Next Practices podcast episode: Lessons Learned from Student Success Redesign with Dr. Penny Kelly of SUNY Broome Community College

Lessons Learned from Student Success Redesign with Dr. Penny Kelly


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Rethinking strategies can be challenging, but with the many changes we see in higher education post-Covid, redesigning systems could be the key to student success.

At SUNY Broome Community College, Dr. Penny Kelly explains that they’ve taken some new approaches to how they use data and technology. Dr. Kelly is the Vice President of Academic Affairs at SUNY Broome, and with the collaboration of faculty and staff, the institution is now implementing guided pathways and transitioning to a caseload-based academic advising model. According to Penny, these changes have not only helped with enrollment but with retention as well, and these initiatives have boosted the student experience through relationship building.

Show Notes:

  • [2:03] – Penny shares her background and current role at SUNY Broome Community College.
  • [4:34] – To remain sustainable post-Covid, SUNY Broome needed to take a data-informed approach and rethink strategies.
  • [6:10] – The community surrounding the school has initiatives to get more students into the pipeline through community college.
  • [8:50] – One focus for SUNY Broome right now is implementing guiding pathways and revising the academic advising model.
  • [10:43] – It was hard to measure success during the pandemic, but we’re starting to see promising data after implementing a new advising model.
  • [12:39] – What data has been tracked or closely monitored over the last year?
  • [15:09] – The transition was a little tough, but the change has made a significant difference in relationship-building with students.
  • [17:08] – The first step was getting faculty and staff’s buy-in, which might take some time.
  • [19:06] – These initiatives don’t only help enrollment but also retention.
  • [22:06] – Penny compares what they used to do and what they do now in student outreach.
  • [24:16] – Data can really make you rethink how you communicate with students.
  • [26:45] – The new advising model has helped streamline the student experience.
  • [28:25] – It can be challenging to rethink things and change things up.
  • [29:28] – Spend more time with students and take your time. SUNY Broome’s approach has been to take the time with relationship building.

Links and Resources:

Penny Kelly, Vice President of Academic Affairs, SUNY Broome Community College

Dr. Penny Kelly is the Vice President of Academic Affairs at SUNY Broome Community College. In her role, she provides leadership of four academic divisions, including oversight of Institutional Effectiveness, Academic Services, Advising and Career Services, Enrollment and Admissions, Workforce Development, Library, and Registrar. She previously served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs/Provost at SUNY Schenectady County Community College. Penny spent over ten years in the classroom teaching accounting.

Katy Oliveira, Host & Producer, Next Practices Podcast

Katy oversees content at Civitas Learning, where she showcases best practices and customer experience to help higher ed institutions improve student success and reach institutional goals. In her 15-year higher education career, Katy gained extensive experience in student success as an academic advising, advising leader, and faculty member. She is also the creator and host of the Apple Podcast featured show, Collegehood Advice.

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