Helping our Students Succeed

provost-dan-howardMore than 2,000 new first year and transfer students are starting classes on the NMSU campus this week.  These students have come to us with high hopes for their future and a belief that NMSU is the best place to help them achieve their aspirations.  I have no doubt that they have come to the right place and I know this confidence in the quality of an NMSU education is shared by all of our faculty and staff. 
As all of you are aware, the first few weeks of the semester is one of the most critical periods in the academic life of a college student.  Small kindnesses can make all the difference in helping a student feel welcome on our campus and I encourage all of you to reach out to students who may look a little lost, and ask how you might help. 
While small kindnesses mean a lot to students trying to find their way on our campus, much more substantive are the proactive interventions of faculty members when students show signs of distress, especially early in the semester.  Among the signals of distress are not logging into Canvas, not attending class, and failing to turn in homework assignments.  As soon as you recognize one of these signals, I encourage you to reach out directly to the student and let them know that you are concerned about their lack of participation, and offer to help. Remember, too, that you are not alone.  Do not hesitate to refer students showing signs of distress through the QuickConnect system.  Every student referred will be promptly contacted by someone committed to helping them succeed at NMSU.
For those of you teaching 100- and 200-level classes, another way you can help students succeed is to schedule assignments and/or exams prior to the six-week mark of the semester, so that you have some measure of their performance in your class prior to the reporting of six-week grades. 
Faculty members, advisors, and student success navigators play an important role in advising and mentoring students and your efforts are critical in helping our students succeed in the classroom and beyond.  By next semester, we will be in a better position to support these efforts as we implement the Ellucian CRM Advise system, a powerful predictive analytics tool that will allow us to be even more proactive in helping our students. I will let you know as opportunities to be trained in the use of this tool are scheduled.
Thank you for all you do to make NMSU great, and GO AGGIES!
With all best wishes,


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