At Adelphi, students reap the benefits of personalized attention from their professors and all the opportunities nearby New York City holds. But according to Peter West, Ph.D.—the newly appointed associate provost for student success—there's always room to do better.
At Adelphi, students reap the benefits of personalized attention from their professors and all the opportunities nearby New York City holds. But according to Peter West, Ph.D.—the newly appointed associate provost for student success—there’s always room to do better.
“Adelphi already has a strong culture of helping our students succeed, but data analytics and other tools offer exciting opportunities to target specific populations of students with coordinated and program-specific support structures,” he said.
Dr. West takes on the new assignment beginning May 13, having previously been the associate dean for general education and academic operations in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has also served as co-chair of the General Education Committee and as a member of the Adelphi Student Success and First-Year Experience committees. Working with Residential Life and Housing in that role, he helped to develop innovative First-Year Living-Learning Communities.
In his new position, student success and retention will be the main objective, but Dr. West has already contributed to enhancing student engagement as a member of the Adelphi Student Success Committee and First-Year Experience Committee. He also organized and led new academic sessions at summer orientation that brought together faculty and students.
Organizing and overseeing the 2019 summer orientation sessions will be among Dr. West’s first official duties in the new job. He’s already working to have more faculty members involved in the sessions and to get them involved in more direct ways. Where past sessions could number as many as 100 incoming students, Dr. West is looking to keep them at 30 per session this year, and to have a dozen or more faculty members leading them. For many students, orientation will be their first interaction with a university professor, he noted, and he wants new students to leave not just knowing what to expect but also having broken the ice in interacting with professors.
First-year student Orientation is also Dr. West’s first shot at letting students know all that Adelphi has to offer outside the classroom. The sessions offer an opportunity to ensure a more integrated student experience, making sure they know about clubs, organizations, study abroad opportunities, Learning Center and Writing Center tutoring, counseling and other services.
But the job isn’t just making sure they know about the resources, he said—it’s making sure they use them. Identifying students who are at risk of not graduating also will be a key part of Dr. West’s work, as will helping students who need other types of support, such as declaring or changing majors.
“The nature of my work is going to focus on how well we can help students integrate their lives in the classroom and beyond,” he said, adding that while he is focused on academics, “My goal is to help students achieve their own goals… Not all students come to college equally prepared. We want to make sure that students take advantage of all the resources available to them.”
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