Event Title

Phoenix GPS: A Wholistic College Transition Approach for Underrepresented Students

Mentor 1

Denise Bartell

Location

Union 280

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:00 AM

Description

The Phoenix GPS Program creates a year-long enrichment experience for historically-underrepresented first-year students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It places students into small groups of twenty-five, each with a Faculty Mentor, a Peer Mentor, and an Academic Advisor (a GPS Team). Over the course of the first-year, each GPS Team takes courses together; participates in workshops to build academic self-efficacy and skills; develops mentoring relationships with faculty, staff and peers; is monitored for academic progress; completes a service learning project; and works to develop a major and career plan. The goals of the program are to boost college success, including engagement, GPA, and retention, for students who participate and our data significantly indicates these as the outcomes. Historically underrepresented students (i.e., first generation, low income, students of color) have lower academic achievement in their first-year and are less likely to be retained (c.f., Adolfo, Mortenson, & Muraskin, 2008; Fischer, 2007). The GPS program elements were designed to address risk factors to college success identified in our student population, including low academic self-efficacy and a deficit of skills necessary for college success, lack of knowledge about and accessing of campus resources, supportive mentoring and positive peer relationships, and co-curricular engagement. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the GPS program, we utilized multiple methods of assessment, both to track student participation and engagement and to evaluate the effectiveness of our program components. We utilized a matched comparison evaluation model, comparing first-year students in the GPS program to underrepresented first-year students who did not participate in the program, as well as to non-underrepresented first-year students. We drew from institutional data and designed new assessment tools to examine the impact of GPS participation on first-year outcomes. Results after year one found that GPS program participation resulted in a 17.9% increase in retention for students who completed the entire year of the program, as compared to underrepresented first-year students who did not participate (92.2% vs. 74.6%), and a higher percentage of credits completed (94.7% vs. 89.8%). GPS students also had higher GPA’s, and participation in the program eliminated the achievement gap in a popular STEM course. Additionally, GPS students reported significantly higher levels and quality of faculty-student interactions. The GPS program eliminated the achievement gap for first-year students of color who participated. In fact, GPS students of color outperformed white students on outcomes including retention, GPA, and student-faculty interaction.

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Apr 24th, 10:00 AM

Phoenix GPS: A Wholistic College Transition Approach for Underrepresented Students

Union 280

The Phoenix GPS Program creates a year-long enrichment experience for historically-underrepresented first-year students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It places students into small groups of twenty-five, each with a Faculty Mentor, a Peer Mentor, and an Academic Advisor (a GPS Team). Over the course of the first-year, each GPS Team takes courses together; participates in workshops to build academic self-efficacy and skills; develops mentoring relationships with faculty, staff and peers; is monitored for academic progress; completes a service learning project; and works to develop a major and career plan. The goals of the program are to boost college success, including engagement, GPA, and retention, for students who participate and our data significantly indicates these as the outcomes. Historically underrepresented students (i.e., first generation, low income, students of color) have lower academic achievement in their first-year and are less likely to be retained (c.f., Adolfo, Mortenson, & Muraskin, 2008; Fischer, 2007). The GPS program elements were designed to address risk factors to college success identified in our student population, including low academic self-efficacy and a deficit of skills necessary for college success, lack of knowledge about and accessing of campus resources, supportive mentoring and positive peer relationships, and co-curricular engagement. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the GPS program, we utilized multiple methods of assessment, both to track student participation and engagement and to evaluate the effectiveness of our program components. We utilized a matched comparison evaluation model, comparing first-year students in the GPS program to underrepresented first-year students who did not participate in the program, as well as to non-underrepresented first-year students. We drew from institutional data and designed new assessment tools to examine the impact of GPS participation on first-year outcomes. Results after year one found that GPS program participation resulted in a 17.9% increase in retention for students who completed the entire year of the program, as compared to underrepresented first-year students who did not participate (92.2% vs. 74.6%), and a higher percentage of credits completed (94.7% vs. 89.8%). GPS students also had higher GPA’s, and participation in the program eliminated the achievement gap in a popular STEM course. Additionally, GPS students reported significantly higher levels and quality of faculty-student interactions. The GPS program eliminated the achievement gap for first-year students of color who participated. In fact, GPS students of color outperformed white students on outcomes including retention, GPA, and student-faculty interaction.