since this is a
beginning initiative the cohort of instructors will be immersed in looking critically at teaching
practices to determine what worked well and what may be problematic. This critical feedback
should help to develop a well informed and competently trained group of faculty instructors. These
practices should continue to underlie pedagogical approaches in later discipline specific courses
taught by this cohort and shared with their colleagues.
While specific faculty development is targeted for the first-year seminar, it is structured to
extend beyond those course sections and be incorporated into other classes. LSUA envisions a
‘train the trainer model’ incorporating LSUA faculty members who have completed training as the
trainers of other faculty members, once confident in the implementation of high impact pedagogies.
This approach should further create a culture of student centered, active engagement on the LSUA
campus. The goal is to highlight and celebrate the best practices used in the first-year seminar so
those practices will be introduced and valued for the rest of the curriculum campus wide.
LSUA has attempted to integrate each of the themes of Greenfield, Keup, and Gardner
(2013) into the QEP design. What started out as a conceptualization of a course, evolved into a
comprehensive approach, guided by the literature and steeped in the individual nuances of the
LSUA campus. The overall consensus of the literature indicates that an academically-focused
seminar course, led by well-trained faculty, integrating peers, and emphasizing student-centered,
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 25
The LSUA Experience
active learning pedagogies will have a positive effect not only on incoming students, but also on
matriculating students and faculty and staff. A true first-year experience attends to each of these
components and constantly measures the success of all areas.
IV. Focus
(CR 2.12)
CR 2.12 Focus of the Plan: Focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment
supporting student learning and the accomplishing the mission of the institution
The LSUA Experience became the slogan which was adopted to promote and explain the
QEP to the campus community. The concept of The LSUA Experience underlies the broad scope
of the QEP which focuses on a seminar for academic success (LSUA 1001) supported by two best
practices: peer mentors and quality faculty interactions. During a brainstorming session, the
Marketing Team identified the phrase “The LSUA Experience” which seemed to best capture the
essence of the QEP for LSUA.
The idea of nurturing student success through a course with supportive peer mentors and
faculty is depicted in the conceptualization of The LSUA Experience as is seen in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Conceptualization of Components of The LSUA Experience.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 26
The LSUA Experience
QEP Goals
Overarching program goals served as a framework for student learning outcomes. In
targeting incoming students at LSUA, these goals underlie The LSUA Experience. Specific
outcomes including student learning outcomes are associated with each goal, aimed at improving
student learning at LSUA. The three goals established for the QEP are:
Goal 1: Prepare students for academic success.
Goal 2: Engage students with the LSUA community.
Goal 3: Create a supportive undergraduate academic experience.
These goals, along with the expected outcomes including student learning outcomes
became the foundation for LSUA’s first-year seminar course: LSUA1001 (Seminar for Academic
Success). The QEP goals are congruent with the Mission and Strategic Plan of the University.
Table 9 presents the relationship between QEP goals, Expected Outcomes including LSUA 1001
Student Learning Outcomes, and the Philosophy underlying the University’s Strategic Plan.
Table 9. Relationship between QEP Goals, Expected Outcomes, and LSUA’s
Strategic Plan
QEP Goals Expected Outcomes
Philosophy Underlying
Strategic Plan
Goal #1
1. Students will be able to apply effective
Student Success
learning strategies.
Prepare
2. Students will be able to articulate clearly
Undergraduate
students for
ideas in writing.
Academic Experience
academic
3. Students will be able to articulate clearly
success
ideas orally.
4. Students will be able to use time management
strategies.
5. Students will demonstrate financial literacy skills.
Goal #2
1. Students will have knowledge of
campus resources.
Undergraduate
Engage
2. Students will use campus resources.
Academic Experience
students
3. Students will participate in LSUA
with the
campus activities.
Student Success
LSUA
4. Students will demonstrate civic
community
engagement through service learning.
5. Students will show a higher level of
engagement with the campus.
Goal #3
1. Peer mentors will promote engagement of LSUA Professional Growth
1001 students in campus activities.
University Improvement
Create a
2. Peer mentors will model successful academic
supportive
leadership behaviors.
Undergraduate
under3. Faculty will assist LSUA 1001 students to
Academic Experience
graduate
develop learning strategies for academic
success.
Vibrant University Life
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 27
The LSUA Experience
QEP Goals
Expected Outcomes
academic
experience
4. Faculty will effectively interact with students
during the undergraduate college experience.
Philosophy Underlying
Strategic Plan
Student Success
Impact
LSUA’s QEP intentionally focuses on student academic success. Best practices in
supporting student learning, incorporating peer mentors and engaging faculty in high impact
pedagogies, provide the framework for a positive impact on student learning inherent in the firstyear seminar course: LSUA 1001, Seminar for Academic Success. In addition to student learning
outcomes, traditional university outcome measures will be considered as a general gauge of
success resulting from The LSUA Experience. Analyses of student institutional data will be
considered for refinement and support of the overall institutionalization of the program. The desire
is for LSUA students to successfully complete courses and progress toward a degree. It is believed
that institutional outcomes will be influenced by the support given to students throughout The LSUA
Experience. Broader outcome measures will include retention rates, DWF rates, number of hours
completed, number of pre-registration schedules completed, and graduation rates. The LSUA
Experience is designed to impact student learning, ultimately leading to student success, which in
turn supports the role of the University and its mission.
V.
Institutional Capability - (CS 3.3.2)
CS 3.3.2 Institutional Capability for the Initiation and Completion of the Plan:
Demonstrates institutional capability for the initiation, implementation,
and completion of the QEP
The Problem
One half of incoming students fail to return to LSUA after the first year. Students are
leaving LSUA for a multitude of reasons. Reasons include academic, financial, and personal
difficulties. Analysis of qualitative data from the QEP Survey and focus groups indicated faculty
regard students as unprepared for college level work and students reported a lack of support in
college courses. A clear lack of connection with the university was also noted. The intent of pairing
academic success strategies with engagement in the Seminar for Academic Success is intended to
address this problem head on and assist students in achieving the dream of earning a college
degree.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 28
The LSUA Experience
Project Scope
The scope of this project involves a Seminar for Academic Success targeting first-year
students. Faculty and peer mentors are the support structures intended to empower the first-year
student with learning strategies that foster academic success and engage them with the University.
This plan to enhance the first-year experience is in keeping with the philosophy of the LSUA
Strategic Plan to promote academic success and provide a quality undergraduate academic
experience.
Significance of Targeted Population
The LSUA Experience is focused on incoming students. These students make up
approximately 14 % of the student body but are critical to the growth of the University. Campus
efforts to increase enrollment are currently underway. Related strategies include expanding athletic
programs, recruiting international students, and creating partnerships with high schools for dual
enrollment programs. The significance of the first-year student will continue to grow as these
initiatives take hold. Region 6, comprised of eight Central Louisiana parishes, has a low population
of students achieving a college degree in the state of Louisiana. In terms of engagement, Central
Louisiana also has the lowest percentage of students who stay in their local region to attend college
(39% versus statewide average of 73%). In keeping with the University’s mission, LSUA desires to
be a force within the community by contributing to the academic success of college degree seeking
students.
Timelines
Development. The development phase of the QEP began in January 2013 at the SACSCOC
conference with several members of the leadership team attending. Table 10 highlights the
activities that occurred over the next 17 months in the development of the QEP.
Table 10. Timeline for QEP Development Phase (1/13 – 8/14)
Activity
Date
Attended SACSCOC Conference: Leadership Orientation for 2014A Institutions
01/13
Informed Constituents: QEP Kickoff Campaign
03/13
Collected and Analyzed Data to Identify Topic
Attended SACSCOC Conference: Institute on Quality Enhancement &
Accreditation
04-08/13
07/13
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 29
The LSUA Experience
Activity
Date
Identified QEP Topic
08/13
Contracted Consultant, John Gardner
09/13
Worked as Teams to Develop The LSUA Experience
Engaged LSUA Constituents in QEP Process
08/13-05/14
01/13-present
Attended 33rd Annual First Year Experience Conference
Selected Faculty for LSUA 1001
02/14
03-04/14
Selected Peer Mentors to for LSUA 1001
04/14
Conducted LSUA 1001 Faculty Development
05/14
Advised Incoming Student Advising for LSUA 1001
04-08/14
Developed Activities and Syllabi for LSUA 1001
06-08/14
Trained Peer Mentors
08/14
Implementation of LSUA 1001. LSUA will begin implementing the QEP with a pilot of
LSUA 1001Seminar for Academic Success in Fall 2014. When planning the roll-out for this course,
careful consideration was given to human, physical, and financial resources necessary for
successful implementation. Starting with a five section pilot and progressing to full
institutionalization by the fifth year allows adequate time for faculty/peer mentor training and
ongoing assessment to ensure quality instructional delivery. Table 11 demonstrates how this
course will transition from a pilot to full institutionalization in the five year timeframe of the QEP.
Two factors influenced the decision not to offer the seminar course in Spring 2014. First,
traditionally LSUA has a low number of incoming students for spring enrollment. Second, this
provides adequate time for data analyses from the pilot and implementation of any revisions
deemed necessary. Two sections will be offered each spring following the pilot year, as previously
mentioned, low enrollment of incoming students influences the number of sections required for
spring semesters.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 30
The LSUA Experience
Table 11.
LSUA 1001 Sections and Projected Student Enrollments
Semester
Year
# Sections # Students
QEP Year
Fall
2014
5
100
Pilot
Fall
2015
8
160
Year 1
Spring
2016
2
40
Year 1
Fall
2016
12
240
Year 2
Spring
2017
2
40
Year 2
Fall
2017
15
300
Year 3
Spring
2018
2
40
Year 3
Fall
2018
18
360
Year 4
Spring
2019
2
40
Year 4
Fall
2019
20
400
Year 5
Spring
2020
2
40
Year 5
Totals
88
1760
Faculty and Peer Mentor Selection and Training. Endowment funds for the Center for
Teaching Excellence provides existing resources to support faculty development and peer mentor
training. Two key faculty development activities took place in Spring 2014. John Gardner’s
presentation, entitled: A New Year: A New Opportunity to Increase Institutional Success,
highlighted the faculty and staff Spring Convocation in January 2014. A two day workshop led by
Dr. Linda McDowell and Dr. Lynn Marquez, of Millersville University, Pennsylvania, was held in May
2014 (see binder 5 for materials). Assessment following the Millersville workshop indicated strong
participant satisfaction and use of ideas in future courses (100% and 96% respectively rated 4-yes
or 5-definitely yes). Post workshop survey data is included in Appendix C. Peer Mentor training
will begin in August of 2014 prior to the start of the fall semester. The timeline for faculty and peer
mentor section and training follows in Table 12.
Table12. Timeline for Faculty and Peer Mentor Selection and Training
Selection of
LSUA Faculty &
Peer Mentors
Peer Mentor
Training
Faculty
Development
Attend FYE
Conference
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Spring
Fall
Year 5
2019-2020
Summer
Spring
Fall
Year 4
2018-2019
Summer
Spring
Fall
Year 3
2017-2018
Summer
Spring
Fall
Year 2
2016-2017
Summer
Spring
Fall
Year 1
2015-2016
Summer
Spring
Fall
Summer
Pilot
2014-2015
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Louisiana State University at Alexandria 31
The LSUA Experience
Pilot
2014-2015
Year 1
2015-2016
Year 2
2016-2017
Year 3
2017-2018
Year 4
2018-2019
Year 5
2019-2020
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
Fall Teaching
Institute
Spring
Convocation
Spring Faculty
Workshop


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


Assessment Plan. A systematic plan for assessing all components of The LSUA
Experience has been developed. As previously indicated, the CAS Director will oversee the
assessment plan. LSUA 1001 Faculty will be provided a data sheet to be submitted to the CAS
Director. The QEP Assessment Committee, LSUA 1001 Faculty, and the Director of Institutional
Research and Effectiveness will all play an integral part in data collection and analysis. Peer
mentors will also be involved in data analysis where appropriate. Table 13 presents the timeline for
the QEP assessment plan.
Table 13. Assessment Plan Timeline
Student Focus
Groups
LSUA 1001 End
of Course
Surveys
NSSE Survey
EBI-FYI Survey
Collect and
Analyze
Institutional
Data
Collect and
Analyze LSUA
1001 Course
Data
ENGL 1002
Departmental
Exam
Review Lab
Participation
Logs



Spring
Fall
Year 5
2019-2020
Summer
Spring
Fall
Summer
Spring
Fall
Summer

Year 4
2018-2019
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Year 3
2017-2018



Spring
Fall



Year 2
2016-2017
Summer
Spring
Fall
Year 1
2015-2016
Summer
Spring
Fall
Summer
Pilot
2014-2015
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Louisiana State University at Alexandria 32
The LSUA Experience
Five-year QEP Implementation Timeline. Following the Fall 2014 pilot of The LSUA
Experience; the campus will review all assessment data, make data driven program changes. The
number of offered sections will increase as outlined for the five-year QEP timeline. Based on the
number of faculty participating in professional development and contracting to teach LSUA 1001,
there will be sufficient faculty to offer 20 sections as planned for year five. This plan accommodates
400 first-year students. It is anticipated that faculty willing to teach LSUA 1001 will expand with new
hires and as professional development opportunities enthuse faculty and motivate them to
participate. The five-year implementation timeline is displayed in Table 14.
Table 14. Five-Year QEP Implementation Timeline
PEER DEVELOPMENT


Peer Training (prior to class start)

 
Offer LSUA 3001: Academic Leadership I


Recruitment of Mentors


Selection of Mentors

Develop LSUA 4001: Academic Leadership II
 
Offer LSUA 4001: Academic Leadership II
ASSESSMENT

 
Data Collection per Assessment Plan


Submit NSSE Profile


Administer EBI-FYI


Data Analysis According to Assessment Plan


Distribution of NSSE


Implement Changes Based on Analyses


Annual Report
5-Year Impact Report











SPRING







FALL



Year 5
2019-20
SPRING
FALL








Year4
2018-19
SPRING
SEMINAR FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS

