Faculty and Staff Toolbox
The education, development, and success of our students is a key responsibility of not just the university at large but all faculty and staff. In order to educate, develop, and empower student success we must all work to cultivate a culture of care and commitment to our students.
However, as a new generation of students enrolls in institutions across the country, it can be challenging to know how to best engage them in our productive learning environment. To assist in facilitating relationships between faculty/staff and students, COMPASS shares the following best practices!
1. When making a referral.
If you make a referral to a campus partner for a student to receive assistance (e.g. SOCAT or a success advocate referral form), directly and caringly share with the student why and to who you are making a referral.
2. Consider reviewing pedagogical best practices.
Our system of higher education in the US trains us to be strong critical thinkers and researchers; however, it can leave us with only our personal experience in the classroom to draw from as instructors. Consider using the following resources for strong practical and theory-based suggestions for course instruction.
- For opportunities to connect to educators at USF St. Petersburg check out: USF St. Petersburg’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.
- For a wealth of pedagogical best practices check out: USF’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence.
- Still curious about your role and student success and retention? Check out our selection of peer-reviewed literature found under our Faculty and Staff COMPASS page.
3. Remember that our students face critical structural barriers to success even after
enrolling in college.
Housing and food insecurity rates among college students remain high nationally. Indeed, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs directly impacts student success. If you are interested in educating yourself further on these issues, please look into research from the The Hope Centerfor College, Community, and Justice.
4. Acknowledge the presence of power dynamics when considering how you engage with
It can be difficult for students to feel comfortable making an impromptu but needed check-in after a lecture where they must approach you (the course’s evaluator) in the space they associate with their evaluation as a student. Students often wish to respect their professors and feel like they would be a bother if they approached you in a space they believe yours. Consider making yourself available to students in a neutral area such as the Reef, Library, or by Coquina Hall’s patio.
5. Treat students as individuals.
As a generation raised on email and product listservs, Generation Z (late millennials) will likely not respond generic emails inviting the whole class to use a resource (e.g. office hours). Trying using mail merge to invite them by name to participate in a resource and explain why you thought it would be a good fit for them. Yet Another Mail Merge is a great resource for this.