CWUStudent Success NewsStudent Success News Launches Male Success Initiative, 10 Nov 2015 13:29:39<p><img alt="" src="/student-success/sites/" style="width: 153px; height: 220px; float: right; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px;">Numerous studies have found that university retention and graduation rates across the United States are lowest among male students of color.</p><p>In response, Central Washington University has announced an ambitious goal to make it, “the destination for all men of color seeking a quality best-buy education in an environment that supports academic excellence,” according to <a href="" target="_blank">Keith Champagne, director of CWU’s new Male Success Initiative</a> (MSI).</p><p>“Our plan is to make a significant improvement in male students’ satisfaction, academic performance, campus engagement, retention, and graduation rates,” Champagne said of the initiative.</p><p>On Saturday, November 14, Champagne will help lead a university MSI contingent to the sixth annual Black and Brown Male Summit at Highline Community College in Kent. In addition, MSI will work with K-12 schools, agencies, civic and business organizations in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, Ellensburg, and Yakima to support MSI members achieve academic excellence.</p><p>“We also want to encourage more men of color to enroll in graduate and professional schools,” he added.<br>&nbsp;<br>CWU already offers peer support, to improve students’ professional and social connections, through the MSI-involved student chapter of the national Brother 2 Brother (B2B) organization. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Founded last spring, CWU’s chapter was the first established in the Pacific Northwest. Champagne noted it is seeing a steady increase in membership. A part of the non-profit Student African American Brotherhood, CWU’s B2B is among more than 200 chapters on university and college campuses, high schools, and middle schools nationwide.</p><p>As designed, the Central initiative is a collaborative venture involving faculty, staff, and administrators from all university colleges and academic departments, to provide positive intervention, support, and a variety of opportunities to CWU students.</p><p>Champagne’s faculty partners include Bobby Cummings, English, who also directs the university’s Africana and Black Studies program; Gilberto Garcia, political science; Raymond Hall anthropology; and Alejandro Lee, Spanish. They worked to launch MSI, while also developing the qualitative and quantitative measures needed to guide it.</p><p>“This group believes that research and evidenced-based practices promote academic excellence, as well a supportive environment for male students of color, will be the ingredients for the program’s long-term success,” Champagne noted.</p><p>Additionally, he said there will be an outreach component to the campus effort “that informs public policy experts, practitioners, and citizens of the importance of this issue not only on our campus but throughout academia.”</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong>&nbsp;Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,&nbsp;;<br>&nbsp;<br>November 10, 2015</p></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU Uses Research, Targeted Support to Improve Student Success, 29 Oct 2015 09:14:21<p>Central Washington University is doing better than ever ensuring students stay in school and progress toward a degree. CWU has increased the percent of students who continue from their freshman to sophomore years—the “retention rate”—by 5 percent in just two years. Now at 78.4 percent, CWU’s rate surpasses the ACT national average of all four-year colleges, which is 74.4 percent.</p><p>Sarah Swager, CWU dean of Student Success, attributes the rise on research into student demographic and academic behavior, which is enhancing university advisors’ interactions.</p><p>“Knowing our students better is an important factor,” Swager said, noting the findings of an eight-year, longitudinal study on student retention. “Over the past year in particular, we’ve worked hard to improve our understanding of our students—and why they decided to stay here—and to find ways for the entire university to serve them even better. This retention increase is a testament to the good work that our faculty, staff, and students are doing every single day.”<br><br>This increased understanding has helped CWU hone the way it supports students academically, financially, and socially, which is especially critical during a student’s freshman year. That’s when they want to make friends, develop classroom proficiency, and find a level of comfort at their institution.</p><p>“It’s intertwined with student needs to be engaged and find value in what they’re doing, and have a social environment in which to thrive, and a financial one where they can focus on achieving their academic goals,” Swager pointed out.</p><p>In addition, some students have additional worries, such as being a parent—or single parent—or dealing with health or academic challenges. They’re issues the university must also help address.<br><br>“We now know that we need to personalize our interactions with our students in order to develop strategies to help individuals and student groups overcome particular, or similar, obstacles,” Swager acknowledged.<br><br>CWU’s retention figure is higher than similar schools nationwide—universities that are also committed to teaching quality and student success.<br><br>To help students pay for college, CWU offers more than $40 million in need-based and merit-based grants. The university is also makes it a priority to ensure that financial resources are available when students most need them.</p><p>In terms of academics, CWU has increased its academic advising staff to improve student success. Encouraging students to declare a major and become connected to their peers and faculty within a specific academic discipline also have helped keep students on track to graduate.</p><p>Swager said increased retention also requires “big picture” planning for maintaining campus facilities, enhancing residence halls, and upgrading campus technology and infrastructure. It even includes the overall upkeep of campus grounds and even the quality and variety of food offered in campus dining facilities.<br><br>“We want to make sure that what they receive meets—and exceeds—their expectations,” Swager stated. “As we develop new programs and services, they must be focused on assuring students come to feel as if Central is their home.”<br><br><strong>Media contact</strong>:&nbsp;Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,&nbsp;;</p><p>October 29, 2015</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU following CDC guidelines regarding Ebola, 10 Sep 2014 16:19:53<p>The Centers for Disease Control indicates the Ebola outbreak in West Africa does not pose a threat to the United States.&nbsp;CWU&nbsp;is following the CDC’s recently released guidelines for colleges and universities regarding Ebola. The new resource,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Advice for Colleges, Universities, and Students about Ebola in West Africa</a>, includes information for students studying abroad, foreign travel, students returning to the U.S. and other education-related travel pertaining to higher education.</p><p>Before attending&nbsp;CWU, international students must pass a physical exam and meet strict travel guidelines in place for the identified outbreak area. International travel is not permitted for any symptomatic individual attempting to leave affected areas.&nbsp; The CDC recommends people traveling from the affected areas monitor their health for 21 days to ensure they are healthy and have not been exposed.</p><p>CWU’s&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Student Medical and Counseling Clinic</a>&nbsp;is following the recommendations of the CDC for clinicians in U.S. healthcare settings. By law&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">(CWUP&nbsp;2-40-141),</a>&nbsp;the clinic will report any suspected or known communicable disease to the appropriate county health department, and if necessary will implement a communicable disease outbreak plan.</p><p>Ebola is a rare disease. The virus is not airborne and only can be spread by contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person or animal.</p><p>The CDC has sent clinicians the following links regarding Ebola:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">Ebola Virus Disease Information for Clinicians in U.S. Healthcare&nbsp;</a><a href="" target="_blank">Settings</a></li><li>I<a href="" target="_blank">nfection</a><a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Travelers' Health</a></li></ul><p>If you have questions regarding this or other healthcare related issues, contact Chris De&nbsp;Villeneuve, executive director of the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, at 509-963-1035.</p><p>September 10, 2014</p>