Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning - News
WKU C.A.R.E.S. Earns Student Success Award
- Monday, February 13th, 2023
The WKU Coaching for Academic Readiness Excellence & Success (WKU C.A.R.E.S.) program has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 UPCEA Excellence in Advancing Student Success Award.
The program was chosen because of its contribution to furthering best practices of adult learner student success through innovative, creative, and sustainable measures. Nominated programs were required to include quantitative and qualitative evidence of increased student retention, engagement, opportunities, or project completion to be considered for the award.
WKU CARES student success coaches strengthen student ties to Western Kentucky University and provide a myriad of skills to help students achieve personal goals. Tammy West, WKU CARES Online Student Success Coach, has spent the last year revamping the WKU CARES Blackboard organization, which houses valuable information to aid in the success of online students. West is continually advocating for increased inclusivity of online students and for the students who struggle academically at WKU.
Coach Tammy also works closely with online students within WKU CARES to encourage students and help them reach their full potential. Tammy is there for the students, lending support and guidance. She cheers them on along the way. She helps students re-evaluate and map out alternate routes, so they never feel alone in their journey to success.
“WKU CARES is one way to bridge the gap between online students and face-to-face campus opportunities. It provides necessary resources for our students. We are not only connecting with students, but we are also forming partnerships across campus to offer more inclusive services to online students,” West commented.
Jared Winter, an out-of-state WKU Transfer Student studying photojournalism, has a hybrid schedule and chose to meet with Coach Tammy because he wanted to stay on top of his coursework and needed encouragement to reach out to professors. Through his coaching with WKU CARES, Jared made the Dean’s List in the Fall of 2022 and is working with Coach Tammy to do it again in the Spring 2023 semester.
Winter says, “I couldn't have done it without you [WKU CARES coaching]. When I first got here [to WKU] not knowing how to prepare for exams and studying to then finish the semester with all A's & B's. I’ll see you next semester.”
Award Recipients will be honored at the 2023 UPCEA Annual Conference, March 22-24, in Washington, DC.
The WKU C.A.R.E.S. program was created as a part of WKU Online Student Services to help guide adult learners and non-traditional students throughout their time as WKU students. Coaches are assigned groups of students and remain with those students through graduation, assisting with goal setting, time management, online learning strategies, and work-life balance. The program helps distance learners reflect, develop, grow, and ultimately be successful in their online programs of study. This increases student retention, graduation rate, and overall student success.
Learn more about WKU CARES at https://www.wku.edu/online/coaching/index.php
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