   
Offer LSUA 1001
 
Offer 100% Online Section of LSUA 1001
     
Advise and Recruit
FACULTY DEVELOPMENT



Recruitment of Faculty



Selection of Faculty
     
Faculty Development
Year 3
2017-18
FALL
SPRING
Year 2
2016-17
FALL
SPRING
Year 1
2015-16
FALL
SPRING
Five-Year
Implementation Timeline
FALL
Pilot
2014-15
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Louisiana State University at Alexandria 33
The LSUA Experience
Human Resources
Organizational Structure. LSUA has demonstrated strong institutional support for the
QEP starting with the appointment of QEP Co-Chairs in December 2012. As the QEP plan evolved
it became clear that The LSUA Experience required an academic home. This issue was brought
forward to Department Chairs and the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Students Affairs in the Fall
of 2013 at an Academic Council meeting. With the recognition of the complexity of administering the
QEP, it was necessary for a department to have ownership and responsibility for the
implementation and assessment. The QEP did not fit clearly with existing academic departments
since it was not discipline specific. Organizational oversight was necessary at the department level
so a proposal was made to create a new department.
This department would coordinate the
implementation of LSUA1001, peer mentor training, and faculty development. In order to
differentiate it from the eight discipline specific academic departments, the decision was made to
call the department The Center for Academic Success. In Spring 2014, Dr. Treuting, who served
as the Director of the Mulder Center for Teaching Excellence was appointed as the Director of the
Center for Academic Success, charged with directing the QEP and the Center for Teaching.
Merging the Center for Academic Success with the Center for Teaching Excellence was a logical
move that fit with the University’s existing organizational structure (see binder 6 for resume and job
description).
Appointment of Dr. Treuting as the Director of Center for Academic Success (CAS) paved
the way to move forward with approval of courses and the recruitment of faculty and peer leaders.
Dr. Treuting and Dr. Cormier will continued to work together as QEP Co-Chairs until the onsite visit
of the SACSCOC Team. After that time, as CAS Director, Dr. Treuting’ s responsibilities will expand
and Dr. Cormier will transition to serving as a member of the QEP Advisory Committee. Launching
the CAS provides strong evidence of the University’s commitment to the institutionalization of The
LSUA Experience. Figure 3 is a visual depiction of the organizational structure. The roles and
responsibilities for each position as related to the QEP are outlined in Table 15.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 34
The LSUA Experience
Vice Chancellor
for Academic
and Student
Affairs
Director of QEP,
Center for
Academic Success
(CAS)
LSUA 1001
Faculty
Coordinator
for Academic
Success (1/2
time)
Director of
Institutional
Research and
Effectiveness (IRE)
Administrative
Assistant
(1/2 time)
QEP
Advisory
Committees
Peer Mentors
Figure 3. Organizational Structure
Table 15. Personnel, Roles, and Lines of Authority for QEP Implementation.
Personnel
QEP Role
Dr. Barbara
Hatfield
Provost/Vice
Chancellor
for Academic &
Student Affairs
(VCAA)

Dr. Mary Treuting
Dr. Cathy Cormier
QEP Co-Chairs












Provide guidance and support to QEP CoChairs/CAS Director.
Approve QEP Budget.
Review, edit, and submit QEP report to SACSCOC.
Serve as ex officio member of the QEO Advisory
Committee.
Initiate campus-wide discussion on QEP.
Collaborate with Director of Institutional Research
regarding analysis of institutional data.
Collaborate with Staff of IET Services to develop
QEP website/survey.
Plan and implement QEP Think-Tank to identify
topic.
Activate and expedite activity of QEP Teams.
Provide QEP updates to LSUA constituents.
Collaborate with Vice Chancellor of Finance and
Provost to create QEP Budget.
Collaborate with Director and Staff of Student
Support regarding first-year student advising.
Collaborate with Enrollment Management regarding
recruitment, enrollment and orientation; and the
Line of
Authority
Direct report to
Chancellor
Direct report
from QEP Cochairs,
QEP/CAS
Director, IR
Director
Direct report to
Vice
Chancellor for
Academic and
Student Affairs
(VCAA)
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 35
The LSUA Experience
Personnel
QEP Role

Dr. Mary Treuting
QEP Director
Director, Center
for Academic
Success (CAS)
















Ethan Lipsey
Academic
Success
Coordinator
(1/2 time)









distribution of information to first-year students about
The LSUA Experience.
Plan and implement faculty development required to
launch pilot in Fall 2014.
Recruit Faculty and Peer Mentors.
Prepare QEP report for SACSCOC Reaffirmation.
Coordinate faculty recruitment and development.
Recruit, train, and supervise peer mentors.
Collaborate with IET Staff to develop and maintain
QEP and CTE websites.
Collaborate with QEP Assessment Committee and
Director of Institutional Research to execute QEP
Assessment Plan.
Supervise the Academic Success Coordinator.
Collaborate with Director and Staff of Student
Support regarding first year student advising.
Collaborate with Enrollment Management regarding
Orientation and distribution of information to first-year
students.
Serve as Chair of the QEP Advisory Committee.
Facilitate dialogue regarding status of QEP and invite
contributions from committee members to enhance
quality of The LSUA Experience.
Manage the QEP Budget. Submit budget reports in
compliance with University Policy.
Prepare follow-up reports to governing agencies as
required by University Policy.
Provide QEP updates to LSUA constituents.
Adhere to established policies and procedures.
Oversee Faculty Development as Director of Center
for Teaching Excellence.
Report directly to the CAS Director.
Maintain the point of entry to the CAS.
Assist with coordination of The LSUA Experience.
Assist with updating QEP and CTE website.
Complete administrative duties related to The LSUA
Experience (LSUA 1001, LSUA 3001/4001) as
directed by CAS Director.
Assist with promotion of The LSUA Experience.
Assist with faculty development activities.
Assist with gathering and organizing QEP
assessment data.
Adhere to established policies and procedures.
Line of
Authority
Direct report to
Vice
Chancellor for
Academic and
Student Affairs
(VCAA)
Direct report
from
Coordinator for
Academic
Success
Direct report
from
Administrative
Assistant
Direct report
from
LSUA1001
Faculty (for
LSUA 1001
Course only)
Direct report to
QEP Director/
Director,
Center for
Academic
Success
(CAS)
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 36
The LSUA Experience
Personnel
Renee West
Administrative
Assistant
(1/2 time)
QEP Role





LSUA 1001
Faculty







Peer Mentors




Reed Blalock
Director of
Institutional
Research and
Effectiveness
(IRE)






Assist with communications to faculty and staff.
Organize and direct student resource guide.
Assist Faculty Development workshops.
Coordinate time/rooms/materials for Faculty
Development workshops.
Handle travel documentation.
Line of
Authority
Direct report to
QEP Director/
Director,
Center for
Academic
Success (CAS)
Participate in faculty development activities.
Collaborate with faculty cohort to develop the LSUA
1001 syllabus, create embedded course
assessments, and rubrics.
Work collaboratively with peer mentors to assist
LSUA 1001 students to achieve student learning
outcomes.
Supervise peer mentors.
Conduct training in faculty development activities in
collaboration with CAS Director (Train the Trainer
model).
Adhere to established policies and procedures.
Assist in recruitment and promotion of The LSUA
Experience.
Direct report to
QEP Director/
Director,
Center
for Academic
Success (CAS)
(for LSUA
1001
Course only)
Work with assigned faculty member in course
implementation.
Participate in mentor training activities.
Attend LSUA events along with LSUA 1001 students.
Assist in recruitment and promotion of The LSUA
Experience.
Assist with development of measurable outcomes.
Coordinate administration of NSSE.
Trend institutional data.
Assist with the analyses of data.
Provide institutional outcomes data.
Assist with oversight for reports.
Direct report to
assigned
LSUA 1001
Faculty
Direct report
from Assigned
Peer Mentors
Direct report to
Vice
Chancellor for
Academic and
Student Affairs
(VCAA)
During the development of the QEP assessment plan team members recognized that the
QEP Director would need assistance in managing the QEP assessment plan. This resulted in a
request to the VCAA to establish a University QEP Assessment Committee. The QEP Oversight
Committee developed during the planning phase will transition into a QEP Advisory Committee to
assist with implementation and institutionalization of the QEP. Table 16 highlights these two
committees, their membership and responsibilities.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 37
The LSUA Experience
Table 16. QEP Committee Structure
Committee
Responsibilities
QEP

Assessment
Committee



QEP
Advisory
Committee




Collaborate with CAS
and IR Directors to
execute the QEP
assessment plan.
Analyze results from
data collection.
Review the assessment
data gathered.
Make recommendations
for changes and/or for
use of results.
Provide guidance and
feedback.
Review annual reports.
Ensure ongoing
implementation.
Make recommendations
for program changes.
Personnel
Department
Reed Blalock
Tanya Lueder
Jim Rogers
Jeremy Simmons
Susan Myrick
Mary Kay
Sunderhaus
Richard Elder
Catherine Cormier
Mary Treuting
Institutional Research
Mathematics
History
Arts
Education
Nursing
Barbara Hatfield
Psychology
Nursing
Center for Academic
Success
VCAA
Aloysia Ducote
Community Member
Susan Sullivan
Biology
Melissa Laborde
Communications Studies
Nathan Ponder
Mathematics
Rusty Gaspard;
Library
Kathy Wimmert
Student Support
Brandon Crane
Student
Catherine Cormier
Nursing
Mary Treuting
Center for Academic
Success
Faculty Capacity. All faculty were given the opportunity to be a part of the Teaching Cohort
for the LSUA 1001, Seminar for Academic Success. Participation in training opportunities was and
will be required as part of this cohort. Only five faculty members were needed for the pilot program,
however, in looking toward the future, it was necessary to identify, cultivate, and train a larger
cohort. An information session was held and 21 faculty members attended. All faculty received an
electronic application (Appendix D). Faculty were given the option to be in the Teaching Cohort or
to attend training only. To be a part of the Teaching Cohort required a signed contract (Appendix E)
indicating they agreed to participate in mandatory faculty development activities. A $500 faculty
stipend, provided for in the QEP budget, was given to faculty with signed contracts. Eleven faculty
signed contracts, with an additional 15 indicating they wanted to teach in the future but could not
commit presently. This level of interest indicates an ability to provide the necessary sections to be
rolled out. See Table 17 for information concerning faculty interest in participating in The LSUA
Experience. The QEP budget allocates funding for faculty overload pay or funding for adjuncts if
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 38
The LSUA Experience
faculty choose to teach this course as part the required workload. A $250 faculty stipend will be
allocated for annual spring professional development. Binder 7 includes faculty applications and
contracts.
Table 17. Faculty Interest: Teaching Cohort and Training Participation
Applicants
Battalora, E
Beard, E
Book, A
Corbat, C
Chevalier, A
Cormier,C
Elder,R
Gallagher, B
Gaspard, R
Gill, J
Gilliland, S
Halpin, H
Hatfield, B
Hebert, S
LaBorde, M
Lashney,K
Lueder, T
Nangia, S
Negatu, Z
Poole, H
Purifoy, S
Rankin, A
Rogers, J
Sammons, N
Seymour, T
Smith, R
Stumpf, C
Sullivan,S
Sunderhaus, M
Thacker, J
Thomas, C
Treuting, M
Whitaker, K
Williams, H
Wimmert, K
Young, V
N = 35
Department
Attended
Training


NURS
AEH
NURS
BIOL
MAPS
NURS
BSS
AEH
LIB
EDUC
BSS
SS
ADMIN
EDUC
AEH
BUS
MAPS
AEH
BIOL
ADMIN
BIOL
AEH
BSS
BIOL
IET
SS
BIOL
BIOL
NURS
AEH
BSS
BSS
MAPS
IET
SS
NURS












