Moraine Valley Community College recently received the Silver Grand Excellence Award from NASPA, the national association for student affairs administrators in higher education, for its Academic Success Workshop: Using Data to Close Equity Gaps for Students on Academic Caution project.

The project focused on how data has been used to more efficiently assess the effectiveness of the college’s online Academic Success Workshop, an intervention intended to help students identified as having academic concerns. Previously, this was a 90-minute in-person workshop. However, the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to redesign the workshop into an online module that students can complete on their own time from anywhere.

Sharon Brennan gives a presentation about Moraine Valley’s award-winning project at the NASPA annual conference.

The new format provides valuable data to assess the academic impact of the intervention and measure student outcomes after they complete the online module. It also utilizes qualitative feedback to better tailor the module’s content to the needs of all students and identify possible equity gaps among diverse student populations.

The project was recognized in the Assessment, Persistence, Data Analytics, and Related category for its value in allowing the college to make data-driven decisions in the best interests of its students.

“It was an honor to nominate our Academic Success Workshop for a NASPA Excellence Award, as this initiative has been a strong example of a successful project from Moraine Valley’s Equity Academy,”  said Dr. Scott Friedman, dean of Student Engagement.

This project was developed by a team of counselors, academic advisors, and staff from the Student Engagement, Information Technology, and Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness departments.

Sharon Brennan, counselor and assistant professor in Moraine Valley’s Counseling and Career Development Center, accepted the award at the NASPA annual conference held earlier this year, where she also gave a presentation about the college’s project.

“It was a lot of work, but we’re getting great feedback from our students,” she said. “I am proud the project has been recognized by a national organization.”


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