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Monday, July 27, 2020

Data Champions Team to Present its Work to Further Undergraduate Student Success

Dr. Lisa McCully and Sandra Kahn present their findings at the 2019 Data Champions poster session.
Dr. Lisa McCully and Sandra Kahn present their findings at the 2019 Data Champions poster session. 

A staff team from the Office of the Dean and Office of Student Success is set to offer insight and provide recommendations for improving student success in the College of Education’s two undergraduate majors.

Sandra Kahn, data administrator; Dr. Nina Potter, director of assessment and accreditation; Dr. Lisa McCully, director of the Office for Student Success, Michelle Xiong, liberal studies advisor; and Alison Sternal, community college outreach and undergraduate advisor, will present their findings at San Diego State University’s third annual Data Champions Virtual Poster Session, Aug. 3 and 4. Now in its third year, Data Champions is a university-wide initiative to use data to identify areas where service to students can be improved and equity gaps addressed.

"To reach our student success goals, we have to identify student needs at the program level,” Kahn said. “Data Champions has been a great experience for me to have not only the understanding brought by exploring large sets of data, but also the insight of our advisors. I think that is a powerful combination. I really feel like we're going to get to the change we need to get to. "

Key findings 

COE team members will present two studies they completed during the 2019-20 academic year, in partnership with faculty in the School of Teacher Education and Department of Child and Family Development.

In the first study they examined the connection among course sizes, delivery mode and academic success in the child and family development undergraduate major. They found that while class size did not significantly affect grades, more students struggled in online courses as opposed to face-to-face courses. Yet in a follow-up survey, they discovered students enrolled in online courses were significantly bolstered when their instructors checked up with them individually by e-mail.

In the second they followed up on two previous studies that identified graduation rate equity gaps for transfer students. Those results led the team to explore math anxiety and its impact on student success in the liberal studies major. Using a student survey, they found that instances of math anxiety were disproportionately high among the major’s transfer student population.

Their presentation will include long-term and short-term recommendations to improve outcomes in both areas.

How to Participate 

This year’s Data Champions Virtual Poster Session will take place virtually in two hour-long sessions on Aug. 3 and 4. All faculty and staff members are welcome to attend and add their input to the conversation.

"We want people to attend so they can not only learn about what we've done, but also have questions and ideas about what we can do in the future,” Potter said. “This might spark ideas of ways we can use data that they didn't even know possible."

Register for the Data Champions Virtual Poster Session.