Contract
Signed

Teach in
future
Training
only










































N= 11
N= 31











N = 11









N = 26
N=9
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 39
The LSUA Experience
Physical Resources
The Center for Academic Success moved into a suite of offices on the first floor of Mulder
Hall. This suite of offices became available when the Department of Arts, English, and Humanities
moved to a third floor departmental suite in closer proximity with departmental faculty and other
academic departments. A conference room within the suite of offices became the new home for the
E.F. Mulder Center for Teaching Excellence and will be used for faculty training and meetings. A
larger conference room is available on the second floor of Mulder Hall and will be used along with a
number of close classrooms for faculty development. An additional advantage of the placement of
the Center for Academic Success on the first floor of Mulder Hall is that a number of first-year
general education course are held in this building and student tables, couches, and relaxation areas
are set up in the lobby. The location of the Center for Academic Success provides a great deal of
visibility and is conveniently located in the Mulder Hall, which has the largest number of classrooms
on campus. The University has adequate classroom space to accommodate the number of
sections planned. The Director of the Center for Academic Success will collaborate with the
registrar’s office for classroom assignments per University procedures.
Financial Resources
LSUA has adequate resources to fund the QEP for the projected five year project timeline.
Administration recognizes the importance of this project to the growth of the University and the
QEP budget is part of the University’s unrestricted operating budget. It is no secret that state
institutions are relying more heavily on self-generated funding. Developing programs that
contribute to the academic success of students, eventually leading to degree completion, will
increase self-generated funds.
The estimated cost for the full five-year implementation is $1,514,041. Of these expenses,
$798,350 are considered direct expenses, while $715,691 are indirect expenses. The Mulder
Center for Teaching Excellence has resources in place to support faculty development. An
Endowment resulting from a Federal Title III grant which supported the development of the CTE is
already in place and funds for professional development are available. Approximately $161,600 of
the budget involves faculty development funds which are currently available through the Mulder
endowment funds. Revenues generated by increased retention of students as a result of the
program should assist in sustaining the services and courses inherent in the program.
Additionally, as students are more academically successful, they should matriculate to graduation
at higher rates. This added support geared to the academic success of LSUA students is projected
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 40
The LSUA Experience
to result in higher levels of tuition dollars and state support as enrollment increases. The projected
five-year budget is displayed as Table 18.
Table 18. Projected Budget for The LSUA Experience Implementation.
Budget Item
Pre-Plan
Pilot
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5 totals
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Personnel
QEP CoChairs stipend
12,500
2,500
QEP Director (direct)
25,150
44,000
44,000 44,000
44,000
44,000
44,000 289,150
QEP Director (indirect)
43,800
36,000
36,000 36,000
36,000
36,000
36,000 259,800
15,000
Coordinator
-
13,500
13,500 13,500
13,500
13,500
13,500
81,000
Admin Assistant (indirect)
-
13,697
13,697 13,697
13,697
13,697
13,697
82,182
17,600
17,600 17,600
17,600
17,600
17,600 105,600
25,254
25,254 25,254
25,254
25,254
25,254 179,109
5,500
5,500
Benefits (direct)
Benefits (indirect)
27,585
IET Support (indirect)
Consultant
5,500
11,000
5,500
5,500
5,500
5,000
33,000
16,000
Faculty Compensation
Faculty Salaries (#section x 2475)
12,375
Training Stipends (indirect)
24,750 34,650
42,075
49,500
54,450 217,800
6,500
6,500
6,500
6,500
6,500
6,500
39,000
7,500
7,500
7,500
7,500
7,500
50,000
10,000 10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
66,000
Professional Development (indirect)
Experts/Trainers
5,000
7,500
Travel-National Conference
6,000
10,000
600
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
6,600
NSSE
4,000
4,000
4,000
4,000
4,000
4,000
24,000
EBI-FYI Benchmarks Survey
2,500
2,500
2,500
2,500
2,500
2,500
15,000
500
500
500
500
500
500
3,000
3,000
3,500
3,700
4,000
4,200
4,300
22,700
2,000
1,800
1,500
1,300
1,200
1,000
9,100
CTE Workshops
Assessment
Focus Group Supplies
Operating Expenses
Supplies
Marketing
300
Annual Totals
131,935 212,426 217,601 227,401 234,926 242,451 247,301 1,514,041
Direct
48,950 106,975 112,150 121,950 129,475 137,000 141,850 798,350
Indirect
82,985 105,451 105,451 105,451 105,451 105,451 105,451 715,691
QEP Projected Budget Total
1,514,041
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 41
The LSUA Experience
Broad-based Involvement in QEP Development and Implementation – (CS 3.3.2)
VI.
CS 3.3.2 Broad-based Involvement in Development and Proposed Implementation:
Includes broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the
development and proposed implementation of the QEP
Development Planning
Since the onset of this endeavor the QEP Co-Chairs, Dr. Treuting and Dr. Cormier, have
provided QEP updates to members of the LSUA community at department meetings, Academic
Council meetings, LSUA Foundation meetings, Student Government meetings, Student
Ambassador meetings, emails, meetings with athletic coaches and student athletes, Faculty
Senate, and Monday Happenings, LSUA’s weekly newsletter. The QEP Advisory Teams
established in Fall 2013 involved members of the broad campus community appropriate for the
tasks. Table 19 highlights activities intended to include a broad-based involvement of institutional
constituencies in QEP development.
Table 19. Activities Demonstrating Broad-based Involvement in Development.
Data
QEP
Focus
QEP
QEP
Professional
Constituent Group
Analysis Survey Groups Teams Updates Development
Administrators






Community Members

Athletic Coaches




Faculty






Staff











Students
Specific activities related to the development of the QEP began following topic selection and
QEP Team formation at the QEP Think Tank. The QEP Co-Chairs coordinated the work of four
teams (Literature Review, Program Development, Marketing, and Assessment) and the QEP
Oversight Committee over the course of the next 12 months. Binder 4 provides documentation of
team minutes and supporting documents. A concerted effort was made to ensure that team
membership represented a cross section of faculty and staff. Students had a strong presence on
the Marketing Team and QEP Oversight Committee. Moodle was available as an option for team
discussions and posting documents between meetings, however it was not used extensively.
The Literature Review Team was the first team activated since it was charged with reviewing
best practices related to first year college experiences, information that would provide the
foundation for the work of other Teams, in particular the Program Development Team. Table 20
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 42
The LSUA Experience
displays the Literature Review Team membership. The team was effective in highlighting best
practices for first year experiences and identifying institutions with successful QEP programs that
could serve as models for the Program Development Committee.
Table 20. Literature Review Team Membership
Team Member
Department
Dr. Elizabeth Battalora
Nursing
Dr. Cathy Cormier (QEP Co-Chair)
Nursing
Dr. Brenda Ellington
Arts, English, and Humanities
Dr. Bernard Gallaher
Arts, English, and Humanities
Rusty Gaspard (Team Chair)
Library Science
Dolores Harris
Education
Kim Herrington
Nursing
Debra Smith
Nursing
Dr. Mary Treuting (QEP Co-Chair)
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Pedagogical practices recommended to the Program Development Team from the Literature
Review Team included:

