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Improving Data Literacy Across Student Success Teams with Dr. Gene VanSickle

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Cultivate a Data Literate Student Success Culture with Dr. Gene VanSickle

Today’s guest, Dr. Gene VanSickle, discusses the importance of using data consistently and campus-wide to promote student success. As the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs at the University of North Georgia, he has a great deal of insight into how you can navigate a rapidly evolving higher education landscape. And shares how the use of data has made it feasible for UNG to provide proactive support to a diverse student population.

In this episode, we talk about transforming all the data we have access to into actionable insights, building data literacy, and building data literacy leads to better student outcomes. We also discuss how to use data to build coalitions across academic and student affairs and why it is so important to trade in reactivity for proactive data-informed approaches for student success.

Show Notes:

  • [2:18] – The biggest challenges that the University of North Georgia is facing are the ones caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • [3:36] – There are many different types of data they use to approach solutions for these challenges and to be more efficient.
  • [5:28] – In 2022, the University of North Georgia is focusing on using data to find the challenges students are facing and intervene intentionally.
  • [6:46] – Previously, data sets were used but not consistently. Literacy and consistency are key.
  • [8:25] – It has been impactful to make data accessible and have everyone on the same page.
  • [9:52] – Gene shares some practices that have filtered down that all began with data.
  • [12:01] – What tools have helped their team make sense of the data and create a meaningful intervention for students?
  • [13:49] – Data helps frame conversations and trust.
  • [15:00] – Another result of using data more consistently is how teams on campus collaborate.
  • [17:18] – The team’s work ethic at UNG has proven to be remarkable as Gene saw everyone rally together to support students.
  • [19:40] – When working across different units, everyone brings a valuable perspective to the table.
  • [21:30] – UNG’s data has shown a decreased retention since the pandemic.
  • [23:44] – As August approaches, Gene shares some of the UNG’s concerns for the upcoming year.
  • [24:24] – When it comes to data, it is crucial to be very intentional.
  • [25:45] – How can you use the data to be proactive instead of reactive? You’re too late to solve the problem if you are reactive to data.

Links and Resources:

Dr. Gene VanSickle, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs at the University of North Georgia

Dr. Eugene Van Sickle is the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs at the University of North Georgia. He is responsible for coordinating institutional strategies related to Complete College Georgia, institutional Student Success efforts, and undergraduate curriculum development. Before joining Academic Affairs, he was a faculty member and served as Associate Department Head of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy on the Dahlonega Campus. He earned his Ph.D. in History from West Virginia University.

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