SD Board of Regents
306 East Capitol Ave
Suite 200
Pierre, SD 57501
605 773 3455

 Student Success Conference


Cedar Shore Resort and Conference Center

1500 Shoreline Drive

Oacoma, South Dakota

May 10-11, 2011



List of Presentations



May 10, 2011


1. Establishing a System Completion Agenda by Focusing on Factors that Influence Student Success and Retention

Over the past decade, the Regental system has begun to refocus its efforts beyond enrollment growth and to place a stronger emphasis on student retention and degree production.  These efforts merge with a state and national level “Completion Agenda” that seeks to grow the percentage of the population with a college degree.  A number of initiatives are currently underway at both the system and institutional level to improve completion rates by targeting critical retention issues.  This session will explore system level phenomenon that adversely affect student success by evaluating important data that can be used as fundamental metrics for improving progression/retention/completion at the institutional level.   



Paul Turman, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, South Dakota Board of Regents


2. A Theory Based Approach to Addressing the Student Success of South Dakota’s Students of Color

There is no doubt that student success as an outcome has garnered considerably more attention in higher education in the age of accountability.  However, the success of students cannot be covered with one broad stroke.  As we continue to build programs and activities to effectively move students through their educational experience in a meaningful way, we have to be aware of the cultural contexts and values that non-white students place on traditional American higher education.  This session will look at theory and research to aid professionals in addressing the success of all students.



Jesse Wise, Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs, Dakota State University


3. Engaging Students in Active Learning: Mathematics

Black Hills State University's math department and educational team is investigating the improvement of student learning in the developmental math courses.  Changes in structure, instructional strategies and student involvement have led to consistent improvement in student learning results.  This initiative is providing a means to examine variables attributed to student success in developmental math courses. This presentation will provide a background into this investigation and describe further research and programmatic changes.



Curtis Card, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, Black Hills State University


4. Common Read: An Approach to Enhancing Student Engagement

The common read initiative at South Dakota State University, now in its third year, will be discussed as a strategy for enhancing student engagement. Currently, some 1,500 freshman students from across campus, in addition to the Brookings community, participate.  Approaches, activities and assessment results will be discussed.



Timothy Nichols, Dean of the Honors College and Interim Director for Diversity, South Dakota State University



May 11, 2011


5. Pilot Test of New Method to Track Student Success

DSU and BHSU are among 18 institutions who are pilot testing a new method to track student success. The Student Learning Progress Model was developed by a researcher at the University of Alaska-Anchorage and is designed to give universities and other agencies a more accurate picture of which factors influence student success rates. Most student success models track only degree-seeking students. This model extends to all enrolled students and documents the results of an institution’s efforts to enhance student learning progress.



Erin Holmes, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, Black Hills State University

Carrie Ahern, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment, Dakota State University


6. Engaging Students Through Learning Communities

Learning Communities have been identified as one of the most successful strategies for supporting student success. To that end, South Dakota State University is implementing learning communities via block scheduling for all in-coming first-year, full-time students beginning fall 2011. A pilot program was implemented in 2010 which set the foundation to expand the concept for this coming fall. Data from the pilot phase will be presented, including specific information about the students in the pilot phase, scheduling process, and how to engage faculty.



Mary Kay Helling, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, South Dakota State University

Matt Aschenbrener, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, South Dakota State University


7. Engaging Students in Active Learning: Psychology

Virtual environments such as Second Life provide a new opportunity to engage students in the learning process in ways previously unavailable.  With the ability to create simulations, students can experience firsthand scenarios that would be nearly impossible to mimic in a traditional classroom.  Virtual environments also create opportunities to supplement classroom learning with the added advantage of social interaction with their peers.