peer mentoring,

social engagement and community involvement via campus socials and activities,

faculty mentoring,

development of academic skills,

community services,

academic advising, and

career exploration.
In addition, the Literature Review Team advised on the need for an administration home for the first
year experience as well as the importance of faculty training to ensure successful implementation.
It was the task of the program planning team to consider recommendations from the
Literature Review Team and begin planning an academic support program for first year students.
This team was comprised of 14 members, representing both academic departments and staff from
Student Support. Although the enthusiasm to participate in this process was embraced by the QEP
Co-Chairs, the number of team members did present some challenges regarding scheduling
meeting times. Team members were presented with two dates for the first informational meeting,
September 23 or September 24, 2013. Table 21 presents the Program Planning Team
membership.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 43
The LSUA Experience
Table 21. Program Planning Team Membership
Team Member
Department
Alicia Book
Nursing
Dr. Cathy Cormier (QEP Co-Chair)
Nursing
Dr. Arlene Duos
Education
Dr. Julie Gill
Education
Dr. Renu Gupta
Mathematics and Physical Science
Dolores Harris
Education
Linda Hickman
Nursing
Kionna LeMalle
Education
Janice Miller
Student Support
Dr. Susan Sullivan (Team Chair)
Biological Sciences
Dr. Melissa Parks
Education
Dr. Sultan Parvez
Mathematics and Physical Science
Dr. Mary Treuting (QEP Co-Chair)
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Kathy Wimmert
Student Support
Dr. Rob Wright
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Victoria Young
Nursing
For the next six months the Program Development Team work diligently to shape an LSUA
“Freshmen Experience” congruent with the mission and strategic plan of the University as well as
initiatives currently underway at the University directed at promoting academic success. Best
practices for first-year experiences recommended by the Literature Review Team served as a
framework for development of a first-year experience that included development of a Seminar for
Academic Success supported by peer mentors and faculty development. Much discussion ensued
regarding course credit and whether the course should be required or serve as an elective. John
Gardner’s counsel was sought on this issue and the final decision to move forward with a three
credit elective course, LSUA 1001 Seminar for Academic Success, was made by the team
members. The Master Course Outline (MCO) for LSUA 1001 is presented in Appendix F. This
course was reviewed and approved by the University Courses and Curriculum Committee and
Faculty Senate as required by University policy. Approval of this course was timely, occurring just
prior to spring advising and registration.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 44
The LSUA Experience
The robust support for peer mentors in the literature led to in-depth discussion regarding
how best to integrate this practice as a key component into LSUA 1001. After consulting with Mr.
Gardner the team decided to move forward with two additional courses: LSUA 3001 Academic
Leadership I and LSUA 4001 Academic Leadership II. These courses were designed to assist
upper level students with development of leadership skills required to serve in the role of peer
mentor. The scope of the QEP will not include student learning outcomes for these courses, but
rather the effectiveness of peer mentors interacting with first-year students to accomplish QEP
Goals.
Although the implementation plan for the QEP was not yet finalized, the Assessment Team
had a clearer vision of what direction the QEP was beginning to take and scheduled the team’s first
meeting for November 19, 2013. Table 22 presents the Assessment Team membership.
Table 22. Assessment Team Membership
Team Member
Department
Reed Blalock
Director Institutional Research/Effectiveness
Sherry Bovey
Education
Dr. Cathy Cormier (QEP Co-Chair)
Nursing
Tonya Lueder
Mathematics and Physical Science
Susan Myrick (Team Chair)
Education
Jim Rogers
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Jeremy Simmons
Arts, English, and Humanities
Mary Kay Sunderhaus
Nursing
Mary Treuting (QEP Co-Chair)
Behavioral and Social Sciences
The Assessment Team began work on two key components of the QEP Assessment Plan,
direct and indirect measures for student success. Several survey instruments, with established
reliability and validity, were reviewed. After discussing options the team concluded that the
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Educational Benchmarking Inc. – First Year
Initiative (EBI-FYE) surveys would most effectively assist in assessing engagement and the first
year seminar as indirect measures for the program. Constructing direct measures for student
learning outcomes proved to be more challenging and required several meetings until the QEP
Assessment plan was finalized.
The work of the Marketing Team began in Fall 2013 and is ongoing. Table 23 presents the
Marketing Team Membership. A group of four communication students enrolled in CMST 4006
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 45
The LSUA Experience
Public Relations Campaigns joined the Marketing Team in Spring 2014 to complete a project for the
course. The students assisted the Marketing Team in developing marketing strategies. During
Spring Fling Week this group organized an information booth with a “QEP Wheel of Fortune Game“.
The group also assisted with ordering The LSUA Experience T-shirts for the Annual Crawfish Boil
sponsored by the Student Government Association. This event proved to be a wonderful
opportunity to provide additional information about the QEP to campus constituents.
Table 23. Marketing Team Membership
Team Member
Department
Sarah Black
Director of Public Relations
Stephanie Cage
Registrar
Anne Chevalier
Mathematics and Physical Science
Dr. Cathy Cormier (QEP Co-Chair)
Nursing
Brandon Crain
Student
Barron Creighton
Student
Shelby Fogleman
Student
Melissa Laborde (Team Chair)
Arts, English, and Humanities
Kent Lachney
Business Administration
Claire Lay
Student
Shanice Mack
Student
Sandra Purifoy
Biological Sciences
Giovanni Rueda
Student
Deron Thaxton
Executive Director of IET Services
Mary Treuting (QEP Co-Chair)
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Kyra Turner
Student Support
The QEP Oversight Committee comprised of faculty, staff, students, and community
members was created to provide general direction as QEP updates occurred and from which to
illicit feedback from constituency representatives. Table 24 presents the QEP Oversight Committee
membership. The group met once in January 2014 and will meet again prior to the beginning of the
Fall 2014 semester, and then transition to the QEP Advisory Committee discussed previously.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 46
The LSUA Experience
Table 24. QEP Oversight Committee.
Team Member
Position
Discipline/Group Represented
Catherine Cormier
QEP Co Director
Nursing/faculty
Mary Treuting
QEP Co Director
Psychology/ Faculty
Barbara Hatfield
VCAA
Administration
Rusty Gaspard
Library
Kathy Wimmert
Chair of Lit Review
Team
Chair of Program
Development Team
Chair of Marketing
Team
Chair of Assessment
Team
Foundation Board
Member
Foundation Board
Member
Student Services
Giovanni Rueda
SGA President
Student
Nasha Moore
Student
Ambassador
Student
Susan Sullivan
Melissa LaBorde
Susan Myrick
Agnes Ashby
Aylosia Ducote
Biology/Faculty
Communications Studies/ Faculty
Education/ Faculty
Community
Community
Student Services/Staff
A meeting to update non-classified staff on the status of the QEP resulted in identifying the
need for a central location to provide information about campus resources. The general consensus
was centrally locating information for students to help them access resources required for academic
success. A staff resource group identified and gathered important resources which resulted in links
to a student resources website from the LSUA homepage. Sarah Black, Director of Public
Relations, spearheaded the work accomplished by this group. Members of the staff resource group
members are identified in Table 25.
Table 25. Staff Resource Group
Group Member
Department
Renee West
Math and Physical Sciences
Sarah Black
Media Relations
Catherine Pears
Alexandria Museum of Art
Bob Austin
Athletic Coach
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 47
The LSUA Experience
Group Member
Department
Shelly Kieffer
Enrollment Management
Teresa Seymour
Information and Educational Technology
Georgia Fox
Advising Center
Sherry Bovey
Education
Rafael Romero Moreno
Advising Center
Rosemary Robertson-Smith
Advising Center
Stephanie Cage
Registrar
Chad Gauthier
Campus Safety Office
Actions to be Implemented
Seminar for Academic Success. LSUA 1001 Seminar for Academic Success will be
offered as a pilot in Fall 2014. Five sections of LSUA 1001 with a projected enrollment of 100
students, approximately 25% of the first year cohort, will comprise the pilot cohort. The intent of
piloting the course is to provide an opportunity for thorough review of teaching practices, evaluation
methods, and effectiveness of peer mentors.
Recognizing that opportunities for quality interaction with faculty and peer mentors is critical
to the Seminar for Academic Success, a seat capacity of 20 students was established. Originally
LSUA had planned to randomly assign all students from a waitlist to either a course section or a
control group. However, Student Support staff, who are responsible for advising all first year and
transfer students, expressed concern that students would leave the initial advising appointment
without having a firm schedule which included LSUA 1001. A collaborative decision was made, in
the best interest of the first year student, to register students on a first-come, first-serve basis
typical of registration for all courses. Student learning and institutional outcomes would be
measured against the comparison group of non-enrolled students. While this approach does not
meet the scientific rigor of an experiment and does not control for a possible subject bias in desiring
to take the course, it is in the best interest of the student population. It is recognized that this
design is a limitation of the study.
All faculty teaching in the LSUA 1001 pilot attended the faculty training held in May 2014
sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence. Course offerings were coordinated with the
Registrar to ensure class times meshed with block scheduling for first year students. Table 26 lists
the faculty assigned to teach LSUA 1001 pilot in Fall 2014.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 48
The LSUA Experience
Table 26. Faculty Assignments for LSUA 1001 Pilot - Fall 2014
Faculty
Department
Course Schedule
Dr. Elizabeth Battalora
Nursing
3pm – 5:30pm M
Dr. Sandra Gilliland
Behavioral and Social Sciences
8am - 8:50am MWF
Dr. Nathan Sammons
Biological Sciences
9:30am – 10:45am TTH
Dr. Susan Sullivan
Biological Sciences
1pm – 2:15pm TTH
Dr. Mary Treuting
Center for Academic Excellence
10am - 10:50am MWF
Following participating in the faculty training program, the Pilot Faculty Cohort and Dr. Cathy
Cormier began meeting over the Summer 2014 to develop a course syllabus and schedule, design
learning activities, and identify rubrics used for grading course assignments. The group decided to
organize course content into four content areas: Becoming a General (the LSUA mascot),
Developing Academic Success Strategies, Understanding Yourself as a Student, and Looking
toward the Future. Content areas were assigned to each member of the group and Moodle was
used as a venue for posting completed assignments to be reviewed by other members of the
Faculty Cohort. Early on in the planning the importance of providing consistency among sections
was recognized. At this time faculty also reviewed several books and agreed upon the textbook:
Your College Experience: Strategies for Success by John N. Gardner and Betsy O. Barefoot. The
group felt that this text was the best choice considering the student learning outcomes identified for
LSUA 1001. The QEP Director contacted the publisher and was also able to obtain the Instructor’s
Manual to accompany the text. The required textbook, LSUA 1001 course syllabus, learning
activities, and course rubrics are available in binder 8.
Faculty participating in the pilot are expected to participate in regularly scheduled meetings
throughout the Fall 2014 semester. The purpose of these meetings will be to share observations
and experiences regarding student response to course activities. In addition, this time will be used
for rubric training to ensure consistency in grading. This group will continue to meet in Spring 2015
to revise learning activities following data analysis as outlined on the assessment plan. The gradual
roll out of the course with full institutionalization will take place as outlined in Table 27. A reassessment of the number of needed sections will occur each spring as the student learning
outcomes are assessed. The LSUA 1001 course will remain an elective course, strongly
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 49
The LSUA Experience
encouraged by advisors, department chairs, faculty, and staff, including athletic coaches and
recruiters.
Table 27. Roll-out of LSUA 1001 Sections by Semester
Semester
Fall
Spring
Fall
Spring
Fall
Spring
Fall
Spring
Fall
Spring
Fall
Spring
Year
2014
2014
2015
2016
2016
2017
2017
2018
2018
2019
2019
2020
# Sections
5
0
8
2
12
2
15
2
18
2
20
2
QEP Year
Pilot
Pilot
Year 1
Year 1
Year 2
Year 2
Year 3
Year 3
Year 4
Year 4
Year 5
Year 5
Development of a 100% online section will occur in year two to provide an option for LSUA
distance education students. LSUA has embraced the Quality Matters (QM) standards for online
course offerings. Teresa Seymour, Director of Distance Education with QM certifications, has
agreed to develop this section. Implementation includes adding additional sections of LSUA 1001
online with full institutionalization of the course. As required by University policy, faculty teaching
online will complete the Teaching Online Course offered by IET Services. Additional training for
faculty and peer mentors regarding best practices to promote engagement online is anticipated and
will be included in faculty and peer mentor development activities.
Faculty Development. Faculty development to be instituted for successful implementation
of LSUA 1001 will be ongoing. As previously mentioned, the first faculty development program, a
two day workshop, was conducted by Drs. Linda McDowell and Lynn Marquez of Millersville
University of Pennsylvania in May 2014. Thirty participants attended, representing approximately
one third of the LSUA faculty. In August, the Fall Teaching Institute (formerly the Summer Teaching
Institute) will feature Dr. Joe Cuseo as the morning keynote speaker. He will then meet with the
teaching cohort in the afternoon. Dr. Cuseo’s work had a strong influence on the literature review
for the QEP. The January Spring Semester Convocation will feature Dr. Steve Piscitelli, another
well-known advocate of the national first-year experience movement. All faculty will be invited to
the opening convocation, and the teaching cohort will meet with Dr. Piscitelli in the afternoon. All
four of these experts were featured presenters at the National Conference on the First-Year
Experience held in San Diego in the Spring 2014. Three to four members of the teaching cohort will
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 50
The LSUA Experience
be sent to the next National Conference on the First-Year Experience in Dallas in Spring 2015.
Annual participation in this conference will take place with selected teaching cohort faculty over the
next five years. Workshops conducted by faculty based on the “Train the Trainer” model will follow
for additional or new faculty interested in becoming involved with the program. Faculty development
workshops will continue annually following the pilot year. These opportunities will be merged with
development opportunities sponsored by the Mulder Center for Teaching Excellence and will
include the annual Fall Teaching Institute held in August and the addition of a spring training
opportunities. One development opportunity will be held in conjunction with Spring Convocation
and a second will be an extended spring workshop.
Peer Mentors. The role of peer mentors in the literature clearly points to them as one of the
best practices for a first-year experience. While incorporating mentors into the Seminar for
Academic Success is an integral part of the support for academic success envisioned by The LSUA
Experience, the peer leadership course itself is outside the scope of the LSUA QEP. The
importance of the peer mentors cannot be overstated and the Academic Leadership course was
developed to ensure that peer mentors could provide appropriate support to first-year students.
Recruitment for upper level students interested in serving as peer mentors began in Spring
2014. Students were required to submit an application and academic references (see Appendices
G and H). The QEP Co-Chairs and Dr. Julie Gill interviewed applicants. Due to the limited number
of LSUA 1001 pilot sections (5), and the relatively high number of peer applications (15) it was
decided that the first section of LSUA 3001 would have ten peer leaders and they would be paired
cross-gender with the seminar sections.
Peer mentors were chosen in the Spring 2014 and placed in the single section of LSUA
3001. This course will serve as a venue for peer mentor training. Peer mentors will attend a presemester training workshop in conjunction with New Student Orientation prior to classes starting in
the fall semester. Peer Mentors will attend assigned LSUA 1001 classes, support the first year
students, and co-facilitate course activities with assigned faculty members. Proven peer leaders will
continue their development by taking on more responsibility and meeting the learning outcomes
devised for LSUA 4001. Table 28 lists peer mentors chosen for piloting LSUA1001.
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Table 28. Peer Mentors Participating in the LSUA 1001 Pilot
Peer Mentor
Major
Classification Assigned Faculty
VII.
Julian Lomaga
Communication Studies
Junior
Gilliland
Charlene Charrier
Psychology
Junior
Gilliland
Jackson West
Criminal Justice
Junior
Treuting
Hannah Bunting
Communication Studies
Senior
Treuting
Benjamin Jones
English
Junior
Battalora
Marlayna Meche
Communication Studies
Senior
Battalora
Mohammad Taimuri
Biology
Senior
Sammons
Kaitlyn Nichols
GS- Kinesiology
Junior
Sammons
Giovanni Rueda
Communication Studies
Senior
Sullivan
Kennetha Williamson
Nursing
Senior
Sullivan
Assessment – (CS 3.3.2)
CS 3.3.2 Assessment of the Plan: Identifies Goals and a Plan to
Assess their Achievement
Assessment of the success of The LSUA Experience is steeped in the overall assessment
goals of the campus which is guided by the model in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Overview of LSUA’s Learning Outcomes Assessment.
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The LSUA Experience
A systematic approach to evaluating the success of the QEP crosses over a number of
areas including course measures and institutional data. Triangulation was achieved through use of
both quantitative and qualitative data. Both direct and indirect measures are included in the QEP
assessment plan. Student learning outcomes developed for the Seminar for Academic Success
(LSUA 1001) serve as the focal point for the QEP Assessment Plan. A pictorial overview of the
assessment process is shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Overview of Assessment Process.
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The LSUA Experience
Implementation Monitoring
The QEP Assessment Committee will oversee the implementation of the assessment.
LSUA will monitor the program through the LSUA Institutional Effectiveness Six-Phase Assessment
Process.
Recommendations from the Assessment Committee will lead to program improvements
and document the need for any additional institutional support for the institutionalization of the QEP.
Research Design
The research is designed to assess LSUA 1001’s impact in three areas:
1. Student learning outcomes (SLO) resulting from instruction.
2. Student success.
3. Student engagement.
In addition, an assessment of the effect of the support provided by faculty and upper-level peers on
those impacts will also be conducted, as well as an examination of the interrelationships between
those areas. As it is hoped that participation in LSUA 1001 will transfer to other areas of instruction,
the assessment will also examine the extent to which that occurred.
Assessing the impact of LSUA 1001 on SLO is central to the research design. This part of
the assessment is stated in terms of goals, objectives, performance criteria, and performance
targets. The focus is on documenting the attainment of knowledge and/or skills from instruction and
identifying areas where instruction could be improved.
The research is also designed to address another key question: Do students who begin
their education at LSUA enrolled in LSUA 1001 have different educational experiences and
outcomes than other beginning students? The focus in this part of the assessment is exploring if,
how, and why the attainment of LSUA 1001 SLO produces improvements in student success and
engagement. It also addresses the role faculty and peer support plays. This part of the
assessment is presented in terms such as strength of associations, predicted odds, and explained
variance.
Conceiving of the assessment in this manner is useful for two reasons. First, it accurately
depicts the temporal sequence of the phenomena. Second, it distinguishes SLO from success and
engagement, which is important simply because instruction may effectively produce SLO without
impacting either.
Although distinctive parts of the assessment can be identified, there is much overlap
between them. The design accounts for the distinctions and commonalities, and also facilitates an
assessment of the inter-connections among them. A correlational (non-experimental) design will be
used for the assessment. An experimental design with random assignment of the intervention was
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initiated, but the process required to facilitate random assignment was found to be too disruptive to
normal operations, i.e., students could not complete a schedule, and was abandoned. As an
experimental model with random assignment was impractical, statistical controls within a general
linear model (GLM), (e.g., multiple regression, multiple logistic regression, analysis of variance, or
other GLM appropriate to the levels of measurement and the specific research question) will be
used to approximate those conditions, and partition the independent effect of LSUA 1001 from other
factors. Those statistical techniques will also provide useful feedback for improving instruction.
The initial sample includes all entering first time students in Fall 2014. There is technically
no control group, but first time students who are not taking LSUA 1001 will be used for comparative
purposes where possible and appropriate. Subsequent cohorts of students will be appended to the
initial sample creating a cumulative research cohort, thus enabling assessments of continuous
improvement in course delivery and impact assessments.
Data Collection Instruments
Data will be collected using a variety of instruments and data collection methods. Those include:
Direct Measures
1. Course assignments: uniform assignments and measurement rubrics will be used in each
of the five LSUA 1001 sections. Each standard measure will assess student products
and/or efforts on course assignments. Training and faculty preparation workshops will be
used to ameliorate issues associated with inter-rater reliability.
2. Pre-Post Tests: select areas of course instruction will be measured using pre- and posttests. Students enrolled in the seminar will be pretested on select areas at the beginning of
the semester. A target score of 80% has been established for measurement of student
learning post-test. Pre-Post-tests can be found in binder 8.
3. Other Course Test—ENGL 1002 Departmental Exam: test developed and administered
in ENGL 1002 by the English department faculty to LSUA 1001 participants and nonparticipants.
4. Lab Participation Logs: use of institution learning and teaching resources will be tracked
through lab participation logs. Chemistry and Math tutoring labs and Writing Center usage
will be tracked.
5. Student Journals: LSUA 1001 students will keep journals of their activities. Journal entries
will form the basis for counts of activity participation.
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Indirect Measures
6. Personal Growth Initiative Scale: a scale developed to assess students’ perception of
control over their lives and their motivation.
7. LSUA 1001 Instructor Feedback: subjective assessments of student motivation and risk.
In addition, daily attendance, and embedded assessment results will be recorded.
8. Focus Groups: focus groups of LSUA 1001 students will be conducted the following
semester. The provided qualitative data from these groups will augment the quantitative–
based findings. Areas of exploration will also include the following areas:

Continued use of skills developed in seminar course.

Continued participation in campus life.

Areas of need for improving effectiveness of program/suggestions for strengthening
program.
9. Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI): student perceptions of instruction using the IDEA
Center evaluation instruments which are utilized campus-wide. Results can be compared
with national norms and local norms.
10. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE): a nationally normed survey of student
attitudes about their academic experiences. NSSE is a research-based, nationally normed
and widely utilized instrument which will allow the University to assess the level of student
engagement on the following four themes of engagement:
(1) Academic Challenge;
(2) Learning with Peers;
(3) Experiences with Faculty; and
(4) Campus Environment.
This instrument will be administered campus-wide each spring semester to freshmen and
seniors. This will allow for a comparison of the LSUA 1001 students as a target group with
the rest of the campus. Specific item analyses will be used as indicated in the assessment
tables. The following Engagement Indicators from NSSE will be analyzed for LSUA1001
students and other non-LSUA first year students:

Reflective and Integrative Learning,

Learning Strategies,

Collaborative Learning,

Student Faculty Interaction,

Effective Teaching Practices,
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
Quality of interactions, and

