On Campus

SU pilots online tool that allows faculty to evaluate students

Courtesy of Stephen Sartori

Orange SUccess, an online program used to keep track of student progress, is currently being piloted in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and University College.

An online advising tool aimed at improving communication between all members of the Syracuse University community will pilot this semester.

Orange SUccess will pilot at all 100 and 200 level courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and University College.

Kal Srinivas, director for retention in SU’s Office of Academic Programs, said Orange SUccess will be an information hub to allow students to collect information in one place and let both people and systems trigger alerts and give compliments to students as necessary.

This is the first semester that Orange SUccess is being implemented. Srinivas said the idea was conceptualized as a part of the university-wide Fast Forward initiative. The tool aligns with the Fast Forward goal to “nourish the whole student to support academic, social and emotional well-being,” Srinivas said.

There are three primary types of users on Orange SUccess, Srinivas said: students, instructors and advisers.

Through the tool, faculty will be able to raise “flags” if there is a concern with the student, such as an attendance problem, low assessment scores or missing assignments, Srinivas said. Advisers will have access to this information and will be able to follow up with the students in order to encourage the improvement of the student, she added.

On the other hand, Srinivas said faculty will also able to send compliments — or “kudos” — through the program if a student is doing exceptionally well.

In order to monitor the success of the program, Srinivas said progress surveys will be given to faculty three times a semester to check in about their courses.

“The advising offices in the three pilot schools and colleges will be monitoring and managing the responses to the flags raised,” Srinivas said. ”The core team will support the advisers throughout the spring 2016 semester in this endeavor of collaborative advising.”

There are many goals of the program that contribute to this overall goal of “(nourishing) the whole student to support academic, social and emotional well-being,” she said.

One of these goals, Srinivas said, is “to improve student success and timely degree attainment by identifying students who are facing difficulty and provide them with coordinated support before their academic and personal objectives are compromised.”

Other goals, she added, are to “foster a culture of student success and retention” and provide students with the opportunity to ask for help and “(engage) in their own journey toward their success.”

Student Association President Aysha Seedat said SA is getting involved in the promotion of the program because “it’s aiming to enhance the undergraduate academic experience.”

“Some of the issues that are raised to the Academic Affairs committee in Student Association are solved with Orange SUccess,” Seedat said. “It will only be successful if students know about it, which is why we are assisting in its promotion.”

Seedat has already been involved with Orange SUccess, as she underwent a test trial of the program in the fall to ensure that it was easy to use.

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