By Renata Opoczynski, Assistant Dean for Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives
Last Monday we held our annual Student Success Launch, in a virtual format for the first time. With over 400 people attending, it was our largest Launch yet! For about a quarter of attendees it was also their first Launch, which makes me hopeful that our student success network is growing wider and representative of more diverse units on campus. Thank you to all who attended and engaged with us. For those who were not able to attend you can see the videos from the main webinar and the breakout sessions linked below.
We started Launch with quotes that students had submitted to either a recent survey around their needs in the current environment or a direct call for sharing what they were experiencing with faculty, staff, and administrators at Launch. We also invited five students to share more deeply about their experiences and how we crenata.jpgould support them. I want to thank the brave voices who shared their stories so powerfully.
To say the student stories and experiences shared were impactful is an understatement. It is not an exaggeration to share that almost all of Launch attendees were moved by the stories shared and inspired to do the work to improve the campus environment for our students. I know because I have the assessment results to prove it! 95% of attendees said they strongly agree or somewhat agree that they left with a greater understanding of what students are experiencing in the current environment. 91% said that the student panel was extremely or very beneficial. Further, 97% of participants listed the student panel or student voices as the thing they most enjoyed about Launch.
So now what? Now that we know the needs students have expressed, what do we do about them? How do we not let their powerful testimony be forgotten or moved past as the next urgent matter falls across our desks?
I want to specifically and without hesitation state that the stories they shared are not representative of the community we want to create at MSU. We must all work to do better to support our students and improve the Michigan State they know and experience. Several administrators have reached out to me to talk about how we can support students by identifying, analyzing, and removing barriers to student success across our different roles and areas throughout campus. I have deeply appreciated these conversations and I am more than happy to meet with anyone who wants to engage deeper.
APUE is committed to working with anyone who wants to analyze and improve the policies, practices, structures, and norms that influence student success on campus and work to ameliorate the barriers students face. We are also committed to continuing to listen to diverse student voices and raising their powerful stories to administration and the broader MSU community. I am personally committed to making sure we do all we can so that ALL students feel valued and appreciated at MSU so they can learn, thrive, and graduate.
Will you join us?