National Student Success Expert To Meet with RSU Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff members at Rogers State University will be more prepared to foster the success of RSU students following a visit by John Gardner, a nationally known expert on student success in college.

Gardner, who is executive director of the Pew Center on the First Year of College based at Brevard College, will meet with RSU faculty and staff on Wednesday, Aug. 15, to share his ideas on how to help students succeed in college.

“We are very fortunate to have the nation’s pre-eminent expert on student success on our campus,” said RSU President Joe Wiley. “Dr. Gardner is recognized around the world as the founder of the movement in higher education known as the freshman year experience.”

Gardner developed the nation’s first “Freshman Year Experience” class, offered at the University of South Carolina. Recently, he also has developed and taught similar classes for college seniors. His focus is on the retention and success of all college students.

The mission of the Pew policy center, which Gardner leads, is to develop and share assessment procedures to measure the effectiveness of university programs, policies and structures that affect the retention and success of students. The center is funded in part by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Gardner also is the senior fellow of the National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, a student retention and success policy institute he founded in 1986 at the University of South Carolina, where he served as vice chancellor and provost.

Gardner will work with RSU faculty and staff in the areas of academic advising, student support and retention programs, with the ultimate goal of improving the academic performance of RSU students.

“At RSU, one of our goals is to expand higher educational opportunities for residents in northeast Oklahoma. But an equally important goal is to help them succeed when they get here. For students, that means remaining in college, earning good grades and obtaining a degree,” Wiley said.

In recent years, RSU has placed increasing emphasis on the retention and success of students by developing a system of faculty advising and creating a new office solely focused on student success and retention.

Gardner has worked with hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world. He has received seven honorary doctoral degrees for his work in helping to keep students in college. He serves on the board of directors for the American Association for Higher Education, on an advisory board for the American Council on Education and on an advisory board on education for The New York Times.

His work has been favorably reviewed by several major national publications including The New York Times, Money magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 1998, he was named one of 80 national leaders in higher education by Change magazine.

He is the author and co-author of several books for prospective and current college students, including “College is Only the Beginning,” “Step by Step to College Success” and “Your College Experience.”

For more information on RSU’s student success and retention programs, call (918) 343-7829.