Supportive Environment.
11. Educational Benchmarking Inc. – First Year Initiative (EBI-FYI): a research-based
instrument designed specifically for the assessment of first-year seminars. Its primary focus
is the student’s evaluation of the impact the seminar (LSUA 1001) had on overall academic
performance, retention, and social integration. The EBI-FYI also has the advantage of
comparative data from similar institutions. Table 29 provides the EBI-FYI areas of
assessment pertinent to LSUA 1001.
Table 29. LSUA 1001 Areas Targeted by EBI-FYI
First-Year Initiative Assessment Areas
Classroom Learners: Engaging Pedagogies
Usefulness of Course Materials
Course Improved Transition to College
Course Improved Understanding of Academic Integrity
Course Improved Knowledge of Academic Services
Course Improved Knowledge of Study Strategies
Course Informed Major and Career Choice
Course Improved Knowledge of Campus Policies
Course Improved Knowledge of Money Management
Course Improved Library, Research, and Information Literacy Skills
Course Improved Academic Skills
Course Improved Managing Time and Priorities
Course Improved Critical Thinking
Course Improved Connections with Faculty
Course Improved Connections with Peers
Course Increased Co-Curricular Engagement
Course Impacted Retention and Graduation
Social Integration
In addition, data from LSUA’s student information system (SIS) will be used extensively.
Data Collection and Timing
Notwithstanding data captured in the SIS, the bulk of the responsibility for data collection
unique to the QEP assessment is assigned to the LSUA 1001 faculty. This includes:
1. Administering and scoring the embedded rubrics and tests.
2. Administering EBI-FYI. EBI is responsible for scoring and compiling and reporting data.
3. Scoring related to student journal entries.
4. Administering the SEI.
5. Compiling the Faculty Data Log.
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Ideally, the subjective assessments of the students by LSUA 1001 faculty will be collected in
the first 2-3 weeks of the semester, but as the assessment of risk requires at least some feedback
on student performance, this may require adjustments. The EBI-FYI, the embedded assessments,
and SEI will be completed during the semester within normal course operations. The IDEA Center
is responsible for scoring and compiling SEI data.
Faculty will return compiled Faculty Data Logs to the Center for Academic Success (CAS)
for program monitoring and initial processing purposes. CAS staff will conduct a preliminary review
of the data, looking especially toward missing or inappropriate data. Clean work sheets will be sent
to IRE for inclusion in the study. An example of the LSUA 1001 Faculty Data Log is attached as
Appendix I.
Responsibility for collecting data from the ENGL 1002 department exam rests with the
English departmental faculty. A work sheet containing ENGL 1002 class rosters will be distributed
to the instructors with specific instructions for the data they will need to report. Completed work
sheets will be returned to CAS staff for review and processing. Clean work sheets will be sent to
IRE for inclusion in the study.
The Personal Growth Initiative Scale (PGIS) will be administered in the first 2-3 weeks of
the term online through Survey Monkey. This is the responsibility of the IRE office. Notice,
reminders, and encouragement for completing the PGIS survey will rest with the LSUA 1001 faculty
and will be augmented by electronic communications. Data collected in the survey will be exported
from Survey Monkey as a SSPS file, imported into SAS, and appended to student records. The
PGIS instrument is attached as Appendix J.
Lab Participation Logs will be completed by the students but it is the responsibility of the lab
tutors to ensure that the information is collected. Logs will be collected at end of each semester by
CAS staff, however, at the beginning of terms spot checks will be conducted to detect any potential
problems. Clean logs will be forwarded to IRE for inclusion in the study. Developing a mechanism
to automate this process is currently under consideration.
Although NSSE requires initial institutional input, the responsibility for collecting and
compiling NSSE data rests with this contractor. Data files returned from NSSE will be imported into
SAS and selected values will be appended to student records. NSSE survey administration is
conducted annually in the spring.
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Data Management and Maintenance
As data is being collected using a variety of instruments, a system that will allow for multiple
inputs into creating individual student records is required. Student records for QEP purposes will be
based on extracts of student information in the Student Information System (SIS) using SAS
Structure Query Language (SQL). Data collected using instruments described above will be first
captured in an EXCEL work sheet and imported into SAS. SAS data step procedures will then be
used to merge data from different sources creating a comprehensive student record. Using SAS for
data file maintenance and manipulation has the added advantage of a seamless connection to SAS
analytics. Resultant research data files will be maintained as SAS EXCEL exports on a secure
server that is routinely backed-up.
Subsequent cohorts of LSUA 1001 students will be appended to the initial file. In addition,
the development and/or use of additional measures regarding student persistence and outcomes
can be appended to the original records. This facilitates student tracking and provides a
mechanism for isolating the effect of LSUA 1001 over time. The flexibility inherent in this approach
and the direct link to the SIS will provide a rich environment for QEP assessment.
The breadth of the specific data elements (variables) will ensure that the impact of LSUA
1001 will be adequately defined and described. Each of the three primary impact areas are
operationalized with multiple indicators and are assessed using a variety of methods. This ensures
that the impacts have been triangulated in measurement, incorporating direct, indirect, quantitative,
and qualitative indicators. Using multiple indicators increases the validity of the measurements and
subsequent findings. A preliminary QEP student research data file dictionary is attached as
Appendix K. This dictionary defines the variables (measures) that will be needed to address the
specific components of the QEP assessment.
The operationalization of each of the key constructs is presented in more detail below. It
should be noted that some of the outcomes in the tables contain multiple data elements. This
results in a different number of measures in the data dictionary than is indicated in the tables of
outcomes, goals, criteria, and measures. It should also be noted at the outset that this dictionary of
data elements is preliminary and other measures may be added subsequently.
Student Learning Outcomes
Five student learning outcomes are specified for LSUA 1001. They are:
1. Students will be able to apply effective learning strategies: assessed using 11
indicators. Instruments will include rubrics, journal entries, pre-posttests, NSSE, EBIFYI, and focus groups.
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2. Students will be able to articulate clearly ideas in writing: assessed using 3 different
indicators. Instruments will include rubrics, other course performance, and NSSE.
3. Students will be able to articulate clearly ideas orally: assessed using 3 indicators.
Instruments will include rubrics and NSSE.
4. Students will be able to use time management strategies: assessed using 7 indicators.
Instruments will include rubrics, course tests, EBI-FYI, NSSE, journal entries, preposttests, and focus groups.
5. Students will improve their financial literacy: assessed using 1 indicator. Instrument
used is a pre-posttest.
Associated goals, objectives, criteria and targets for each of those outcomes are presented in Table
30 and represent the central focus of the QEP.
Table 30. Assessment Plan: Goal 1- Prepare Students for Academic Success
Outcome
Assessment/Performance Measures
Method
Course
1. Students will 1.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0
be able to
apply
effective
learning
strategies
2. Students will
be able to
articulate
clearly ideas
in writing
3. Students will
4.
be able to
articulate
clearly ideas
orally
Students will
be able to
use time
note-taking rubric
1.2 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score 80% or higher on note
taking post-test.
1.3 75% of LSUA1001 students will document how they applied at
least two learning strategies in other courses.
1.4 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score 80% or higher on study
strategy post- test.
1.5 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report continued use of note
taking strategies at the end of the subsequent academic
semester.
1.6 Responses on NSSE items (#9 a,b,c) will be 3% higher for
LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student non-participants.
1.7 75% of LSUA1001 students will report that the course improved
knowledge of study skills on the EBI-FYI
1.8 Responses on NSSE items (#1 e,f,g; #15 a) will be 3% higher
for LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student nonparticipants.
2.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0
written assignment rubric.
2.2 LSUA 1001 will average higher scores than non- participants on
ENGL 1002 Department Exam.
2.3 Responses on NSSE item ( #17 a) will be 3% higher for LSUA
1001 participants than first-year student non-participants.
Rubric
Post-Test
Score
Journal
Entry
Post-Test
Score
Focus
group
self-report
NSSE
Survey
EBI-FYI
Survey
NSSE
Survey
3.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0
oral presentation rubric.
3.2 Responses on NSSE items (#1 i, 17 b) will be 3% higher for
LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student non-participants.
Course
Rubric
NSSE
Survey
4.1 75% of LSUA1001 students will document how they applied at
least two time management strategies.
4.2 75% of LSUA1001 students will students will create a semester
planner.
Journal
Entry
Journal
Entry
Course
Rubric
Exam
Score
NSSE
Survey
Type
Direct
Direct
Direct
Direct
Indirect
Indirect
Indirect
Indirect
Direct
Direct
Indirect
Direct
Indirect
Direct
Direct
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The LSUA Experience
Outcome
Assessment/Performance Measures
management
strategies
5
Students will
develop
financial
literacy
skills.
Method
Type
4.3 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score 80% or higher on time
management post-test.
Post-Test
Score
Direct
4.4 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report continued use of time
management strategies at the end of the subsequent academic
semester.
4.5 75% of LSUA1001 students will report that the course improved
managing time and priorities on the EBI-FYI.
4.6 Responses on NSSE items (#14 a,g) will be 3% higher for
LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student non-participants.
Focus
group-self
report
EBI-FYI
Survey
NSSE
survey
Indirect
5.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score 80% or higher on
Post-Test
Score
Direct
financial literacy post-test.
Indirect
Indirect
Student Engagement
Student engagement has been operationalized to have four components. Those components are:
1. Resource knowledge: assessed using 2 indicators. Instruments will include rubrics and
the EBI-FYI.
2. Resource use: assessed using 8 indicators. Instruments will include the SIS, student
journals, Lab Participation Logs, NSSE, and focus groups.
3. Participation in campus activities: assessed using 5 indicators. Instruments will include
student journals, EBI-FYI, and NSSE.
4. Civic engagement: assessed using 2 indicators. Instruments will include rubrics and
service learning attendance records.
Goals, objectives, criteria and targets associated with each of those outcomes are presented in
Table 31.
Table 31. Assessment Plan: Goal 2 - Engage Students with the LSUA Community
Outcome
Assessment/Performance Measures
Method
Type
1. Students will
have
knowledge of
campus
resources.
1.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score a 2.0 or higher on a
4.0 oral presentation rubric related to campus resources.
Course
Rubric
Direct
1.2 75% of LSUA1001 students will report that the course
improved knowledge of academic services on the
EBI-FYI.
EBI-FYI
Survey
Indirect
.
2. Students will
use campus
resources
2.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report using at least two
Journal
Entry
Direct
Lab
Participation
Log
Direct
campus resources.
2.2 LSUA 1001 participants co-enrolled in MATH 1021 will
have a 10% greater use of the math tutoring lab than a
random sample of first-year student non-participants.
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Outcome
Assessment/Performance Measures
2.3 LSUA 1001 participants co-enrolled in ENGL 1001 will
Method
Type
Lab
Participation
Log
Lab
Participation
Log
Institutional
report
Direct
Focus
group-self
report
NSSE
Survey
Indirect
3.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will participate in at least
three campus activities during the semester.
Journal
Entry
Direct
3.2 75% of LSUA1001 students will report that the course
increased Co-Curricular Engagement on the EBI-FYI.
3.3 Responses on NSSE items (#14 e, h; #15 b) will be 3%
higher for LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student
non-participants.
EBI-FYI
Survey
NSSE
Survey
Indirect
4.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will score a 2.0 or higher on
a 4.0 civic engagement rubric.
Course
Rubric
Direct
Service
Learning
Attendance
Record
Direct
have a 10% greater use of the writing center than a
random sample of first-year student non-participants.
2.4 LSUA 1001 participants co-enrolled in CHEM 1001 will
have a 10% greater use of the writing center than a
random sample of first-year student non-participants.
2.5 75% of LSUA 1001 students will a schedule in the campus
system by completion of their first semester.
2.6 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report continued use of
campus resources at the end of the subsequent academic
semester.
2.7 Responses on NSSE items (#14 b, c) will be 3% higher for
LSUA 1001 students than non-participating first-year
students.
3. Students will
participate in
LSUA campus
activities.
4. Students will
demonstrate
civic
engagement
through
service
learning.
4.2 75% of LSUA 1001 students will participate in a service
learning activity
Direct
Direct
Indirect
Indirect
Supportive Academic Environment
A supportive academic environment is conceptualized as two components:
1. Peer mentors: conceptualized as having two components, engagement and leadership.
Engagement is assessed using 2 indicators, while leadership is assessed with 3. Data will
be collected using the SEI, rubrics, and focus group discussions.
2. Faculty: conceptualized as having two components, student instruction and interaction.
Faculty instruction is assessed using 5 indicators; interaction is assessed using 3 indicators.
Instruments used for data collection include the SEI, NSSE, EBI-FYI, rubrics, and focus
groups.
Goals, objectives, criteria and targets associated with each of those outcomes are presented in
Table 32.
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Table 32. Assessment Plan: Goal 3 - Create a Supportive Undergraduate Academic Experience
Outcomes
Assessment/Performance Measures
Method
Type
Peer Mentors
1. Peer mentors
will promote
engagement of
LSUA 1001
students in
campus
activities
2. Peer mentors
will model
successful
academic
leadership
behaviors.
1.1 75% of LSUA1001 students will report that peer
mentors have helped them to become engage with the
LSUA Community.
1.2 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report Peer Mentors
promoted participation in campus activities at the end
of the subsequent academic semester.
LSUA 1001
Course
Evaluation
Focus
group-self
report
Indirect
2.1 Peer Mentors will score a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 Faculty
Evaluation of Peer Mentors rubric.
2.2 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report that peer
mentors modeled successful academic leadership
behaviors.
2.3 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report Peer Mentors
modeled successful academic leadership behaviors.
Evaluation
Rubric
LSUA 1001
Course
Evaluation
Focus
group-self
report
Direct
3.1 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report that faculty
assists with development of learning strategies for
academic success.
LSUA
Course
Evaluation
Indirect
3.2 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report Faculty helped
them develop useful learning strategies at the end of
the subsequent academic semester.
3.3 Responses on NSSE items (#3 a,c,d) will be 3% higher
for LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student nonparticipants.
4.1 Responses on NSSE items (#13, c) will be 3% higher
for LSUA 1001 participants than first-year student nonparticipants.
Focus
group-self
report
NSSE
Survey
Indirect
NSSE
Survey
Indirect
4.2 75% of LSUA1001 students will report that the course
improved their Connections with Faculty on the EBIFYI.
EBI-FYI
Survey
Indirect
4.3 75% of LSUA 1001 students will report Faculty helped
them develop useful learning strategies at the end of
the subsequent academic semester
Focus
group-self
report
Indirect
Indirect
Indirect
Indirect
Faculty
3. Faculty will
assist LSUA
1001 students
to develop
learning
strategies for
academic
success.
4. Faculty will
effectively
interact with
students
during the
undergraduate
college
experience
Indirect
Academic Success
Two institutional goals components represent student progress through academic success:
1. Academic progress: assessed using 4 indicators. The SIS will be the source for this
information.
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2. Academic persistence: assessed using 3 indicators. The SIS will be the source for this
information.
Goals, objectives, criteria and targets associated with each of those outcomes are presented in
Table 33.
Table 33. Assessment Plan: Institutional Goal - Academic Success
Outcome
Criteria
Measure
1. Students will
make better
academic
progress
2. Students will
return at higher
rates
1.1 The number of courses dropped, by
the end of the second semester, will
be 10% lower among LSUA 1001
participants than non-participants.
1.2 The number of “D/F” grades, at the
end of the second semester, will be
10% lower among LSUA 1001
participants than non-participants.
1.3 The percentage of credits earned at
the end of the second semester, will
