GSC Faculty, Staff Affirm Student Success Key Elements at AASCU Academic Affairs Conference

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

Gordon State College was represented at the 2023 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Academic Affairs Summer Meeting conference in Baltimore where several faculty and staff along with representatives from Wright State University in Ohio served on a panel and discussed the topic of innovative mentoring practices and how these practices provide key elements of the student success ecosystem.

The panel consisted of GSC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. J. Ardovini; Associate Professor of History, Dr. Scott M. Shubitz; and Interim Dean of the School of Education, History, Math, and Applied Sciences, Dr. Stephen A. Raynie. In their session with Wright State University representatives, each panelist described their innovative use of mentor practices and initiatives on building cultures that support student success.

“At Gordon State College, we want our students not just to graduate, but to thrive once they graduate; our EDGE paradigm for student development is transformational and developmental: Engaged Innovators, Dedicated Scholars, Gifted Communicators, and Ethical Leaders,” Raynie said. “Mentoring is one method we can fuel that development.”

GSC’s faculty mentor program pairs first-year students with faculty who offer professional and academic guidance as well as connect students with on-campus resources. The program is a part of a larger psycho-social student success ecosystem that specifically addresses the problem of limited resources at small higher education institutions.

Ardovini, who was named to the AASCU Academy for New Provosts (ANP) in November of 2022, said then that once the student is put at the center of the training, everything would fall into place. She said that at GSC, the student is put first, second and always.

The conference, held on July 19-21, offered sessions that were anchored in AASCU’s commitment to advancing equitable student success and key considerations including mindsets, policies, structures and practices of what it entails to be a student-centered enterprise.