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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Faculty Senate reviews findings of student retention workgroup

Students+make+their+way+through+the+Alkek+breezeway%2C+Monday%2C+Aug.+24%2C+2020%2C+on+Texas+State%26%238217%3Bs+campus.%26%23160%3B

Students make their way through the Alkek breezeway, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, on Texas State’s campus.

Faculty Senate discussed the results of a student retention workgroup report that examined grades, intervention and student retention at its July 21 meeting.
The results were presented to senate members meeting both virtually and in person. Topics discussed in the presentation included class attendance and the importance of maintaining requirements for certain core classes.
The presentation was led by Associate Vice President for Academic Success Mary Ellen Cavitt and Director of Student Success in the Division of Student Affairs Jennifer Beck. The main point of the presentation was to help faculty identify changes that could be implemented in their courses to help students enrolled.
“We’re looking at the specific project that we’re going to be talking to you about. It really is to focus on how to help faculty be innovative, as a collective unit, to make a difference in the courses that the students have to take at the gen ed level,” Beck says.
The presentation also examined how larger lecture classes function within different modes of instruction. They discussed the possibility that courses with more than 50 students could work better as a hybrid course or in person, rather than online.
Beck says in order to fix problems students might be having in class, she and Student Success would work to find the root of the problems.
“What we do in our department is we throw it right back on the faculty, but with some help,” Beck says. “We’ll call a meeting of the faculty of the course and ask some questions, ‘What’s going on?’ ‘Where is this happening?’, and send them off to talk amongst themselves, with chairs listening in and they can divide and come back.”
Faculty Senate also addressed the potential need to redesign some classes and discussed if it was necessary for students to take certain general curriculum classes not associated with their major.
Additionally, Faculty Senate reviewed both the personnel committee guidelines and instructional faculty policy at the meeting and made edits on the documents.
Faculty Senate member Dale Blasingame discussed his committee meeting with Student Health Center Director Dr. Emilio Carranco, saying Carranco acknowledges the current rise of COVID-19 cases, but that case numbers are not as dramatic as they have been in the past.
“[Carranco] said a couple of things regarding vaccines: One, that there needs to be knowledge that vaccines are not 100% foolproof, which a lot of people just kind of bought into. But, on the bright side, [vaccines] are still, by far, the best protection we have, and that they’re working against the variants that are [at a] pretty strong rate as well,” Blasingame says.
Blasingame adds a COVID-19 update statement will be released later this week, which he believes will encourage faculty and students who are not vaccinated to get tested before returning to campus for the fall semester.

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