iPASS Convening at the DREAM Conference Features UTSA Student Success Journey

February 23, 2018



iPASS class photo at the final iPASS convening

(iPASS class photo at the final iPASS convening.)

 

Written by Rosalind Ong, Project Coordinator

 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) held its final convening in conjunction with the DREAM Conference in Nashville, TN from February 19-23.

The Office of Information Technology’s (OIT’s) Assistant Vice Provost and iPASS grant Principal Investigator (PI) Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., and Project Coordinator and iPASS Project Lead Rosalind Ong along with Academic Advising Executive Directors of Advising Barbara Smith and Angelica Barrera represented UTSA at the convening. 

Following the event Barrera shared, “Being a part of the iPASS convening and Dream conference just reaffirmed things for me - always build from an asset perspective.  Academic Advising is teaching, and we will continue to guide and inspire our roadrunners to their ultimate dream.”

 

UTSA iPASS team participates in a group exercise during the iPASS convening.

(UTSA iPASS team participates in a group exercise during the iPASS convening.)

The event opened with reflections from several higher education leaders including representatives from the Helmsley Foundation, the President of EDUCAUSE, representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the President of National Association of Student Personnel Associates (NASPA). They discussed the achievements of the iPASS group and the future direction to bring the work to scale.

 

Left to right: Rick Sluder, Ph.D., Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., and Ana Borray

(Left to right: Rick Sluder, Ph.D., Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., and Ana Borray)

Dr. Kenon served as a panelist along with Middle Tennessee Vice Provost for Student Success Rick Sluder, Ph.D., and EDUCAUSE Director of Professional Learning Ana Borray during the iPASS convening breakout session “Tracking Implementation Progress & Putting the Data to Use.” Dr. Kenon shared insights on how UTSA has used surveys as well as graduation and retention rate to provide tools to enhance student success. She also elaborated on the different marketing efforts that have led to  successful adoption of the advising technology.

 

 Left to right: Rosalind Ong, Barbara Smith, Angelica Barrera, John O’Brien, Ph.D., Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., and Orlando Leon

(Left to right: Rosalind Ong, Barbara Smith, Angelica Barrera, John O’Brien, Ph.D., Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., and Orlando Leon)

The UTSA iPASS team also had the opportunity to highlight projects that resulted from the UTSA iPASS Grant during the reception “Celebrating our Success” poster session at the convening. Dr. Kenon and Ong engaged with attendees and answered questions. Attendees were able to view photos from student success images and materials from DegreeWorks, the Education Advisory Board’s (EAB’s) Student Success Collaborative Campus (SSC-Campus), the UTSA Guide (EAB Guide), and the UTSA Mobile App marketing campaigns.

 

Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., facilitating a table discussion at the iPASS convening.

(Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., facilitating a table discussion at the iPASS convening.)

The convening provided an opportunity for participants to engage in table sessions on specific topics within the area of technology tools for advising and student success. Dr. Kenon was invited to facilitate the “Strengths and Gaps in Degree Planning Tools” session. As a facilitator she guided the conversation and summarized and reported the group findings.

 

Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., presenting at the DREAM 2018 conference

(Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., presenting at the DREAM 2018 conference.)

Dr. Kenon also served as a panelist for the DREAM conference presentation, entitled “Transforming the Student Support Experience” along with representatives from Zane State College and Trident Technical College. In this session Dr. Kenon shared UTSA’s experience implementing transformative redesign efforts in advising along with the challenges and opportunities encountered.  

In summary, the conference provided an opportunity for the team to share the experience of UTSA and to see the amazing work in student success and plan for the future. Smith stated, “I am amazed to see how the work we’ve all done as recipients of the iPASS grant, has enhanced opportunities for students as a result of the collaboration and willingness to openly discuss challenges, opportunities and lessons learned. Hearing the student DREAM scholars share their stories is inspiring and a good reminder that our work matters.  It is critical to always consider how things are going to affect our students.”

The iPASS grant is managed by EDUCAUSE in partnership with Achieving the Dream. UTSA is one of 26 institutions nationwide to receive this grant to support student success. The UTSA iPASS project is a collaboration between the UTSA Provost Office, Academic Advising, and OIT. It focuses on transforming three key areas to help students complete their degrees:

  • Education planning
  • Counseling and coaching
  • Risk targeting and intervention