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CIT Student Engagement and Retention Initiative

 

Recognising the need for all staff, at all levels, to continue developing and implementing actions to improve and enhance the student experience, CIT established an Institute Strategic Student Engagement and Retention Initiative (CITSSERI) in September 2012.

 

Attached to the Office of the Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the focus of the CITSSERI is to work with academic faculty, school and department staff in co-operation with central student services to review best practices to date, explore current issues, develop proactive and collaborative strategies appropriate to need and facilitate implementation with a view to significantly improving student retention, progression and successful graduation.

 

By creating a resourced infrastructure that enables the delivery and support of a mainstream, proactive and collaborative institute wide student engagement and retention initiative, CIT is placed in a position that enables significant progress towards achievement of HEA compact goals and in a best practice arena as an emerging student-centric technological university.

 

The development of the CITSSERI is informed by on-going desk research, consultation with CIT management, academic faculty and student support staff, consultation with students and their representatives and consultation with internationally recognised experts in the field of student engagement and retention.

Why focus on improving student transition to and successful progression?

 

  • Greater numbers of students coming into CIT and increasing diversity of student population.
  • Probability of non-completion increased.
  • A very varied level of student preparedness/readiness as result of diversity.
  • More ‘first generation’ higher education students.
  • Attrition is often at a huge personal cost to students (and their families/significant others): Loss of confidence, loss of face and loss of faith in the educational system.
  • Cost to classmates... morale of class groups may be negatively impacted by disengaged students / high attrition.
  • Impact on faculty:  staff morale may be impacted by disengaged students.
  • Significant financial impact; for student who leaves, for institutes and taxpayer.
  • Enhancement of student engagement, progression and success are key commitments in CIT mission statement.
  • Student engagement is a matter of national and international attention and policy.
  • Emerging QQI policy / National Forum for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning focus / Irish Survey of Student Engagement/HEA Compacts evidence this.
  • Globalisation of HE marketplace - increased competition for students, increased desire to recruit international students.

By creating a resourced infrastructure that enables the delivery and support of a mainstream, proactive and collaborative institute wide student engagement and retention initiative, CIT is placing itself in a position that enables significant progress towards achievement of HEA compact goals and in a best practice arena as an emerging student-centric technological university. The CITSSERI reflects key areas of focus in the CIT Strategic Plan 2013 – 2016 and the MTU vision statements.

 

 

A CITSSERI steering committee, chaired by Dr Barry O’Connor, with a clearly defined purpose and terms of reference has been established.

 

CITSSERI Steering Group Membership 2015/16: Dr Barry O’Connor(Chair), Ms Marese Bermingham, Dr Stephen Cassidy, Dr Dan Collins, Mr Shane Falvey (SU Education Officer), Ms Orla Flynn, Mr Vivion Gough, Dr Joe Harrington, Ms Aiveen Kearney, Dr Margaret Linehan, Dr Hugh McGlynn, Dr Aine Ni She, Mr Gerard O’Donovan.

 

 

Work in Progress 2012 to 2015/16

  • Good Start student induction
  • Just Ask! information and support campaigns
  • Academic Learning Centre, expansion and development
  • Early Alert and Intervention / Academic Success Coaching
  • Peer Assisted Learning and Support (PALS)
  • Collaborative Students as Partners project with CITSU and academic faculties
  • Building collaborative ‘Transition to CIT’ projects with academic departments, schools and faculties
  • CIT Module Community of Practice/ Repository of resources
  • Professional development, staff seminars
  • Arts Office and Student Engagement
  • Pride of place:Healthy CIT, Treasures and other special projects that contribute to belonging, mattering and feeling valued.
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