As a faculty, you hear it all the time when students decide to visit you, “Excuse me, Professor, can you please tell me how I am doing in your class?” This scenario is quite real for faculty members. However, from here, the question arises, “Whose responsibility is it?” In today’s environment of accountability, reflecting both the importance and relevance of the problem, how do we define a proper explanation without the blame. Undoubtedly, faculty members play an essential role in the success of their students. They are the critical agents in the success of their students but are sometimes not recognised for their efforts. Faculty members have an opportunity to set the expectations for the rest of the semester and establish mutual relationships with students. The evolving faculty role in student success says that without engagement among faculty members, the top initiatives by students doom to fail either outrightly or because of other limitations.
The faculty role in student success is critical in shaping the outcome strategy but are surprisingly underleveraged as allies. Faculty members work on curriculum requirements, academic policies, advising practices and articulate the institutional approach to carry out a new set of procedures. Below listed are the five key ways faculty members help students navigate their success:
- Reforming Academic Policies
Rules and regulations governing the academic policy of course registration, planning the degree etc. can sometimes push students off track. How can faculty members help students in identifying and adjusting with these obstacles? They proactively advise students to explore alternative approaches.
- Leveraging Faculty in Academic Advising
Faculty members are now expected to counsel and intervene in a student’s struggle on a day to day basis. Faculty members are best in mentoring and academic consultation. They are also responsible for building mutual trust and collaboration among students — these transformational activities are excellent examples of faculty impact on student success.
- Enhancing the Learning Experience
Another most critical faculty role in student success is demonstrating their impact of harnessing classroom activities. They should be able to redesign pedagogical models. Required courses should be prioritized to maximize the impact of student success.
- Tracking Signs of Student Risks
By keeping a check on student’s attendance, performance, participation and engagement in class, faculty can intervene with a helpful strategy. The faculty impact on student success should be made simple by designing early warning signals about academic and behavioural concerns. Faculty should customize theoretical risk and intervention protocol to maximize participation.
- Mentoring Students
One of the essential faculty roles in student success is mentorship. Seeking out the right mentorship opportunities and establishing connections among faculty members is difficult for many students. Faculty mentoring efforts should be more focused on less-engaging students. Developing a meaningful interaction with such students may help reconsider their decision of transferring to another institution.
So again, when we ask the question, “Whose responsibility is it?” We must conclude that faculty members are the core to enhance student learning. The faculty impact on student success is critical to the vitality of an institution for all the students. Therefore, faculty members must take ownership and engage in strategies to promote an inclusive learning environment designed to increase student success.
Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur (IIMU) is a faculty-governed institution with a culture of academic excellence. Besides, IIMU ensures the quality of teaching and mentorship provided by faculty to students is of the highest level. Most of IIMU’s full-time faculty members are young and recent doctoral graduates. They focus on research and teaching through mentorship and collaboration with students.