In University College, we actively pursue opportunities to serve our students better. Currently our professional and student staff are completing training in the areas of Appreciative Advising, Customer Service through Raider Gold, College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Tutor Training, and Safe Space Ally Development.
Learn more about each program using the menu below.
One of the key strategies for improving student success and retention is for academic advisors to actively engage students in the learning process by creating an environment that positively encourages students to take ownership of their academic career by acknowledging and utilizing their strengths and skills and by creating action steps to achieve their long term academic goals. We assert that a successful implementation of any academic advising strategy must include trust and rapport with students as the centerpiece. We believe that learning and implementing Appreciative Advising in the Academic Advising unit will provide the necessary framework for continuous improvement in the service provided to students and to overall student success.
“Appreciative Advising is a constructivist way of thinking that provides a theoretical infrastructure and practical framework for advisors to optimize their interaction with students and colleagues in individual and group settings.” (Bloom, Hutson & HE, 2008) Appreciative Advising’s six phase model provides a fluid nonlinear scaffold for advisors to “intentionally use positive, active, and attentive listening and questioning strategies to build trust and rapport with students (disarm); uncover students’ strengths and skills (discover); encourage and be inspired by students’ dreams (design); co-construct action plans with students to make their goals a reality (design); support students as they carry out their plans (deliver); and challenge both themselves and the students to do and become even better (don’t settle).” (Appreciative Advising Whitepaper, 2008).
Academic Advisors completed the Appreciative Advising online course via Florida Atlantic University during the fall semester. Advisors will utilize the six phase Appreciative Advising model as part of an overall proactive advising strategy that uses a student centered approach as the foundation to aid in retention & graduation efforts for University College and Wright State University. The hiring of several new advisors has permitted the application of proactive Appreciative Advising techniques within University College.
Having completed the Appreciative Advising online course, advisors will apply for a certification in Appreciative Advising. “Certified Appreciative Advisors demonstrate both a conceptual understanding of the Appreciative Advising framework and have demonstrated specific Appreciative Advising skills and techniques. Certified Appreciative Advisors are committed to a standard of excellence in the field of advising and optimizing their students’ educational experiences.” (Appreciative Advising Certification, Florida Atlantic University, 2016)
Raider Gold Customer Service Training
People remember great customer service. It lets them know they are valued, builds trust, reduces problems, and defines the experience of Wright State. Great customer service means maintaining high standards and training all representatives to realize the importance of their roles.
Student employees are often at the front line of customer interaction. With the launch of a new program called Raider Gold, University College is committed to ensuring our student staff provide gold standard service to all customers.
In 2016, staff members Dawn Arnold and Sonia Hackathorne attended the Academic Impressions Customer Service Skill Training Conference to receive certification in Higher Education Customer Service. Modeled after service excellence programs at Coastal Carolina University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Queens University of Charlotte, Raider Gold explores topics of professionalism, diversity, and the value of customer service to our organization. Incorporating additional information from the tutoring certification program CRLA (College Reading & Learning Association), the new training program also focuses on communication skills, active listening, referral services, and defines academic success support responsibilities.
Raider Gold requires 8 hours of student training leading to customer service representative certification designed to streamline customer service, raise awareness of expectations, and create consistency in service across all units.
Ultimately, the goal is to expand Raider Gold as a training opportunity for campus organizations interested in certifying student staff in customer service representation.
CRLA Tutor Certification
- Definition of tutoring and tutor responsibilities
- Basic tutoring guidelines (do's and don'ts)
- Techniques for successfully beginning and ending a tutor session
- Adult learners, learning theory, and/or learning styles
- Assertiveness and/or handling difficult students
- Role modeling
- Setting goals and/or planning
- Communication skills
- Active listening and paraphrasing
- Referral skills
- Study skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Compliance with the ethics and philosophy of the tutor program, sexual harassment, and/or plagiarism
- Modeling problem solving
Safe Space Ally Development Network
The Safe Space Ally Development Network at Wright State University dares to transform the campus environment for LGBTQA+ students, staff and faculty. Through the Safe Space Ally Development Network, individuals and offices are identified that provide a network of support for the emotional, psychological, social and physical well-being of our LGBTQA+ community.
Through its bold skills-based training that focuses on Social Justice Allyship & active bystander intervention skills, individuals and offices are identified that can provide a network of support for the emotional, psychological, social and physical well-being of our LGBTQA+ community.
During Fall semester 2016, staff participated in the Safe Space Ally Development workshop facilitated by the Office of LGBTQA Affairs. After participating in the workshop, staff were given the opportunity to submit an Ally Action Plan.