Software will profile potential for success

Amye Buckley

During the next few weeks instructors across Missouri Southern will be seeing results from a new program.

More than 700 freshmen students enrolled in the University Experience, MIDS 100, filled out a questionnaire during the second week of class.

The results are tabulated and create a report known as the College Student Inventory ™.

The program indexes student motivation and coping skills. It also notifies advisers if a student wants or needs financial, academic or personal assistance.

Giving an adviser a detailed report before an advising session helps them do more than just fill out a schedule plan,” said Kelly Wilson, director of Advising, Counseling and Testing (formerly Student Services).

“It tells the student ‘we’re listening’ and now it’s a relationship,” Wilson said.

The program was put in place to retain freshmen enrollees and to encourage those students to stay at Southern. Faustina Abrahams, First Year advising coordinator/counselor, describes College Student Inventory ™ as an early intervention system which allows students to self-report areas of need and strength. Students can opt out of the program, but Abrahams expects it to benefit them in their advising appointments and the University’s student retention rates.

“It’s like an open door,” Abrahams said.

As they identify student needs through the reports she expects support services to expand.

A series of seminars covering topics from study habits to stress management is in the works.

“We are seeing that the first year matters and so we are putting our money behind it,” Abrahams said.

She started training sessions with only 30 advisers signed up, but in seven training sessions she has seen more than 70 instructors attend – some twice.

“All the comments I am getting are ‘It is good,'” Abrahams said.

The program will mean more work for advisers, it recommends students add pre-enrollment meeting to their schedule.

“For those who have two three or four [advisees] it’s not a big deal. Those who have 20, 30, 40, they are the ones that this is going to hit really hard,” Abrahams said.

The printed reports head for adviser mailboxes in the next week.