be 10% higher among LSUA 1001
participants than non-participants.
1.4 The number of LSUA 1001
participants registering for second
semester courses by the end of the
first semester will be 10% higher than
non-participants.
2.1 75% of LSUA 1001 participants will be
retained from first to second semester.
2.2 75% of LSUA 1001 participants will be
retained from the first to second year.
2.3 75% of LSUA 1001 participants will be
retained from first to third year.
Type
“W” Rates
Direct
“D/F” Rates
Direct
Percent of Credits
Earned
Direct
Number of
Students with
Schedules
Direct
Retention Rates
Fall to Spring
Retention Rates
1st Fall to 2nd Fall
Retention Rates
1st Fall to 3rd Fall
Direct
Direct
Direct
Control Variables
Control variables are essentially alternative explanations for differences in outcomes. As
such, the research design needs to include them in the overall analysis. Given that student
motivation is a key to learning, and ultimately student success, measures of student motivation
have been included as control variables. A preliminary list of other factors that the analysis will
attempt to take into account includes:
1. Degree sought,
2. Age.
3. Gender.
4. Race/ethnicity.
5. High school GPA.
6. High school rank.
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7. ACT/SAT test scores.
8. Personal Growth Initiative Scale score.
9. Class days missed.
10. Instructor assessments of risk/motivation.
11. Student athlete.
12. College credits earned in high school.
13. Developmental student.
14. Financial aid status
15. Commuter status.
16. Course load.
17. Course schedule composition, and
18. LSUA 1001 section.
Controlling for the effect of those variables will enable the independent effect of LSUA 1001
to be partitioned. As this is a primary consideration of the research design, the inclusion of control
variables and understanding their relationship with the specified outcomes is a key component of
the overall research design. Control variables will also enable the analysis to drill down to granular
details about the student and the student’s academic experiences in explaining the impact of LSUA
1001.
Analysis Plan
The analysis will answer these questions:
1. Does LSUA 1001 produce learning outcomes (SLO)?
2. Do faculty and peer mentors affect LSUA 1001 learning outcomes?
3. Do LSUA 1001 learning outcomes promote academic success?
4. Do LSUA 1001 learning outcomes promote student engagement?
5. What is the effect of faculty and peer mentors on student engagement?
6. What is the effect of faculty and peer mentors on academic success?
In addition, the analysis will attempt to discern effects of faculty participation in LSUA 1001 on
instruction in other courses. The first year assessment will also play a critical role in developing
best practices.
Assessment of LSUA 1001 SLO will be an ongoing activity integrated into normal
institutional effectiveness activities. Each goal, objective, criteria, target, and measured outcome
will be reported in the IE data base annually. Effectiveness data will then be reviewed by faculty,
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 65
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and programmatic issues will be identified for needed improvements. Any changes in program
delivery will be monitored subsequently during the next year.
Measures of SLO are counts or percentages of students who have mastered course-related
knowledge or skills. This method of performance assessment successfully identifies program
weaknesses generally, but it actually sheds little light on the specific factors that are producing the
outcomes. The analysis of SLO considers neither student traits nor course delivery in the
assessment. Nor does this analysis provide any estimate of the predicted effect of the intervention
on SLO.
Outside of a randomized, experimental design, analysis that begins to assess the degree to
which SLO or other outcomes are affected by the intervention requires many variables to be
considered simultaneously. This is accomplished via a multivariate general linear model (GLM).
However, given that there is no specific theory of the program being tested, the interrelationships
between, SLO, engagement, and success are largely unknown. That is, there are no a priori
statements declaring that SLO produces success and engagement equally, or whether the effect of
SLO on success is through an intervening effect of engagement, or other plausible explanations.
This lack of an underlying guiding theory of the intervention will require the assessment of effect to
be based in large part on data mining.
Assessing the Effect of The LSUA Experience
To ease explanation of GLM, rather than considering all of the data elements individually, it
helps to focus instead on the underlying constructs of the program. The six underlying constructs
are:
1. Control variables,
2. Student learning outcomes,
3. Student success,
4. Student engagement,
5. Faculty support, and
6. Peer mentor support.
Each of the underlying constructs is represented with multiple indicators as was shown in the data
dictionary. The first step of the multivariate analysis of the effect of the intervention, LSUA 1001,
will be to determine which of the multiple indicators within the underlying constructs co-vary. This is
accomplished with a correlation matrix. The purpose of this initial analysis attempt will be to pare
down the preliminary list of indicators by either discarding those that are weakly related to each
Louisiana State University at Alexandria 66
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other or perhaps creating linear composites of those that are strongly related (using Cronbach’s
alpha as a test). The eventual determination will be based on many factors including the data
instruments and compatibility, correlation coefficients, and the judgment of the program
administrators and analysts. This step removes factors that obfuscate rather than clarify the
analysis.
Once the initial list is pared of factors that seem to be unrelated to the research questions
being considered, and any new variables have been created through linear composites, a statistical
model will be used to partition the independent effect of the intervention on outcomes. The creation
of this model again will begin by examining a correlation matrix, except at this point the analysis will
begin to look at the strength of the associations between the underlying constructs. Those
coefficients form the first test of the effect of the intervention. Bivariate correlations however are
often times misleading because the detected covariance is caused by each variable’s relationship
with one or more other factors. However, this enables the examination of the pared down list of
indicators to possibly be pared more.
Once the analyst is comfortable with a group of indicators, statistical models can be tested.
The results of those tests will quantify the independent effect of the intervention on SLO, success,
and engagement. It will also identify affects owing to peer and faculty support. Assessing the effect
of the intervention within a multivariate model statistically controls for other factors thus showing
independent effects while holding the effects of other factors constant.
The flexibility of the data base design will also allow an assessment of the effect individual
components of the intervention had on success and engagement. It will identify course
components that work well and course components that are failing. SLO found to be unrelated to
success can be modified or dropped in favor of components that have a greater impact. This
feedback is crucial to program improvements.
The research design, the broad-range of collected data, built-in data base flexibility, and the
direct link to the SIS ensures that the impact of the QEP can be assessed. The research data
provide a rich sandbox to explore the interrelations of student traits, SLO, and other outcomes. The
design enables program administrators to test not only the overall effect of the intervention, but also
enables an examination of the characteristics of students associated with success in the program
and success overall academically. Perhaps most importantly, the design provides program
administrators valuable feedback for ongoing improvements.
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VIII.
Conclusion
This is an exciting time for LSUA. Several initiatives are currently underway to change the
face and image of the University. The implementation of The LSUA Experience could not have
happened at a better time. As LSUA embarks on the QEP journey, focused on enhancing the
college experience of first-year students, the University is another step closer to actualizing full
transition as a four year University.
Implementation of The LSUA Experience has been embraced campus wide. After a full
review of both qualitative and quantitative data there is no doubt that implementation of an
intentional plan, targeting first-year students, will in due course have a broad-based impact on the
campus community as a whole. The design of the first-year seminar course is based on a rigorous
and thorough examination and application of national best practices to assist first year students to
be successful at LSUA. The LSUA Experience is more than just a course, as the project expands to
impact more and more students, faculty, and staff; a culture of support for academic success will
permeate the campus.
The LSUA Experience is an initiative designed to significantly raise the campus-wide
aspirations for student success. It is deliberate in its approach to enhancing the college experience
for the first-year student with a lasting impact through degree completion. The project has been
established as a priority for the University as evidenced by allocation of human, physical and
financial resources necessary to achieve established goals. As a result of continued assessment
and use of data to evaluate, strengthen and inform practice, the success of these endeavors will
provide a constant review and transparent conversation surrounding students’ success at LSU at
Alexandria.
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IX.
References
Astin, A.W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA:
Jossey-Bass.
Barefoot, B. O. (2005). Current Institutional Practice in the First College Year. In M.L.Upcraft, J.
Gardner, & B. O. Barefoot, & Associates, Challenging and supporting the first-year student:
A handbook for improving the first year of college (pp. 47-66). San Francisco: JosseyBass.
Barr R. B., & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning: A new paradigm for undergraduate
education. Change, 27 (6), 12-25.
Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z.F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice. American
Association of Higher Education Bulletin, 39 (7) , 5-10.
Cuseo, J. (2012). Infusing research-based principles of student success into the firstyear experience course. Paper presented at the 31st Annual Conference on the First-Year
Experience, San Antonio, Texas
Cuseo, J. (2011a). Administration of the first-year seminar: Key decisions and decisionmaking criteria. Paper presented at the Symposium on Student Success in College &
Beyond, Chicago, IL.
Cuseo, J. (2011b). The potential power of the first-year experience course: Holistic
outcomes and systemic impact. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Conference on the
First-Year Experience, Atlanta, GA.
Cuseo, J. (2010a). Much more than a stand-alone course: The first-year seminar as the
connecting hub for a comprehensive first-year experience. E- Source for College
Transitions (Electronic Newsletter published by the National Resource Center for the FirstYear Experience), 7(3), pp. 4-5, 13.
Cuseo, J. (2010b). Empirical evidence for the positive impact of peer interaction, support, &
leadership. E- Source for College Transitions (Electronic Newsletter published by the
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience), 7(4), pp. 4-5.
Cuseo, J. (2009a). Moving beyond student outcomes: Potential campus-wide benefits of the
first-year seminar. E-Source for College Transitions (Electronic Newsletter published by the
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience), 7 (1), pp. 4-5.
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Cuseo J. (2009b). The empirical case for the first-year seminar: Course impact on student
retention and academic achievement. E-Source for College Transitions (Electronic
Newsletter published by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience). 6 (6),
pp 4-5.
Cuseo, J. (2009c). Got faculty? Promoting faculty involvement in FYE programs and initiatives,
Part II. E-Source for College Transitions (Electronic Newsletter published by the National
Resource Center for the First-Year Experience), 6(3), pp. 3-4, 6.
Cuseo, J. (2009d). The first-year seminar: A vehicle for promoting the instructional development of
college faculty. E-Source for College Transitions (Electronic Newsletter published by the
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience), 7(2), pp 4-6.
Cuseo, J (2008). Got faculty? Promoting faculty involvement in FYE programs &
initiatives. E-Source for College Transitions (Electronic Newsletter of the National Resource
Center on the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition), 6(2), pp. 3-5.
Cuseo, J. (2007). Seven Central Principles of Student Success: Key Processes Associated with
Positive Student Outcomes. E-Source for College Transition (Electronic Newsletter of the
National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition), 4(5), pp.
3-4, 6.
Cuseo, J. (2003). Comprehensive academic support for students during the first year of college.
In G. L. Kramer & Associates, Student academic services: An integrated approach (pp. 271310). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Foote, S. M. ( 2009). High impact, high engagement: Designing first-year seminar activities and
assignments to promote learning and application. E-Source for College Transition
(Electronic Newsletter of the National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience &
Students in Transition), 7 (1) pp. 9-10.
Friedman, D. (2005). Appalachian State University. In B. F. Tobolowsky, B. E. Cox, & M. T.
Wagner (Eds.), Exploring the evidence: Reporting research on first-year seminars, Volume
III (Monograph No. 42) (pp.13-17). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National
Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.
Friedman, D.B., (2012). The first-year seminar: Designing, implementing, and
assessing courses to support student learning and success. Vol. V. Assessing the firstyear seminar. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource
Center for the First–Year Experience & Students in Transition.
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Gardner, J. N., Upcraft, M. L., & Barefoot, B. O. (2005). Conclusion: Principles of good
practice for the first college year and summary of recommendations. In M. L. Upcraft, J. N.
Gardner, & B. O. Barefoot, & Associates, Challenging and supporting the first-year student:
A handbook for improving the first year of college (pp. 515-524). San Francisco: JosseyBass.
Goodman, K. & Pascarella, E.T. (2006). First-Year Seminars Increase Persistence and
Retention: A Summary of the Evidence from How College Affects Students. Peer
Review 8 (3) 26-28.
Greenfield,G., Keup, J. & Gardner, J. (2013). Developing and sustaining successful first-year
programs: A guide for practitioners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Groccia, J.E. & Hunter, M.S. (2012). The first-year seminar: Designing, implementing, and
assessing courses to support student learning and success. Vol. II. Instructor training
and development. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource
Center for the First–Year Experience & Students in Transition.
Hunter, M.S. (2006). Fostering Student Learning and Success through First-Year Programs.
Peer Review 8 (3) 4-7.
Hunter, M. S., & Linder, C. W. (2005). First-year seminars. In M. L. Upcraft, J. N. Gardner, B. O.
Barefoot, & Associates, Challenging and supporting the first-year student: A handbook for
improving the first year of college (pp. 275-291). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kuh, (2005). Student Engagement in the First Year of College. In M. L. Upcraft, J. N.
Gardner, & B. O. Barefoot, & Associates, Challenging and supporting the first-year student:
A handbook for improving the first year of college (pp. 86-107). San Francisco: JosseyBass.
Latino & Ashcraft (2012) The first-year seminar: Designing, implementing, and assessing
courses to support student learning and success. Vol. IV. Using peers in the classroom.
Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First–Year
Experience & Students in Transition.
Metz, G.,Cuseo, J. & Thompson, A. (2013). Peer-to-peer leadership: Transforming student
culture. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
Padgett, R.D. & Keup, J.R. (2011). 2009 National Survey of First-Year Seminars: Ongoing
efforts to support students in transition (Research Reports on College Transitions, No. 2).
Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year
Experience and Students in Transition.
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Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students, Volume 2: A third
decade of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Schrader, P. G., & Brown, S. W. (2008). Evaluating the first year experience: Students’
knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Journal of Advanced Academics, 19, 310–343.
Swing, R. L. (2002). Series of essays on the First Year Initiative Benchmarking Study. Bervard,
NC: Policy Center on the First-Year of College.
Tobolowsky, B. F., Cox, B. E., & Wagner, M. T. (Eds.). (2005). Exploring the evidence: Reporting
research on first-year seminars, Volume III (Monograph No. 42). Columbia, SC: University of
South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in
Transition.
Upcraft, M. L., Gardner, J. N., Barefoot, B. O., & Associates (2005). Challenging and
supporting the first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Young, D. G. (2013). Research Spotlight: National evidence of the assessment of first-year
seminars: How and how much? E-Source for College Transitions (Electronic Newsletter
published by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience), 2 (1). pp 18-19.
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X.
Appendices
Appendix A
QEP Frequently Asked Questions
QEP Frequently Asked Questions
What is a QEP?
 Quality Enhancement Plan
Why does LSUA need a QEP?

