Two-day student success, retention workshop for Northwestern faculty, staff provides tools, strategies

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Two-day student success, retention workshop for Northwestern faculty, staff provides tools, strategies

August 8, 2016

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s faculty and staff were invited to a two-day Student Success and Retention workshop through On Course in July at the Alva campus.

The psychology department, with the support of Dr. Bo Hannaford, vice president for academic affairs, and the Northwestern Marvel/Smith Academic Enrichment Series endowment, brought the workshop to Northwestern, which taught about the On Course principles of Dr. Skip Downing. The workshop was led by trainer Therese Nemec from Wisconsin and served 38 faculty and staff from Northwestern.

Nemec is creator and director of the Center for Instructional Excellence from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin. She has a background in psychology and extensive experience delivering training on topics related to instructional excellence and student success as well as relationship skills for the workplace. Nemec holds certifications in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, On Course and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Leadership.

On Course is a program of student success principles and innovative learner-centered strategies for empowering students to become active, responsible learners. The learner-centered strategies can be selectively integrated into any subject and course to enhance student achievement and success.

Dr. Cris Gordon, assistant professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department, utilized this program at her previous college and took the initiative to bring it to Northwestern and believed it was a success. This was Gordon’s third time to take the course.

“Every time I take it there is always something new because there is so much information,” Gordon said. “There is always something new that sparks my interest.”

She believes this workshop is useful for anyone regardless of their position within the university.

“It is a program built for retention and graduation of students, so what we learned are tools to help with both…It’s a system that has been out there awhile…It is an excellent program and very successful.”

Participants of the workshop included the following:

Dr. Richmond Adams, assistant professor of English; Dr. Kaylene Armstrong, assistant professor of mass communication; Ashley Barros, adjunct instructor of English; Dr. James Bell, associate vice president for academics and dean of faculty; Dr. Sheila Brintnall, professor of mathematics; Jana Brown, instructor of history; Tamara Brown, assistant professor of speech and interim chair of the communication department; Dr. Mary Brune, assistant professor of nursing; Brooke Ciolino, Title III project director; Amanda Clepper, instructor of nursing; Rebecca Cook, international student adviser; Koreen Culbert, adjunct instructor of English; Brooke Fuller, director of assessment and institutional effectiveness; Gordon; Milton Hicks; Kaylyn Hansen, director of students/housing; Shane Hansen, instructor of health and sports science; Dr. Roger Hardaway, professor of history; Ken Kelsey, instructor of history and fine arts; Leigh Kirby, instructor of psychology; Mistie Kline, instructor of psychology; Debra Lehman, adjunct instructor of psychology.

Also, Dr. Tim Maharry, professor of mathematics and chair of the mathematics and computer science department; Dr. Steven Maier, professor of physics and chair of the department of natural sciences; Calleb Mosburg, dean of student affairs and enrollment management; Saundra Nigh, instructor of nursing; Dr. Jennifer Page, assistant professor of English; Dr. Aaron Place, professor of biology; Candace Reim, coordinator, student services at the Enid campus; Dr. Mary Riegel, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Jennifer Sattler, assistant professor of physics; Milissa Sturgill, campus coordinator of ITV/Events coordinator at the Woodward campus; Dr. Steven Thompson, professor of biology; Dr. Dena Walker, assistant professor of mathematics; Bailey Trammell, Title III academic adviser; Jean Wahlgren, coordinator of Ketterman Lab; Dr. Shelly Wells, associate professor of nursing and chair of the division of nursing; Kimberly Weast, professor of theatre arts and chair of the fine arts department; and Stephanie Widick, instructor of psychology.

Gordon plans to have a monthly follow-up with all of the participants and continue to provide them with On Course resources to help them utilize what they learned.

For more information contact Gordon at (580) 327-8447 or