At ACU, all students are valued. Success at ACU is an initiative to support student retention, success and overall engagement with university life. The program was operational for the first time in Semester 2, 2014 and continues in 2016.
In a bid to ensure students are retained at the University, potential program participants are selected based on demographic indicators generally associated with low retention rates in the Australian higher education sector.
Students are first year Bachelor students and may include those admitted under a pathways program, who live a long distance from campus, are under 18 years of age, have a lower ATAR, or Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander first year students. Other factors such as not logging into LEO for a period of time are also used.
The participants are monitored on a continuous basis to gauge how well they are faring in academic and personal issues and are contacted via email and/or telephone. Referrals or recommendations to relevant services or support are made to students where required and they are followed up. Students enrolled in specific identified units are engaged and referrals are integrated with ACU’s Peer Assisted Study Sessions program, the Faculties and Students, Learning & Teaching organisational units.
During the first five weeks of Semester 1, 2016, Success at ACU:
attempted phone contact with 495 students and spoke to 158 (37%)
sent 7,812 follow up emails and eDM broadcasts offering assistance at periods when students may feel high pressure
responded to 56 incoming emails and web forms from 40 students requesting continued engagement
made 42 referrals to 34 students to 7 professional and academic areas at ACU
assisted to identify and proactively engage with 151 discrete students identified as not having logged into LEO by week 3.
In addition, students undertaking a number of specific PASS units were contacted by the Success at ACU team in the lead up to their first major assessment. Over 50 per cent of the students in the selected units engaged with the service.
Student feedback on the service has included the following:
“Thank you so much, that [call from Success at ACU] really helped.”
“I find that uni is very different to high school but I am amazed how supportive everyone is, especially the tutors.”
“It was perfect timing [call from Success at ACU]! I was just in the middle of my maths assignment and really felt like talking to ACU! The facilities and support have been amazing, we’re all so lucky!”
Thank you to all staff for your care and attention to students, which is fundamental to their success and is reflected in our Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching gathered through the Student Experience Survey.