NAU redefining itself through Student Success Initiatives
The mission of providing a premier undergraduate education is what drives the entire institution. It also is the foundation for a systematic reform of freshman learning that is emerging within John Haeger's Student Success Initiative—the objective of which is to increase freshman retention and, ultimately, the percentage of students who complete their degrees.
The initiative includes efforts that focus on freshman skill-building, coordinated sections that improve consistency of the student experience, the piloting of proven modules/courses procured from commercial vendors, and multiple course delivery mechanisms.
A number of changes already are under way—including the First-Year Learning Initiative and Student Success Coaches. Haeger has called for instructional innovation to better address the way that today's students learn, advocating the effective use of technology as a key tool for increasing student retention.
More efforts are emerging, including:
A new University College will become a model for delivering freshman-year courses with increased student success and improved retention. The college will debut in fall 2012.
The Lumberjack Mathematics Center will radically change the way freshman math is taught at NAU. The center is based on the emporium model used by Virginia Tech, which has demonstrated a decrease in D's, F's and withdrawals for freshmen, lowering a major barrier to retention.