2015-2020 SAFRA Activities

Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

Strengthening Retention, Progression and Completion Initiatives – Improving retention, progression, and completion of students and, in particular, providing a direct means of intervention for the academically at-risk students, required an immense institutional commitment. The SAFRA grant provides an opportunity for Tennessee State University to implement intervention approaches that engaged students early in their university experience, provided them with essential academic assistance, and is consistent and continuous in providing resources to improve retention, progression and completion. The mission-specific long-range vision included providing educational opportunities to produce qualified teachers, nurses and health professionals, therefore giving back to the state and regional economies a better-educated and more competent population of college graduates.

PATHFINDERS: Increasing the number of minority graduates in Education, Nursing and Health Sciences Project – The Pathfinders Project will identify, monitor, and nurture targeted groups of students from their first year in college to their graduation day. Targeted groups include declared majors in nursing, Education (Elementary), and health sciences majors beginning with the 2015 and 2016 entering cohorts. Pathfinders Project addresses retention and credit completion through two purposes: (1) increase the number of minority Pell eligible students who meet the requirements for admission into the Education (Elementary), Nursing, and Health Sciences programs and (2) increase the number of students from the entering cohort of Fall 2015 who will graduate from the Nursing, Education (Elementary), and Health Sciences programs by the end of four academic years in 2019-2020.  The baseline for this purpose will be established using the number of admitted students from the Fall 2010 entering cohort who graduated from Nursing, Education (Elementary), and Health Sciences in May 2014. Measurable outcomes include students grade point averages, credit completion (at least 30 credits per year), and persistence rates. Other evaluation measures include qualitative data such as, interviews, satisfaction  surveys, focus groups interviews, and undergraduate research presentations.

The Student Progression for University Retention (SPUR-Project): Enhancing Student Retention and Graduation – Most TSU students arrive on campus academically under-prepared to face the rigor of college work. Empirical and theoretical research indicates that small group instruction have the potential of improving students’ academic success as well as increasing retention. The Student Progression for University Retention Project (SPUR-Project) is designed to increase retention and graduation rates among first and second year students by hiring instructors to teach selected gate keeping courses. The strategy espoused in SPUR-Project will target courses in which TSU students are most likely to earn a DWF through regularly scheduled focused study sessions led by faculty. The SPUR-Project 2015-2020 SAFRA grant initiative has three measurable objectives: Objective 1: increase the number of faculty for GENED courses so as to increase interactions to enhance student learning.   Objective 2: ensure that 60% of students taking GENED courses earn a passing, and Objective 3: ensure that 75% of students taking a SPUR-project course meet the specified student learning outcomes defined by the departmental rubrics and/or assessment tools.

Library: Strengthening Library Resources for General Education Core – The Tennessee State University Library will provide access to current and relevant digital databases that support undergraduate research and education targeting the General Education core, Education (Elementary), Nursing, and Health Sciences.  Digital collections play a critical role in the education and research expertise of undergraduate students and are available anytime from any place; consequently, the Library will concentrate on providing access to full-text databases to meet the wide range of undergraduate majors offered by the University.

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