Through the course of the spring semester, we have heard from faculty, staff, and students, from many places and spaces on the MSU campus commenting that planning for meeting all students’ needs as the fall semester approaches will require a coordinated effort by the entire campus community. As is often the case at MSU, many people are anticipating the needs of our students and working diligently to build out plans in their own area of responsibility but are challenged by what can seem like an impossible task to connect with other similar work occurring in administrative, student affairs, academic affairs units and the colleges.
Responding to this grand challenge, the (Re)Orientation 2021-2022 group has been charged with leading, coordinating, and supporting the campus community as we focus on the experience of our undergraduate students who will be orienting and reorienting themselves to the campus environment in Fall 2021. A group of thirty-six campus leaders has been asked to anticipate, prepare for, and address the various needs of undergraduate students at all phases of the student life cycle as they return to campus after being in a remote learning environment for 1 ½ years. Their activities include collecting, organizing, and sharing programmatic initiatives, coordinated care strategies, advising strategies, and instructional considerations with particular focus on these five areas of student success:
Academics (advising, degree pathway, learning support)
Sense of belonging (peer connection, campus connection, campus climate)
Wellness (mental, physical, financial, safety)
Sense of purpose (e.g. experiential and career pathways)
Community (housing, off campus norms)
The work will focus on immediate needs and short-term strategies for the coming academic year and will remain connected and grounded in the efforts of the broader first- and second-year Student Experience initiative that has been established to explore and identify sustained student support. The project team has intentional plans to be highly collaborative and engaging through feedback with the Campus Student Success Group (CSSG), and other college-, division-, and unit-based groups on campus. The working groups will be student-centered, data-informed, focused on more action than discussion, and will be using an equity framework to identify, address, and, if possible, remediate inequities.
The timeline incorporates focus, discipline, collaboration, and execution. March-April 2021 will involve brainstorming and planning, May-June 2021 finalizing plans, and July 2021-May 2022 will require on-going cycles of implementing, assessing, and adjusting plans as needed.
We will provide strategically planned all-campus virtual engagements to provide updates and gather feedback from the MSU community – please add these to your calendar!
Friday, May 7th, 2021 from 1:30pm-3:30pm
https://msu.zoom.us/j/94579155454, Passcode: 129468
Thursday, June 10th, 2021 from 10:00am-12:00pm
https://msu.zoom.us/j/97639275656, Passcode: 278487
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 from 1:00pm -3:00pm
https://msu.zoom.us/j/99158415809, Passcode: 179137
The leadership “squad” for (Re) Orientation is working collaboratively with our focus on supporting chairs and the entire project team while managing communication, student involvement, and updates across various units on campus.
Sarah Gretter (Associate Director in the MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology)
Amy Martin (Assistant Dean/Chief of Staff for the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education)
Renata Opoczynski, (Assistant Dean for Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives)
Genyne Royal, (Assistant Dean for Student Success Initiatives and Director of the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative)
We appreciate everyone who has agreed to help the campus community develop (Re)Orientation for our undergraduate students and value the expertise and talent they bring to this work. We encourage you to connect with the “squad” or any of the leads or members of the project team if you wish to share important resources, information, or suggestions for the working groups to consider.
Through the groups’ work and engagement with campus units and leaders, the outcomes for undergraduate students would include efforts such as establishing orientation and re-orientation activities, programs, and initiatives for each group of undergraduate students, ensuring they are well supported by instructors, advisors, administrators, and staff during as they arrive on campus; developing guides and resources for advisors, mentors, and instructors about the unique needs of each group of students; identifying resources for students in each group and a strategy for communicating and delivering those resources; recommending and implementing programmatic activities that address the student needs that working groups identify; suggesting and implementing coordinated care structures for each group of students for the 2021-2022 academic year; and creating communications that support this work in a streamlined fashion for students. In May of 2022 we will provide an update and assessment of our activities at the Spring 2022 Teaching, Learning, and Student Success Conference. Please join us in thanking the members and leaders of this group for their efforts and we look forward to working together to welcome all our undergraduate students to campus after an unusual year in a remote leaning environment.