Developing a QEP is a key component of the Reaffirmation Accreditation by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
What are the key elements of a QEP required by SACSCOC?


Institutionally driven
Reflects self-assessment and identification of key issues related to student learning outcomes or
learning environment. I can focus on challenges or enhancing strengths
 Reflects the Mission of LSUA.
 Futuristic! A plan that launches LSUA into the future and enhances learning experiences on campus.
 Must be able to be implemented.
 Identifies measureable goals that can be achieved.
Who is responsible for developing the QEP?
 Everyone!
 Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, Community Members.
What is the QEP topic for LSUA?

Whatever the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community embers say it is! This is key to a
successful QEP. It must be recognized as a key issue on campus by stakeholders.
What’s in it for ME?
 Professional Development
 Enhanced teaching
 A chance to make a difference
 LSUA Pride!
How can I contribute?



Volunteer to participate on the QEP committee
Participate in focus groups and QEP surveys
Get involved
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Appendix B
QEP Survey Questions
1. I am a/an (Select all that apply)
Administrator
Alumni
Community Member
Faculty
Staff
2. How important do you believe a QEP is to the future of LSUA?
Very Important
Somewhat Important
Neutral
Not very important
Not at all important
3. Which statement best describes current opportunities to voice input on student learning at
LSUA?
Frequently
Sometimes
Every once in awhile
Never
4. Are you willing to assist with the QEP?
Yes
No
Maybe
5. If you are willing to assist, what da/time would you be available to assist with the QEP?
6. What do you think LUSA needs to do to improve student learning?
7. What do you consider to be LSUA/s strengths that positively impact student learning?
8. What do you consider to be LSUA’s weaknesses that negatively impact student learning?
9. If you could change one thing to improve student learning what would it be?
10. Please feel free to share any additional comments regarding the QEP process.
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Appendix C
Faculty Workshop Evaluation Survey
Faculty Professional Development Survey (Spring 2014)
RESULTS n=25 (Total participants 5/12=30; 5/13=n=30)
The Center for Teaching Excellence is here to support the mission of Teaching on the LSUA campus. In order to provide faculty with
Professional Development and support, we need your thoughtful consideration of the following areas. Please take a few minutes to
respond to the questions below. (Circle or check the appropriate response.) Thank you.
LSUA Experience Faculty Development Workshop
Dr. Linda McDowell and Dr. Lynn Marquez, Millersville University
May 12, 13, 2014
25 SURVEYS TURNED IN
Were the workshop materials presented in
a clear and concise manner?
Were the activities engaging and useful?
Definitely No
No
Maybe
Yes
Definitely Yes
% of responses (4/5)
1
2
2
Was the presentation organized in a
meaningful way?
Were the handouts and support materials
useful?
Will you utilize any of these ideas in your
future courses?
Do you feel prepared to teach a section of
LSUA1001?
1
2
1
2
3
1
2
1
2
1
3
1
3
5
4
11
4
4
4
8
4
8
4
6
4
10
5
13
5
19
5
17
5
17
5
18
5
6
96%
1
3
1
3
2
3
Please rate your overall satisfaction with
1
2
3
4
5
this Faculty Development workshop.
8
15
Comments:
1. I really enjoyed the workshop- a great collaboration between faculty and staff. This provided a chance for
different views to be expressed for a collaborative learning experience, thank you!
2. Great speakers, great group, surprisingly not boring. 
3.
92%
100%
100%
96%
72%
100%
This is a great opportunity to start something new. The presenters were great and provided material that was
helpful. The activities were fun and informative.
4. Presenters were great and I liked having ideas from across campus but the 2nd day particularly was a classroom
mgmt problem. It got too unruly. Thank you to the presenters.
5. Very enlightening; validated previous understanding; enjoyed “learning by engagement” Safe travels & thank you
6. Great Workshop!
7. I’m very excited about LSUA 1001-this is perfect timing for the university for a much-needed program.
8. Great job, ladies! This will be a game changer for our campus.
9. As we move forward with this course and we are determining how to best support students. We need to
remember that holding them to a high standard is also supportive.
10. It is hard to provide yes or no answers to the first 3 questions. My level of c oncentration flagged in
the afternoon so I often found myself feeling overwhelmed. I do think the presenters were wellprepared and engaging.
11. Awesome experiential opportunity Motivation and Inspiring
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12. This was very engaging-having this expanded to include non-teaching (right away) faculty. The
presenters were a perfect fit. A good balance of guidance and letting us workout what is right for us.
There are a lot of great ideas but, since they are not yet framed into a comprehensive whole, I do not
feel ready to teach this. I am however very excited to teach it!
13. Good info.
14. Real life application - down to earth presenters - engaging materials
15. Very well organized; practical & useful tools & strategies
16. Thanks you for meaningful activities that are applicable to ALL courses!
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Appendix D
Instructor Application Form
LSUA 1001 Seminar for Academic Success
DEADLINE: April 21, 2014
Please submit application to Mary Treuting, Center for Academic Success, Box 56; [email protected]; (MPAC 343)
Name: ______________________________________________________ Date: ___________________
E-mail: ______________________Department: ___________________Job title:___________________
Work address: ________________________________Office phone: ____________________________
Home address: _______________________________Home/Cell Phone: _________________________
I am professionally classified as: (circle) Classified Staff
If faculty, are you: (Tenured
Tenure track
Unclassified
Administrator
Faculty
Instructor Adjunct)
Highest degree obtained ______________ Field/Subject _____________________
My supervisor has approved me to teach LSUA 1001 ___Yes ___No ___NA
I can teach as:
______ an OVERLOAD
_____ part of REGULAR COURSE LOAD
Signature of supervisor giving permission to teach ____________________________________________
I will attend the Seminar for Academic Success workshops May 13-14th
Yes
No
I am only interested in attending the training at this current time
Yes
No
Sp15
Su15
I am interested in teaching for the following semesters:
Fa14
Fa15
Please rank your preferred teaching times for fall 2014.
(Rank as many times as possible and place an X in box for any time when you would NOT be available)
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
MWF 8:00-8:50 AM
MWF 9:00 -9:50 AM
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM
MWF 11:00-11:50 PM
MWF 1:00-1:50 PM
MWF 2:00-2:50 PM
MWF 3:00-3:50 PM
Monday, Wednesday
MW 1:00-2:15 PM
MW 2:30-3:45 PM
MW 4:00-5:15 PM
Tuesday, Thursday
TTH 8:00-9:15 AM
TTH 9:30-10:45 AM
TTH 11:00-12:15 PM
TTH 1:00-2:15 PM
TTH 2:30-3:45 PM
TTH 4:00-5:15 PM
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3 hour blocks: Monday
Wednesday
afternoons
evenings
Tuesday
afternoons
evenings
afternoons
evenings
Thursday
afternoons
evenings
I understand that as a part of my stipend for this course I must attend training and assist with assessment
and focus groups following the semester I teach.
Signature______________________________________________________ Date_____________
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Appendix E
Teaching Cohort Contract
Date: 5/12/14
Dear
I am pleased to confirm your appointment as an Instructor of the Seminar for Academic Success
course for a future semester. Your semester, specific class time, and Peer Mentor will be worked
out in conjunction with you during the fall 2014 semester, but will not occur prior to fall 2015.
Once your course time and semester is set, your compensation for the above assignment will be the
regular university fee for overload pay at your rank, plus a $500 training/assessment stipend.
Overload pay will be processed in the usual manner during the semester you are teaching. The
training and assessment stipend will be processed as a stipend payment following the Spring 2014
training. If you are teaching a section as part of your required teaching load then you will receive
the training stipend as supplemental to your regular pay following spring training.
The time commitment for this position includes:
 Attending a mandatory Faculty Development Workshops scheduled for Tuesday May 13th
and Wednesday May 14, 2014 from 9:00am to 4:00pm and Thursday August 21, 2014
from 1 pm – 3 pm. and Monday January 5, 2015 from 1pm-3pm. These dates are firm
as we will have expert guest speakers to provide training on various topics. It is critical that
you attend these workshops so you are familiar with the essential components of the course.

Participating in ongoing faculty conversations with the Seminar Team

Teaching your weekly class and conducting common course assessments

Meeting with your peer mentor for lesson/activity planning.

