Driving Academic Success with Their Own Data

Did you understand that UNLV trainees attending this first-year workshop knowledgeable both a boost in their social connections and their scholastic success?

Just as appealing as this finding are the researchers who found it: administrative professors in UNLV’s Academic Success Center (ASC), now in its 10th year.

Where similar centers on other campuses may focus more strictly on the student services aspect of their responsibilities– tutoring, additional instruction, and so on– UNLV’s ASC administrative professors emphasize the academic elements of their roles just as much. They perform research, encourage their graduate assistant researchers to do the very same, and then incorporate finest practices obtained from their findings into the center’s services.

In the case of improving the previously mentioned seminar trainees’ connections and success, peer mentors turned out to be the key, ASC scientists discovered.

“Research like this only assists inform our programs, so we cultivate an environment that motivates it,” said ASC Partner Dean Dan Gianoutsos. “We’re always evaluating our programs and making modifications, using research study as our foundation to make data-driven decisions. We see the research side and the administrative professional side going hand in hand.”

Similar to scholastic professors, ASC administrative faculty scientists routinely release in journals and present at conferences regionally and nationally. They hold Ph.D. s in education, English, anthropology, and more. And their research considers academic success within college from these different lenses, making their work as academics integral to their tasks as administrators.

“There are many Ph.D. s in the ASC, which helps develops synergy between academics and student support programs,” Gianoutsos said. “The research study of college is still fairly brand-new– especially compared to standard fields– and I think that’s something that we, as a center, can contribute to the larger nationwide body of understanding for trainee success research.”

To present their research to the higher UNLV neighborhood, the Academic Success Center is hosting its very first UNLV Research Study Week event , a poster session highlighting the work of ASC administrative professors in addition to ASC’s graduate assistants. Topics will consist of college research study relating to retention, progression, completion, and trainee success interventions such as tutoring, additional instruction, peer mentorship, and online modules. Gianoutsos will provide a study on first-year seminars he co-authored with freshly minted Ph.D. Megan Cogliano and previous UNLV education professor Matthew Bernacki.

Brandy Smith, special assistant to the dean of the ASC and another scientist who will present at the occasion, stated that one goal of this poster session was to give graduate assistants the experience of taking part in one. While poster sessions are a common part of the research experience, many graduate students do not have chances to provide their research at one till they’re even more along in their programs.

“We wanted to offer UNLV graduate students this experience earlier in their careers,” Smith said. “We utilize more than 30 graduate assistants at the ASC, and we also have an internal graduate student professional development program for our GAs. This session is created to improve that professional advancement.”

Smith said that about one-third of ASC graduate assistants’ research study focuses on scholastic success issues, while the rest covers subjects that the trainees are studying in their respective programs– subjects like marriage and family therapy, counseling, and stress that, Gianoutsos mentioned, likewise fit within the Venn diagram of trainee success.

“We motivate individuals on school and in the community to stop by because we exist a large range of research study that pertains to student success and, more specifically, how our students are achieving,” Gianoutsos said.

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