Cheryl Anagnopoulos, Professor, Black Hills State University


8. Creating a Local Community: Native American Efforts at USD

Since the fall of 2005, the University of South Dakota has been more deliberate about its retention efforts with incoming first-year Native students. The Native S.T.A.R. (Student Tracking Advocacy Retention) Program, a project designed and implemented by Native Student Services and coordinated with other campus entities, created programming for first-year students that runs from orientation before the start of the fall semester through the end of the academic year. USD’s efforts have since expanded in two ways, interacting with Native students while they are still in high school, and adding appropriate activities and experiences for students after the first year. This presentation will walk participants through what is now a more holistic approach to Native student recruitment and retention.



Kurt Hackemer, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer, University of South Dakota

Gene Thin Elk, Director of Native Student Services, University of South Dakota


9. Retention Partners: Early Alert Student Referral System & Academic Accountability Counseling – Making Every Contact Count!

Isn’t the time to intervene with struggling students at a point before it’s too late for them to save the class?  Getting these students “on our radar screen” early and providing them with information and encouragement at the time the problems occur can make the difference! This session will describe a web-based student referral system developed at Dakota State University, used by instructors, academic advisors, and staff to identify students encountering barriers to their academic success.  The capabilities of the on-line system for instructors, academic advisors, and program administrators will be demonstrated, along with a description of our process.



Patti Beck, Student Success and Retention Coordinator, Dakota State University


10. Early Alert System at NSU



Kate Coughlin, Discovery Program Director/Co-Coordinator for the Office of Student Success, Northern State University

Heidi Fisher, Co-Coordinator for the Office of Student Success, University College, Northern State University


11. Catching Students Before They Fall: The Student Success System at USD

The University of South Dakota implemented an early alert grading system in Fall 2002 to help identify early in the semester the students who are struggling in their coursework.  Since that time, the University’s academic advisors and student services personnel have learned to work collaboratively in an effort to help students.  Over time, the USD system has proven successful in keeping struggling students, especially first-year students, on track. This presentation will walk participants through a brief history of the collaboration process; describe the current student success system; and provide evidence of its success.



Steve Ward, Director of the Academic and Career Planning Center, University of South Dakota


12. Veterans Resource Center: A Key Contributor to Student Success

According to last year’s National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), enrollment of veterans at America’s college campuses is surging. The survey results indicate, however, that these students do not feel supported and understood. The NSSE study concluded that “…colleges and universities must strive to find more effective ways of helping former service members while creating more supportive environments to promote their academic success.”


This seminar demonstrates how a campus Veterans Resource Center is a key component of this type of supportive environment, assisting veterans with the achievement of a successful transition from military to student life.



Cathy Payne, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Rick Rhode, Program Advisor, Western Nebraska TRIO Veterans Upward Bound


13. Discovery and Beyond – Model for Residential Student Success Programs

Using a combination of case management, themed residential living and learning communities and student success best practices, this session will describe a unique and highly successful program that supports underserved populations in accessing higher education.



Kate Coughlin, Discovery Program Director/Office of Student Success Coordinator, Northern State University

Todd Tucker, Director of Residence Life, Northern State University


14. Project Based Learning: STudents Emerging as ProfessionalS, Center of Excellence, and Undergraduate Research

The School of Mines’ vision is that every graduate will be recognized as a professional when entering the workforce. In order for students to reach this level, project-based learning is integrated in active and collaborative learning in and out of the classroom through STudents Emerging as ProfessionalS (STEPS). Theory is applied to practice through assigning complex tasks based on challenging questions or situations that involve the students' problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, and reflection that include teacher and advisor facilitation. Learning activities are designed to be long-term, interdisciplinary and student-centered. The School of Mines’ model will be described including the Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production, Undergraduate Research, the Industrial Engineering department and student activities.



Dan Dolan, Co-Director, Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP); Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department (ME), South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Patricia “Pat” Mahon, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Kim Osberg, Associate Director, Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP), South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Al Boysen, Professor, Humanities Department, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Michael West, Assistant Professor, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Department (MET), South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Stuart Kellogg, Department Head/Pietz Professor, Industrial Engineering Department (IENG), South Dakota School of Mines & Technology