6P1 Identifying Support Service
Needs of Students
Western identifies the support service needs of student learners through information gathering methods described in 3P1 and 3P5. Some of these methods are listed below.
Early processes for determining service needs:
- Admissions/Registration/Orientation. Admissions provides training and planning sessions for its staff to discuss new issues that affect recruitment strategy. Admissions staff holds meetings and workshops with area high schools and two-year colleges to gather input based on the needs of the schools and their students. Staff meets weekly to discuss improvements, problems, and solutions involving prospective students and applicants. Changes in procedures are implemented when appropriate. Western conducts student surveys as part of the Registration/Orientation (R/O) process. Admissions staff analyzes data and implements changes in processes and procedures based upon student recommendations.
- Campus visits. Prospective students complete individualized visit surveys. Western uses information from these to change the visit process to better meet students’ needs. Western interviews and polls its VIP student ambassadors, who provide guided campus tours and serve in other capacities, for suggestions to improve campus visits for prospective students and parents.
- Financial Aid. Student focus groups review office policies, procedures, and customer service. Surveys provide data on the financial aid needs of students, including response times and customer service. Staff meets with students to identify financial needs, and to direct them to appropriate support services.
Methods for determining needs after enrollment:
- College Student Inventory. Western students who enroll in the Freshman Seminar Learning Communities take the College Student Inventory (CSI). The results are used to help students be successful.
- Center for Academic Support (CAS). CAS staff provides qualified student tutors and staff who support classroom instruction while encouraging students to set and reach their academic goals.
Development and Student Services. These offices work directly with students to determine their needs in both formal and informal relationships, which include orientation, advising, residential life services, and student activities.
- Athletics. Division II athletics integrates athletics into the educational experience and relies on its relationships with other services to identify student needs. Western provides an “at-risk” mentor program, community service outreach, life skills programs, additional medical services, and fifth year scholarships for athletes.
- Committees and representative bodies. Students channel their needs through a student appointed to serve on the Board of Governors, the Student Government Association (SGA), the Registration Committee, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Committee. SGA involves students in the review of academic policies and procedures, receives suggestions and complaints, researches academic matters, expends SGA funds, and reviews proposed legislation and matters relating to student affairs. As a part of student self-governance, the Residence Council addresses areas of student concern.
Determining perspective on student need:
- Alumni and Foundation Offices. The Alumni and Foundation Offices foster partnerships and vital connections with alumni, business, industrial, professional, and community leaders who provide feedback and perspective on student need.
- Western Institute. The Western Institute communicates with businesses, governmental, and non-governmental organizations, and receives feedback about workforce needs and required student preparation.