Assisting with course and program assessments at the end of the semester
If you are accepting this assignment, please sign and date below.
Signing this contract indicates that you will be present at the mandatory Faculty development
workshops and will uphold the commitments listed above.
Name ______________________________________________
Date_________________________
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I have enclosed two copies of this contract, one for you to return to me via interoffice mail and one
for your records. Please return one copy to me at MPAC 343 or Box #56
I am thrilled to have you as a part of our team as we embark on this new program to engage LSUA
students. Our ability to have a strong impact on their lives is exciting. I look forward to working
with you in the upcoming semester.
Sincerely,
Mary Boone Treuting, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Academic Success
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Appendix F
LSUA 1001
Master Course Outline LSUA 1001
Seminar for Academic Success
Lec. 3 , Lab Cr. 3
Effective Date: Fall 2014
Course Description: LSUA1001 is a recommended course for incoming students and transfer students with
less than 30 earned credit hours. Through active learning, and with the assistance of faculty and peer
mentors, first year students will “connect” with the LSUA community, gain a better understanding of what it
takes to be a successful college student, and adopt strategies that facilitate achievement of academic goals.
Course Objectives (Student Learning Objectives)
I.
Foster Academic Success
The student will:
o apply appropriate academic strategies for academic success.
o demonstrate the ability to evaluate information and utilize resources for academic inquiry.
o use written and oral communication for discovery and articulation of ideas.
o develop strategies to manage time effectively.
o explore degree and career options and the pathways to achievement.
o demonstrate effective financial literacy skills.
II.
Provide Connection to LSUA
The student will:
o utilize available student support resources.
o actively participate in the LSUA Community.
o demonstrate civic engagement through service learning.
Procedures to Evaluate these Objectives
1. Formative and summative evaluations.
2. On-line and classroom learning activities.
3. Course evaluations.
Use of Results of Evaluation to Improve the Course
1. Formative and summative evaluations will be analyzed by the instructor to determine future
scope and sequence of course content.
2. Online and classroom learning activities will be analyzed by the instructor to determine the course
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structure and amount of time allocated for topics review/research for future semesters.
3. Course evaluations are analyzed by faculty to determine effectiveness of learning activities in
assisting students with meeting course objectives.
Detailed Topical Outline:
Exploring the College Experience
Controlling your own Destiny: Becoming an LSUA General
Campus resources: Academic and Personal Support
Navigating Financial Aid
How to ask the right questions
Advising
Managing Money
Understanding Yourself as a Student:
Emotional Intelligence
How YOU learn: Learning styles and personality attributes
Time Management
Developing Academic Strategies
Learning Strategies
Critical Thinking
Engaged Learning: listening, participating and note taking
Reading, writing and communicating effectively
Test taking strategies
Information Literacy
Memory
Connecting to the Campus
LSUA History and traditions
Campus Life
Community Involvement
Service Learning
Looking toward the Future
Career exploration
Degree planning
Workforce exploration
Community Engagement
Staying Connected
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Appendix G
Peer Mentor Application Form
Application Form
Final Application Deadline: Friday, April 25, 2014
LSUA 3001 Academic Leadership I
Application Process
Step 1: Complete and submit this application to Dr. Mary Treuting MPAC 343, or box #56
Step 2: A recommendation form will be sent to the following 2 individuals:
Academic Advisor: ______________________(name) ___________________(e-mail)
Faculty/staff/supervisor___________________(name) ___________________(e-mail)
Personal Information:
First Name:
_________________
LSUA E-mail
___________________
Middle Initial:
_________________
Preferred E-mail ___________________
Last Name:
_________________
Phone Number
___________________
Preferred First Name: _________________
LSUA ID:
_________________
Local Address:
Street: _____________________________
City: ______________________________
State: __________ Zip Code: _________
Cell Phone Number ___________________
Permanent Address: (if different)
Street: _________________
City: _________________
State: _________ Zip Code: _________
Academic Information:
Total Number of completed hours:_______ Cumulative GPA:___________
Major: ___________________
Advisor: ____________________
Did you transfer to LSUA? ___________ If yes, from what institution? ___________________
Did you take LSUA 1001? ___________
If Yes, when? ____________
Student Responses
Please answer the following 3 questions on a separate sheet and attach to this application.
Place your name any attached sheets.
1. Tell us about your involvement both on and off campus. Please list all relevant work experiences
(including both paid and non-paid experiences, jobs, volunteer work, etc.) Please list campus and
community service including student organizations, clubs, or honor societies you participate in.
Include any awards you have received and any leadership positions you have held. [100-250 words]
2.
Why do you want to be a Peer Leader? Describe what you perceive to be the role of a peer leader and
how you would perform such a role if selected. What personal attributes, skills, or qualifications would
you bring to the position that would contribute to the success of first-year students and to the
Academic Leadership Program? [100-250 words]
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3.
What are your personal and professional goals and how do you feel serving as a peer leader will assist
you in achieving these goals? [100-250 words]
Under the provisions of the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1975, I understand that I have
the option to retain or waive my right to access (read/review) the recommendation form. Please check one:
__I retain my right to access the recommendations.
__I waive my right to access the recommendations.
Applicant’s Signature: _____________________________________Date: __________________
Remind your recommender to submit the online recommendation form they will receive via e-mail.
(internal use only)
Interview Date:______________
Decision:
Accepted: ___
Not Accepted: ___
Assigned Faculty Mentor: ____________________________Class Time:______________
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Appendix H
Peer Mentor Reference Form
Academic Leadership Recommendation Form
The student below is interested in being a Peer Mentor as a part of the Academic Leadership Course
(LSUA 3001). Your name was submitted by the student as a reference. Please give your honest
judgment of the qualities of this student. We have tried to make it as easy as possible for you.
Simply put an “x” in the appropriate boxes/spaces and return the email to [email protected] or if you
prefer, print and place in LSUA box #56. Thank you for your assistance. If you are unable to complete
for any reason, please notify by return email.
In completing your recommendation, consider the following course summary:
Peer Mentors assist first year students by serving as an academic peer advisor, a resource to
the campus and community, and a mentor to assist with the transition to college here at
LSUA. Peer Mentors build their leadership abilities by collaborating with assigned faculty to
enhance the classroom experience for students, by facilitating group discussions, delivering
in-class presentations, and leading classroom and community building activities. In addition,
they will study characteristics of leadership and put these ideas into practice.
Student:
__ __________________________________________
Please complete the following ratings by checking the appropriate box.
Skill
Exceptional
Above
Average
Average
Below
Average
Cannot
Judge
Ability to Work Well With Others
Campus Involvement
Academic Achievements
Accountability/Reliability
Attitude/Character
Enthusiasm
Diversity Awareness
Emotional Maturity
Initiative
Integrity/Honesty
Interpersonal Communication
Leadership potential
Presentation Delivery
Willingness to Help Others
I know this applicant: __ Well; __ Fairly Well; ___ Not Very Well; __ I do not know this
applicant
Please provide your candid recommendation of this applicant as a potential “Peer Leader”
__ Highly Recommend __ Recommend __ Recommend with Reservations
__ Do Not
Recommend
Under the provisions of the FERPA students have the option to retain or waive their right to access
this recommendation form.
This student: ____ retained right to access this reference.
Any Additional Comments:
waived right to access this reference
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Appendix I
LSUA 1001 Faculty Data Log
LSUA 1001 Faculty Data Log
Directions:
1. Complete all required information in space provided. Accuracy is crucial.
2. Download the End of Course Evaluation into an Excel Spread Sheet and forward to Dr. Mary
Treuting at [email protected]
Semester ____ Year_____ Faculty ___________________ Peer Mentor _____________________
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Appendix J
Personal Growth Initiative Scale
Used with permission by Christine Robistschek
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Appendix K
QEP Assessment Data Dictionary
Quality Enhancement Plan Assessment Data Dictionary
Student
Records
Variable
Name
Student
Number
Description
Unique identifier
Student Learning Outcomes
Learning
Strategies
SL1X1
Note Taking Score
SL1X2
Note Taking Pre-test
SL1X3
Note Taking Post-test
Number of applied
SL1X4
learning strategies
Study Strategy PreSL1X5
test
Study Strategy PostSL1X6
test
NSSE 9A: Identified
information from
SL1X7
reading
SL1X8
SL1X9
SL1X10
NSSE 9C:
Summarized material
EBI-FYI study skills
score
SL1X14
NSSE 1E: Sought help
from another student
NSSE 1F: Explained
course work to
others
NSSE 1G: Prepared
for exams with
others
NSSE 15A: Hours
spent preparing for
class
SL2X1
Writing Score
SL1X11
SL1X12
SL1X13
Writing
NSSE 9B: Reviewed
notes after class
Source
Student Information
System
Level of
Measurement
Not a
measure
Note taking rubric
Course Component
Course Component
Interval
Interval
Interval
Journal
Interval
Composite value of
rubric
Test score
Test score
Count from student
journal
Course Component
Interval
Test score
Course Component
Interval
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
Test score
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
EBI-FYI
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
Writing score rubric
Interval
Values
System generated
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
0=0; 1-5=1; 6-10=2; 1115=3; 16-20=4; 2125=5; 26-30=6; 31+=7
Composite value of
rubric
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Quality Enhancement Plan Assessment Data Dictionary
Student
Records
Variable
Name
SL2X2
SL2X3
Oral
Presentation
SL3X1
SL3X2
SL3X3
Time
Management
SL4X1
SL4X2
SL4X3
SL4X4
SL4X5
SL4X6
Financial
Literacy
SL5X1
Description
ENGL 1002 Exam
Score
NSSE 17A:
Institutions effect on
writing skills
Oral Presentation
Score
NSSE 1I: Gave a
course presentation
NSSE 17B:
Institutions effect on
speaking
Number of time
management
strategies used
Student created
semester planner
Time management
score
EBI-FYI Time
management skills
score
NSSE 14A:
Institutions emphasis
on study time
NSSE 14G:
Institutions help on
personal time
management
Financial literacy
score
Source
Level of
Measurement
Values
ENGL Department
Interval
NSSE
Oral presentation
rubric
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
Test score
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
Composite value of
rubric
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
Journal
Interval
Count from student
journal
Instructor Survey
Nominal
Y/N
Course Component
Interval
Test score
EBI-FYI
Interval
Interval
Ordinal
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
NSSE
Ordinal
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
Course Component
Interval
Test score
Nominal
As recorded on
student transcripts
Ratio
As compiled in the SIS
Ratio
As compiled in the SIS
NSSE
Academic Success
Progress
SP1X1
SP1X2
SP1X3
LSUA 1001 Course
Grade
Credit hours
attempted term
Credit hours earned
term
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
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Quality Enhancement Plan Assessment Data Dictionary
Student
Records
Variable
Name
SP1X5
Description
Credit hours
attempted
cumulative
Credit hours earned
cumulative
SP1X6
Term GPA
SP1X7
SP1X8
Cumulative GPA
Next semester
schedule created
SP2X1
Retained next term
SP2X2
Retained next year
SP1X4
Persistence
Student Engagement
Resource
knowledge
SE1X1
SE1X2
Resource use
SE2X1
SE2X2
SE2X3
SE2X4
SE2X5
SE2X6
SE2X7
Activity
Participation
SE3X1
Campus knowledge
score
EBI-FYI Services score
Number of campus
resources used
Student use math
tutor
Participate in student
instruction
Student use writing
center
Next semester
schedule created
NSSE 14B:
Institutions emphasis
on student success
NSSE 14C:
Institutions emphasis
on using support
Number of campus
activities
participation
Source
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Campus knowledge
rubric
EBI-FYI
Level of
Measurement
Values
Ratio
As compiled in the SIS
Ratio
As compiled in the SIS
Ratio
As computed in the SIS
Ratio
As computed in the SIS
Nominal
Y/N
Nominal
Y/N
Nominal
Y/N
Interval
Interval
Composite value of
rubric
Journal
Lab Participation
Log
Lab Participation
Log
Lab Participation
Log
Student Information
System
Interval
Count from student
journal
Nominal
Y/N
Nominal
Y/N
Nominal
Y/N
Nominal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
Y/N
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
Interval
Count from student
journal
Journal
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Quality Enhancement Plan Assessment Data Dictionary
Student
Records
Variable
Name
SE3X2
SE3X3
SE3X4
SE3X5
Civic
Engagement
SE4X1
SE4X2
Description
EBI-FYI Co-curricular
engagement score
NSSE 14E:
Institutions emphasis
on social
opportunities
NSSE 14H:
Institutions emphasis
on attending
activities
NSSE 15B: Hours
spent in co-curricular
activities
Civic Engagement
score
Student participated
in service learning
Source
EBI-FYI
NSSE
Level of
Measurement
Values
Interval
Ordinal
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
Interval
Very much=4; Quite a
bit=3; Some=2; Very
little=1
0=0; 1-5=1; 6-10=2; 1115=3; 16-20=4; 2125=5; 26-30=6; 31+=7
Composite value of
rubric
Nominal
Y/N
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Civic engagement
rubric
Lab Participation
Log
Ordinal
Faculty Support
Assistance
SFM1X3
NSSE 3A: Discuss
career plans with
faculty
NSSE 3C: Discuss
course topics with
faculty
NSSE 3D: Discuss
academic
performance with
faculty
SFM2X1
NSSE 13C: Quality of
faculty interactions
SFM1X1
SFM1X2
Interaction
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
NSSE
Ordinal
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
Very often=3;
Often=2;
Sometimes=1; Never=0
7-pt Lickert scale with
Poor=1 and
Excellent=7
Peer Mentor Support
SPM1X1
Engagement score
SPM1X2
Leadership score
Peer mentor
engagement rubric
Peer mentor
leadership rubric
SPM1X3
Helpfulness score
Peer mentor
helpfulness rubric
Interval
Composite value of
rubric
Composite value of
rubric
Interval
Composite value of
rubric
Interval
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Quality Enhancement Plan Assessment Data Dictionary
Student
Records
Variable
Name
Description
Source
Level of
Measurement
Values
Faculty Development
SFD1X1
EBI Engaging
Pedagogy score
EBI-FYI
Ordinal
Student Traits
Control
Variables
SC1X1
Degree sought
SC1X2
Age
SC1X3
Sex
SC1X4
Race
SC1X5
High School GPA
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
High School Rank
Student Information
System
Interval
SC1X7
ACT Composite Score
Student Information
System
Interval
SC1X8
ACT Science Subscore
Student Information
System
Interval
SC1X9
ACT Math Subscore
Student Information
System
Interval
SC1X10
ACT English Subscore
Student Information
System
Interval
Student Information
System
Interval
PGIS Survey
Interval
Instructor Survey
Interval
SC1X6
SC1X11
SC1X12
SC1X13
ACT Reading
Subscore
Personal Growth
Initiative Score
LSUA 1001 Class Days
Missed
Nominal
Ratio
Nominal
Nominal
Interval
As stored in SIS 6
CHAR; also collapsed
categories
Computed from census
day of associated term
M/F
As stored in SIS; also
collapsed categories
To the third decimal
Computed based on
class size and position
in class
Reported from ACT;
SAT scores converted
to ACT
Reported from ACT;
SAT scores converted
to ACT
Reported from ACT;
SAT scores converted
to ACT
Reported from ACT;
SAT scores converted
to ACT
Reported from ACT;
SAT scores converted
to ACT
Linear composite of 7
6-pt Lickert scales
Recorded attendance
record value
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Quality Enhancement Plan Assessment Data Dictionary
Student
Records
Variable
Name
Description
Source
Level of
Measurement
SC1X14
Early Results Rating
Instructor Survey
Ordinal
SC1X15
Motivation Rating
Ordinal
SC1X16
Athletic status
Instructor Survey
Student Information
System
SC1X18
College credits
earned in high school
Developmental
student
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
SC1X19
Financial aid student
SC1X20
Commuter status
SC1X21
LSUA 1001 Section
SC1X17
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Student Information
System
Nominal
Ratio
Nominal
Nominal/R
atio
Nominal
Nominal
Values
Faculty rating of early
academic
performance, 7-pt
scale
Faculty rating of
students' motivation,
7-pt scale
Y/N
Total college credits
earned prior to
beginning of term
Y/N
Y/N; proportion of
college costs not
covered
Y/N
Section number as
recorded in SIS
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Appendix L
Binders with Supporting Materials
Binder 1
QEP Survey Responses
Binder 2
Focus Group Materials
Binder 3
QEP Think-Tank
Binder 4
Team Meeting Materials
Binder 5
Faculty Training Materials
Binder 6
Job Descriptions and Resumes
Binder 7
Applications and Contracts
Binder 8
LSUA 1001 Course Materials
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XI.
List of Tables
Table 1
Incoming Student Profile Data (pg. 6)
Table 2
LSUA Student Non-Success Rates (pg. 6)
Table 3
LSUA First-Year Student Data (pg. 6)
Table 4
LSUA Retention Data (pg. 7)
Table 5
QEP Survey Responses by Group (pg. 8)
Table 6
Constituent Involvement in Focus Groups (pg. 9)
Table 7
QEP Survey and Focus Group Emerging Themes (pg. 10)
Table 8
Core Tasks and Activation Dates of QEP Teams/Committees (pg. 12)
Table 9
Relationship between QEP Goals, Expected Outcomes, and LSUA’s
Strategic Plan (pg. 26)
Table 10
Timeline for QEP Development Phase (1/13-8/14) (pg. 28)
Table 11
LSUA 1001 Sections and Projected Enrollments (pg. 30)
Table 12
Timeline for Faculty and Peer Mentor Selection and Training (pg. 30)
Table 13
Assessment Plan Timeline (pg. 31)
Table 14
Five-Year QEP Implementation Timeline (pg. 32)
Table 15
Personnel, Roles and Lines of Authority for QEP Implementation (pg. 34)
Table 16
QEP Committee Structure (pg. 37)
Table 17
Faculty Interest: Teaching Cohort and Training Participation (pg. 38)
Table 18
Projected Budget for The LSUA Experience Implementation (pg. 40)
Table 19
Activities Demonstrating Broad-based Involvement in Development (pg. 41)
Table 20
Literature Review Team Membership (pg. 42)
Table 21
Program Development Team Membership (pg. 43)
Table 22
Assessment Team Membership (pg. 44)
Table 23
Marketing Team Membership (pg. 45)
Table 24
QEP Oversight Committee (pg. 46)
Table 25
Staff Resource Group (pg. 46)
Table 26
Faculty Assignments for LSUA 1001 Pilot Fall 2014 (pg. 48)
Table 27
Roll-out of LSUA 1001 Sections by Semester (pg. 49)
Table 28
Peer Mentors Participating in the LSUA 1001 Pilot (pg. 51)
Table 29
LSUA 1001 Areas Targeted by EBI-FYI (pg. 56)
Table 30
Assessment Plan: Goal 1–Prepare Students for Academic Success (pg. 59)
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Table 31
Assessment Plan: Goal 2–Engage Students with the LSUA Community (pg.60)
Table 32
Assessment Plan: Goal 3–Create a Supportive Experience (pg. 62)
Table 33
Assessment Plan: Institutional Goal - Academic Success (pg. 63)
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XII.
List of Figures
Figure 1.
Process for QEP Development (pg. 5)
Figure 2.
Conceptualization of Components of The LSUA Experience (pg. 25)
Figure 3.
Organizational Structure (pg. 34)
Figure 4.
Overview of LSUA’s Learning Outcomes Assessment (pg. 51)
Figure 5.
Overview of Assessment Process (pg. 52)