Showing posts with label Academic Affairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Academic Affairs. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2019

Academic Affairs and Student Affairs - Innovative Ways to Work Together to Embrace Student Success

This is part two! In July 2018, I had a wonderful opportunity to present the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs - Innovative Ways to Work Together to Embrace Student Success. This session focused on student engagement strategies, answers "What is Student Engagement?", and ultimately increasing student engagement in academic and student affairs. This session was presented at the American Association of Colleges and University's Summer Conference, "Public Universities in Challenging Times". This was an incredible opportunity, because it was the last AASCU conference that I would attend.

You ask why? Well, it was because I transitioned from an administrative role back to a faculty role after the death of my mother (but more on this later).

So, I traveled to San Antonio from the Fort Worth area with my prepared presentation in hand. It was an incredible conference and I learned so much! Also, I had a chance to network with my administrator colleagues. YES!

I was very fortunate to present on this topic because it is definitely a passion of mine. I've served in student affairs and academic affairs for almost 20 years. Sometimes, it is difficult to realize how long I've served in higher education, but believe me - every year has been worth it. I've learned a lot through this process and I've had the pleasure of meeting outstanding faculty, staff, and students through the process.

During my time in administration, I had the pleasure to spearhead the American Association of State Colleges and Universities's National Reimagining the First-Year experience initiative. Forty-three additional institutions from states across the nation were included in this initiative and three of them are Texas institutions. I have had personal experience with three of the four institutions. I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and Sam Houston State University and then I've been a faculty member at Tarleton State University for the past 11 years. So, this conference has special place in my higher education heart.

Here are some sample tweets from the conference:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley definitely had a presence at the conference!

Then, of course I had to contribute on Twitter! I wrote a tweet about my session.

Then, I always contribute additional information (and resources) for other attendees. Conferences are great opportunities to share resources and to network with others!

Here's some additional information about my session:

Academic Affairs and Student Affairs - Innovative Ways to Work Together to Embrace Student Success
Evergreen C
Student Affairs and Academic Affairs can work together to positively affect the success of first-year students at institutions of higher education. However, the continued disconnection between academic affairs and student affairs may negatively affect first-year students. This session provides participants with "25 Ways to Connect Academic Affairs and Student Affairs", research-based strategies to promote student success for first-year students, and participants will have an opportunity to share strategies from their respective campuses. Presenter: Jennifer Edwards, Associate Professor of Communication, Assistant Vice-President for Student Success and Multicultural Initiatives, Tarleton State University

Presenter(s): Jennifer Edwards, Tarleton State University

Here are a few slides from my presentation:

During the presentation, we had a lot of engagement and then attendees had a chance to ask questions. I enjoy presenting about academic affairs and student affairs because I believe that both of these topics are very important for higher education. 

Interested in a specific student success topic or do you need a speaker for an upcoming conference? Contact me via direct message on Twitter or join our Student Success Communication and Technology Institute on Facebook!

Thanks for visiting! 


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
Higher Education Speaker and Researcher

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My Research Interests: Customer Service and Social Media, Higher Education Retention, and Millennials at Work

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Providing Incentives for Academic Advisors During Key Advising Times

Academic Advising occurs like clockwork at our institution. I always look forward to running the numbers to see how many students have not been advised and who have not registered for next semester's classes.

I am very excited about our multi-week campaign for re-registration (especially for our freshmen students). Our campaigns have been very successful in reaching first-year students, but now I am focused on second-year and third year students.

Check out our multi-week advising campaign: Academic Success Re-Recruitment Campaigns 

 I cannot wait to see the next steps!

Here's our plan for the next few weeks!


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Did I Hold It Together During the Graduation Ceremony? You Decide!

Last night was one of the best experiences that I've had in academia. I've worked at the same university for the past ten years and by far, this has been my proudest moment so far.

The Tarleton State University Communication Studies Department celebrated its first two communication studies graduates at the master's level. Mr. Winston Dawson and Ms. Becca Long have always been trend setters for their peers, but last night they proved that they mastered their academic discipline. 

When Becca asked me to "hood" in the December graduation ceremony a few weeks ago, I was so excited to add this important event to my calendar! I told her that I would not miss it for the world!

I've known Becca for the past six (almost seven) years! She was one of the first undergraduate students involved with the Texas Social Media Research Institute (@TSMRI) and we have been proud of her since that point. We also keep up with all of our graduates and their career progression!

I met Winston six years ago and he is the funniest person that I know. He always has a smile on his face and he impacts all individuals around him! He actually attended my secret baby shower planned by the first class of @TSMRI interns. I've always admired him for attending and supporting my journey as a parent. 

Traivohn, Torri, and Lizzie
We also had three undergraduate students accomplish the first part of their academic journey as well. These students have been some of the most creative and most motivational students I've ever encountered. I immediately think of these students when I think about the student learning outcomes from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). These students served as trendsetters for their peers and I was excited to see them cross the stage!

I also told them that they had to keep in contact with me through our Friday check-in meetings on Twitter group messages. I have a recurring meeting in my schedule to remind me to initiate the communication if I do not hear from them.

This experience marks the end of their bachelor's level or master's level graduate journey, but it does not represent the end of their academic journey! I look forward to hearing about their next accomplishments!


J. Edwards

Have a great week! Thanks for visiting the Millennial Professor Blog!

Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Teaching Teamwork - An Interview with Dr. David Blanke (Professor of History at TAMUCC)

As a LEAP Texas Faculty Fellow, I enjoy focusing on the the key learning outcomes from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU)'s Liberal Education and America's Promise Initiative

Our key learning outcome for the Spring 2016 semester was TEAMWORK! This is definitely one of my favorites because I incorporate teamwork in undergraduate research assignments and in graduate student presentations. In my opinion, this is one of the most important skills that a student can learn in college. They will encounter teamwork for the rest of their lives (in the workplace, in church groups, in their friendships, and beyond)!

In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers cites teamwork as one of the most important skills that students can learn in college. 

In March, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. David Blanke from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi at an annual teaching and learning conference in Texas. I loved his answers about teamwork!

Have a great week! Thanks for visiting the Millennial Professor Blog!

Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
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Monday, August 1, 2016

30 Ways to Incorporate Teamwork in Higher Education Classrooms - A LEAP Texas Initiative

For the past four years, I've had a great time learning about higher education administration. It has been an incredible experience incorporating the key concepts and theories that I learned in graduate school everyday! From crisis communication to public relations, this has been daily learning experience!

One item that I really appreciate is the ability to teach while serving in higher education administration. I adore teaching undergraduate students and I love teaching graduate students as well. The social media teaching field requires me to teach and learn everyday! 

Last summer, I applied and I was selected as a Faculty Fellow for Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP Texas). Through this experience, I've been able to connect with other faculty fellows from across the state while learning additional concepts about teaching in higher education. I've learned about the core curriculum from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In addition to the core, one of the most life changing items that I've learned includes key concepts about assessment and the LEAP Value Rubrics.

During my time as a fellow, it has been amazing to merge two of my higher education loves (teaching and social media). In the spring semester, I was very fortunate to present a Periscope (one of my favorite technologies) focused on "30 Ways to Incorporate Teamwork in Higher Education Classrooms". 

I enjoyed presenting this Periscope to the attendees and this scope is archived on the Leap Texas YouTube Account. Enjoy!
Please feel free to ask any questions about the LEAP Texas experience! In fact, applications are available as well! Here's the link! - 

Have a great week! Thanks for visiting the Millennial Professor Blog!

Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Linking the Texas Core Objectives with the AACU High-Impact Educational Practices as a #LEAPTX Fellow

Since I was selected to join LEAP TX (Liberal Education and America's Promise) initiative (sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Lumina Foundation), I created a goal focused on learning MORE about academic and student affairs assessment practices and processes than ever before.

So, I signed to present a session about social media and to present the recap focused on the Texas LEAP initiative sustainability plan (after the grant ends). I am always excited to present about social media and higher education and this audience seemed eager to learn something new (or a new way of addressing a learning outcome through social media technologies). 

Here's the presentation from that session.

Here is one of our pictures from the LEAP working meeting. Thanks for the opportunity - Loraine! :)

We created plans, assigned action items, and determined how we would spread our messages about the Texas Core Objectives (teamwork, social responsibility, critical thinking, personal responsibility, communication, and empirical and quantitative skills) with a LEAP emphasis (infusing high impact educational practices, GEMS, signature assignments (signature work), and MUCH MORE! I must emphasize that I have a slight bias toward high impact educational practices.

So, for the next few months, follow the #LEAPTX hashtag. Engage with us by sending resources and look forward to a "Call for Submissions" focused on the Texas Core Objectives. You will be able to submit your assignments, have them peer-reviewed, and then they will serve as a resource for the rest of the state of Texas (and other states - LEAP states and non-LEAP states).

This conference served as the SPRINGBOARD for helping me work toward my assessment goals. I am PUMPED about upcoming initiatives focused on the Texas Core Objectives and the High-Impact Educational Practices!

If you would like a refresher on the High-Impacted Educational Practices, here's a graphic I made for the #LEAPTX blog.
For more information about LEAPTX, check out this site - If you have any questions about the presentation or LEAP Texas, please let me know! I serve as a LEAPTX fellow with FIVE individuals.


J. Edwards

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Recap from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board - Student Success Summit (Summer 2015)

This summer, I attended the Student Success Summit in Austin, TX (July 14-15). This event was sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. This event served as a great brainstorming session for our team before entering the fall semester.

Disclosure - The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board covered the room and registration for this event for all participants.

This event featured Dean Vasti Torres from the College of Education at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She was an amazing speaker and my notes filled several pages. In addition to Dean Torres, the sessions were wonderful as well - peer-to-peer instructional support models and interventions, minority student success strategies, course transformation and student engagement practices, and guided pathways. Here is the agenda for the event -

I attended the following sessions:
"How to Help People Remember What They Learn"
"How to Transform Learning...With Teaching"
"Implementing an Integrated, Comprehensive Academic Support for First-Year Students (TSU)
"Supplemental Instruction at UTSA - Promoting Student Success Through Peer Facilitated Study Groups"
"Supplemental Instruction - A Model for Course Success"

A few weeks ago, I was pleased to see the materials from the conference posted on the Texas College and Career Readiness Network. All of the presentations from these sessions are available on this link - Session Materials)

Also, here are my tweets from the event! If the event was offered again, I would definitely be one of the first people to sign up!

  1. Thank you! Is this the correct one? ?
  2. thank you for using both hashtags...especially the !
  3. Great summit so far. Amazing speakers, great topics, and outstanding atmosphere. Thanks for the opportunity !
  4. - In , the typical time for a 60 hr community college degree is 90 hours and for a 120 bachelor's degree is 140 hours.
  5. Marketable skills in higher education (in Texas) include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas ().
  6. Action does not really work well unless you reflect. Can you state with metrics how you have improved or not improved.

Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
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