Baseball and Not Baseball

What I Learned This Week

Category Archives: What I Learned

NAU is good at data mining


The presentation went kind of fast- at least for a non-recruiter. This is good to know if we have a data mining question. 

FYE Program for Female Students in STEM Majors


This conference has been very crowded so they rightfully used chairs in rows instead of tables in most rooms. But, on this final morning attendance is down so thankfully I can turn a chair around and use it as a desk. Well, no one else is, but I am tired of using my phone to summarize.

Regarding yesterday’s open resource session: it might be interesting to add a Z for zero cost to the sections in Webadvisor that use open resources only. This kind of peer pressure would probably drive some of my colleagues crazy. But, I know I could explain to students if I supported a proprietary software, or book over the free one. And if I couldn’t, well maybe I should be looking at open resources for an upcoming semester.

This particular session interested me because I have three daughters in STEM fields and they have definite opinions about how to STEM support and not be condescending and hence counterproductive when giving the support.

The intro started with a definition of STEM and the benefits of a postsecondary degree. It did go quickly, however. Sam Houston has 2/3 more women students then men students. However they award the same number of STEM degrees to men as women. This motivated their intervention.

Five factors best predicted success for women in STEM (p<.05):

  • Top 25% of class (not top 10) 35% 6-year graduation
  • 2nd year on campus 35%
  • Financial Aid 34%
  • No ethnicity differences that were significant <– Not sure why a factor if not a factor
  • <– There were only 4?

Typical grad rates are 30%. 20-25% were typical for other categories (off campus living, bottom 3/4 of high school class. . .)

Interventions: Increase financial aid, especially to recruit the top 10% of high school classes, encourage on-campus living and create on campus events.

Next steps: Learning communities including living together, new class: personal and academic survival tools,, orientation to resources- free, not required, non-credit

A lot of what they are doing is much more relevant to 4-year schools.



Rain Delay Professional Development

A lawyer talked about how to evaluate employees- especially with regard to discipline. I was shocked this wasn’t obvious to everyone there. 
The University of Minnesota is a good source for open resources it created and referrals to other open resources. 

HLC Student Opinion Survey

General Session


The conference organizers added overfill rooms. This was a nice reaction. They also had rooms on both sides of a traffic bottleneck. 

The talk by Jeffrey Selingo focused on how employers want soft skills like curiosity, creativity, digital awareness, critical thinking, and humility. Employees want time management because they are not used to deciding what is next for themselves and how to balance training with work projects and family. 

Students in the South are more likely to come from families with income under $40,000. That is where growth is. “Launch” age is now 30 and not 26. 

Debt, internships, and credentials are the three factors that most impact students life in 20’s. (Correlation- not cause in internship?)

Guided Pathways and Strategic PlanĀ 


Tulsa has a 14% graduation rate and 69% developmental placement. They have 25,000 FTE and 1000 full time employees. 

They have a new president and the new plan above. 

There was some overview of Pathways. 

10 of their 41 strategies align with Pathways.  There was a slide with too small font giving all these. Here it is from the conference app. 

There are 8 on the diagram. 8<10. 

Basically it really is that they decided to do Pathways and tied it to goals. There is nothing shocking here. Just a reminder that if you want something done make it a priority. 

Faculty Quals


The presenters reviewed the process of how we got here. 

They focused on dual enrollment for a bit. Then showed areas where they had the most questions.

For tested experience there should be a rubric to ensure consistency. 

Equivalency to a BA is ok for CTE. 

The somewhat blurry photo is a metaphor for my understanding of the subfield discussion. 

I’m not sure why there is controversy over 18 credits passed BA. I believe it’s been there for a long time. 

CAO’s make the call for interdisciplinary courses. 

Persistence and Completion Next Steps


I’ll list interesting things from this general session. I’m using my phone so expect minor errors. 

  • Posed by presenter: What makes a commitment to retention, persistence, and completion? Answered by presenter: [Shrug]
  • Posed by presenter: What is an ambitious goal? Attainable? Answered by presenter: [Shrug]
  • Comparison to peers can help. Is an institution’s graduation rate low compared to peers? (My question is what is a peer?)
  • [Assorted unrelated non-financial indicators- the other 6 are well defined. The comparison to peers for grad/retention is hard to change over a short time.]
  • Feds talking of bright red lines including 15% graduation rate for CC. HLC has surveyed some low and some high grad rate schools to look for correlations.
  • Q&A (& comment) What do you think works well? What ideas do you have?


Remind is a messaging and chat service that is used by teachers to communicate with students. I am considering using it. The service allows texting and acts as an intermediary to hide phone numbers from the parties involved.

The main problem is would solve is that when I make blog posts students in courses (other than Math 110 where I force it into the landing page of MyMathLab) do not see the message unless they actively go to the website. Students can subscribe to the blog, but this is a rough tool. They get announcements for all classes, not just their classes.

My thoughts on how to use this, at first, would be to alert students when blog posts with daily details are released. A search using Google did not turn up a way to automatically link WordPress publishing with Remind messaging. However, you can create time release messages. So, with a little more work I could have students get pushed a message when something posts to their class from the blog. I could also, preprogram assignment due dates and push a link PDF of the assignment.

I might consider the chat feature to allow students to ask questions. Students already have other channels through email, phone, and face-to-face visits. I would have to consider whether this would give more convenience to students so they would be more likely to use it and whether I could give realistic response times to the student questions.

I may add a link to a post in Math 131 and see how it goes.

Setting Up a GroupWise Rule