frontier set august newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Letter from the Editors: This Month’s Theme  
  • Webinar: Identifying and Intervening with Students at Risk for Non-Academic Reasons
  • Virtual Table Talk: Preparing Faculty to Teach Online
  • Reminders & News: 2019 Annual Convening, Student Success Technologies Working Groups, and Branding Guidelines

Letter from the Editors

As we head into August, the pace is no doubt quickening, whether you’ll welcome students into the new academic year this month or next. Some of you will be rolling out new initiatives, sparked or supported by your Frontier Set work; we’ll be eager to hear about how they go!

Our August programming will focus on different content areas, but each represents an outgrowth of topics introduced earlier. Our webinar, Identifying and Intervening with Students at Risk for Non-Academic Reasons, will look at how to locate and reach out to students who would be appropriate recipients of Emergency Aid or other supports. The Table Talk, Preparing Faculty to Teach Online, will take a deeper dive into looking at what support and training faculty need to foster online learning environments where students will be most successful.

If you’ve opted to participate in the Communications Audit Working Group, you’ll soon receive the instructions you need to kick off your work.  

Finally, as there’s back-to-school energy and excitement in the air, please forward us news about your innovations, whether it’s in your own words or links to on-campus or external media reporting. We’d be happy to share; we’re impressed by the work you’re doing. Alternately, if you’re stymied by an issue you’re trying to resolve and you’d like some input from others who have faced similar challenges, send us your questions and concerns.  

Best wishes for a transformative 2018-19 academic year!

All the best,

Victoria, Gila, Lisa, and KD


Identifying and Intervening with Students at Risk for Non-Academic Reasons

Date: Tuesday, August 28 at 1:00pm ET
Speakers: Elena Medeiros and Mary Anderson from University of North Carolina Greensboro; Victoria Lock from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College; Karl Konsdorf from Sinclair Community College; and Kelly Casperson, from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Target Audience: Faculty and staff (financial aid, student services, etc.) who are interested in learning more about how to identify and then support and retain students who are facing unexpected (non-academic) circumstances that affect their ability to persist and succeed in college.
Description: Emergency Aid, as discussed in our July webinar, is an effective tool that institutions can use to retain students who are faced with an emergency situation with financial implications. Other crises may require additional supports, not all of which are financial. Even more, locating students in need and extending assistance is not an easy prospect: by what means are such students identified? How can an institution abide by confidentiality norms, yet encourage the appropriate sharing of information about a student in dire straits? Academic issues are more tangible and readily recognized. How can we detect and then address the combinations of financial (e.g. housing and food insecurity, transportation, etc.) and other personal (e.g. transition to college, physical and mental health of student & loved ones, etc.) issues that undermine a student’s ability to perform and ultimately graduate?  

For many reasons, students are reluctant to ask for help, and typically they would not know where to seek assistance. Meeting and serving their needs with efficiency, dignity and compassion is not only humane, it leads to higher graduation rates! Join our webinar to hear about three Frontier Set sites (UNC Greensboro, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Sinclair Community College) who are utilizing early alert products to flag non-academic factors (both adjustment and specific resource needs) and to connect students to supports that address their needs.

Note: NASPA has launched an online community of practice website, Student ARC: Advancing Retention in College, outlining related issues and providing Emergency Aid and other resources. Check it out!    

Register here

Virtual Table Talks

Preparing Faculty to Teach Online

Date: Thursday, August 23 at 1:00pm ET
Host: Jason Frank from Santa Fe College
Target Audience: Faculty and staff who oversee strategic decisions around implementing, training, and support for online learning for an academic department or student services unit.
Description: Advance preparation is the key to successful learning, and the advance prep that works for face-to-face settings doesn’t translate smoothly to online platforms. How can an institution prepare for an online course in a way that increases the chances of success (as measured by student pass rates)? Santa Fe College created new faculty professional development opportunities for online instructors. With a team of instructional designers, fresh perspectives, increased outreach efforts, and carefully nurtured relationships with faculty, they designed a semester-long online certification program.

Jason Frank was one of the presenters at the May webinar (Supporting Digital Learning: Preparing Faculty and Students for Online Courses), and he will return to lead a Table Talk to further describe the voluntary professional development course they designed for faculty.  Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences to share. What’s working? What isn’t? How can you do better?

NOTE: If you haven’t had a chance to review AIR’s Promising Practices Brief 5 Supporting Digital Learning: Preparing Faculty and Student for Online Courses, you may want to do so, as background for the discussion.

Register here

Reminders & News

Frontier Set Annual Convening 2019
Save the date! Be sure to 
hold March 3-5, 2019 on your calendars for the next Frontier Set Annual Convening. Next year’s all-site gathering will be held at the J.W. Marriott Houston. It will begin with a welcome reception in the evening on Sunday, March 3, 2019 and will continue with engaging sessions and networking opportunities through the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 2019. You will receive more information about programming, travel, and logistics later this year. We look forward to seeing you there!

Student Success Working Groups
Registration will open soon for the next round of Student Success Technologies working groups. This time around, you will be able to register for a series of conversations around specific topics. All conversations will be facilitated by Sarah Zauner of The Ada Center. Topics will include: The Effective and Ethical Use of Predictive Analytics, Early Alert Tools, and Student Mobile Apps. There will also be an opportunity to revisit the technology maps created during the early months of 2018. More information will be coming soon!

Frontier Set Branding Guidelines
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, working with Touch Worldwide, created branding guidelines intended to help member sites and supporting organizations tell the story of the Frontier Set consistently and clearly. The Frontier Set has a unique and powerful story, and it’s important that it rings true across all channels, from all voices. Color, design, typography, and logos all help carry and convey the Frontier Set identity. The branding guidelines are now available and stored on the platform. You can access them here.

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