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Q: Can programs address student preparedness and other demographic factors in the self-study as part of what determines student success in their program?

Answer: Programs can address high school GPA, test scores, math preparedness to contextualize their data but, as this exercise is focused on improving student success, the response should focus more on what can be done to improve performance in the program even if these are the demographic realities for the program’s students.

Can we look at more than just DFW data when evaluating student success at the course level?

Answer: If the process or a program identifies a particular course as an opportunity to improve student success through DFW rate, the next level of analysis can disaggregate data by instructor, day, time of day, modality, rank of student, student major, and could include SEI data if the program faculty are comfortable with that approach. Course repeat success rates could also be considered. DFW rates are a starting point for a discussion about student success, not the only metric that will or should be used.

Can there be a clearer definition of “student success”?

Answer: While student success is a broadly defined area within the higher education industry, we will use specific metrics to address student success in this process; these metrics are not meant to be comprehensive but specific to the goals of this process. At the program level, we will use completions, program continuance, migration data (the movement of students in-and-out of the program), and major-specific DFW rates as indicators of student success. We will also look at specific amounts of curricular flexibility as measured by the number of general electives credit hours in a program to improve student success in some of these areas.

How will multi-disciplinary majors count courses and related metrics?

Answer: Subject codes are aligned to the specific unit and faculty that delivers them, not necessarily to the programs that require those courses. We will provide the definitions for these metrics as well as the mapping of subject codes to units so that programs can take the effects of those definitions and mapping into account in their self-studies. We understand that inter- and multi-disciplinary majors function differently than self-contained majors and will take that into account during our review.

Will programs be able to ask for detailed or record-level data that may help explain the metrics?

Answer: It will depend on the metric. While it will be possible to provide record level data for student enrollment and completions, which faculty are being counted for the program or which subject codes, for example, there may be other data, like salary data, that won’t be shared at the individual record level. Programs will be able to request clarification of their data and will have support through the Morgantown Provost’s Office to get to the clarity required to sufficiently respond to the data in the self-study.

Can the question [in the self-study form] regarding adequate resources (3.2) be amended to include financial support to maintain lab equipment?

Answer: This question assumes the budget to support physical infrastructure is included in the response. If a program feels that it does not have adequate budget to maintain its lab facilities or other physical infrastructure, it should indicate “No” in this question.

Can we re-frame the conversation about particular courses being challenges to student success so that it doesn’t present courses as “barriers”?

Answer: Yes! The discussion about high DFW rates or any other metric on student success is not intended to cast blame but, rather, to identify opportunities where faculty can work to improve student learning and outcomes in their courses. As the goal of this exercise is to improve student success in WVU Tech’s courses and programs and to improve student retention, persistence, and completion, we collectively need to recognize that the data identifies where faculty and administration can work together to best serve the institution and its students.

How will the committee on scheduling address diversifying class times? Will there be a pilot in certain programs?

Answer: The approach and recommendations for how WVU Tech improves its scheduling practices and increases student access to courses will come from the committee dedicated to this task. Suggestions for how that may be accomplished should be addressed to the members of that committee.

Will the ad hoc committee addressing how to expand online offerings at WVU Tech take impact on international students into consideration in its recommendations?

Answer: Questions and concerns regarding the recommendations and approach for expanding online access at WVU Tech should be addressed to the members of that committee. Final decisions about how to proceed will of course consider the impact on a range of different student groups, including international students.

Could WVU Tech develop more programs in high growth areas like data science, machine learning, or artificial intelligence?

Answer: Eventually, yes, but not until after academic transformation resolves and it is clear what the resources available for that might be.