Higher Education

07Aug 2019
2019 Lighthouse Award

It’s National Lighthouse Day!

Lighthouses have always inspired me. They have a profound and unique purpose that serve to safeguard the community, but are also created to be unique works of art, remarkable feats of engineering and to reflect specific cultures and communities.

Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria

The first lighthouse was created in 280 B.C.–the great Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World! This is where we draw our name and company inspiration.

Today, Pharos Resources has been participating in #NationalLighthouseDay by sharing our team’s favorite lighthouses and remarkable stories of lighthouse successes.

We are also taking this opportunity to recognize our annual Lighthouse Award recipients. We are recognizing three Pharos partners who have built incredible practices on their campuses to identify and engage at-risk students.

We are grateful for our relationships with our clients and the remarkable work they do everyday to support their students. We are honored to partner with each of you!

Please join us in congratulating the following Lighthouse Award recipients!
-Matt


2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award

Data & Applications Professional

The School:

Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, has been recognized as one of the best colleges in the region and offers one of the most affordable private educations in the nation. They have been a Pharos partner for the past nine years. Brian Carr, Director of the Pathways Center, has been directing the Pharos 360 program on campus for the last seven years and has grown the program from a single-office initiative to broad campus-wide adoption.

The Recipient:

Robert Salosky, the Applications Training and Support Specialist at Waynesburg, became the point person for the Pharos data integration in April of this year. Brian has requested strategic reporting data be incorporated in the Pharos for several years but had no forward movement on the project.

Within two months of Robby being assigned to the project, this necessary Student Information System data was being sent into the system for the first time in our nine year partnership. As Brian said, “A lot of what (Robby) did was self-initiated. Once he inherited this EXTRA project, he could have sat on his hands…but he didn’t.” Because of Robby’s commitment to the Waynesburg IT mission statement, specifically “Daily collaboration, communication, and timely delivery of services to our faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Brian, his team and the Waynesburg community are positioned to more easily identify their most at-risk students and to analyze the efficacy of their student support programs.

It is with great excitement and appreciation that we award Robert Salosk the 2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award–Data & Applications Professional. We celebrate his commitment and outstanding work to support Relational Retention.


2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award

Student Success Professional

The School:

Juniata College is located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and serves an undergraduate population of about 1,500 students. Juniata takes a non-traditional approach to college majors, allowing their students to design their own plan of study. In addition, students have two advisors: a primary advisor in their Program of Emphasis and a general advisor from another discipline who coaches students with a different perspective. The QUEST program, (Question, Understand, Explore, Seek, Transform) supported by Pharos 360 software, is a program that provides resources to students to help them succeed.

The Recipient:

Blair Cutright has held many positions at Juniata College. Originally hired as the Assistant Track and Field Coach and Resident Director in 2011, she transitioned to the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students in 2013 and then to the Quest Coordinator in 2017 while continuing to coach Cross Country and Track! In the two years that Blair has coordinated the Quest program, she has approached it with the commitment and tenacity that in her college days made her a successful athlete. As Dr. Matthew Damschroder, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, said, “It is so exciting to see Blair Cutright recognized for the retention and success efforts that ground her practice. Through direct support of students, and leadership of our care team and case management, Blair’s work is essential to developing pathways and strategies where students overcome obstacles to persistence and meet their aspirations. Juniata’s students and community are improved by Blair’s vision and implementation of case management and communication best practices, which continue to emerge as she begins her third year as Coordinator of QUEST.”

It is with great excitement and appreciation that we award Blair Cutright the 2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award–Student Success Professional. We celebrate her commitment and tireless work to support Relational Retention.


2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award

Institution of the Year

Pharos Resources’ partnership with Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL started seven years ago at a CCCU Presidents Conference when President Bill Fleming met our President, Matt Boisvert. The two recognized in each other a shared passion for innovative and bold approaches to Student Success.

We formalized our relationship 2012 and the school of 3,800 students has been doubling down on their student support investments since. Development of programs such as their one-day orientation program, SOAR, The Bridges Scholars Program, Impact Leadership Team, and Discipleship assistants have all made a significant impact on Student Success. Waypoint, PBA’s branding for their Early Alert program powered by Pharos 360, has helped the school increase focus on at-risk students and increase retention 11% from 2012-2018.

Palm Beach Atlantic is recognized as the 2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award– Institution of the Year because of their renewed excitement and investment they have made in the 2018 -2019 school year.

Pharos consultants have made two visits to the university, including a trip by President Fleming’s invitation to address the Board of Trustees on retention issues. The cornerstone of this initiative is the tireless work of Bob Lutz, Dean of Students and Kate Magro, Assistant Dean of Students who are constantly investing in training staff and faculty, identifying the highest risk population of students, and providing touchpoint relationships and interventions to aid students in their struggles.

It is with great excitement and admiration that we recognize Palm Beach Atlantic University as the 2019 Pharos Lighthouse Award–Institution of the Year! We are grateful for the commitment they show to student success and the investment they have made to develop best practices for Relational Retention.

12Mar 2019
Skyfactor and Pharos Resources

Pharos Resources is proud to announce a partnership with Skyfactor, a Macmillan Learning Company, to provide stronger identification, assessment, and solutions to improve student retention and success.

The partnership will integrate Skyfactor’s product Benchworks’ New Student Survey which provides insight into how new students are acclimating to college with Pharos 360, a tool that enables colleges to take action on what they’ve learned. Together, these solutions will provide administrators the ability to expertly assess, monitor, and manage the student experience.

“Since 2010, Pharos has been focused on developing powerful tools to enhance the important work of engaging at-risk students. Our partnership with SkyFactor now provides the seamless integration of their research-driven assessments and our Relational Retention technology. This is a truly unique system for Higher Education to improve student outcomes,” said Rachel Phillips-Buck, Vice President of Student Success for Pharos Resources.

To learn more, visit the full press release.

19Jan 2018
CCCU

We are kicking off our 2018 conference season at CCCU’s International Forum in Dallas, TX. Four of our team members will be in attendance: Matt Boisvert, Rachel Phillips-Buck, Rachel Elam and Loree Houghton. We look forward to catching up with familiar faces and meeting some new ones!

 

We’re also excited to announce two of our partner institutions will be presenting at the conference:


  • Carrie Stockton, Dean of Student Success at Biola University, will be leading a presentation called, Retention Is Everyone’s Business… That Is Much Easier Said Than Done (We Did It!).

    Description: Retention and student support should be a whole campus initiative, but it can be difficult to integrate the myriad aspects of a student’s life to formulate a successful and comprehensive support plan. By identifying the key touch points for a Biola student, and working to combine and share data that was previously siloed in either academics or student life, we were able to create a more connected campus and provide better support to our students. This session will include practical suggestions for any practitioner who is interested in creating a more holistic support system for their students.


  • Stacey Martin, Dean for Student Engagement at Hardin-Simmons University, will be joining colleagues in a joint presentation called, How I Made Half a Million Dollars by Supporting Students.

    Description: Approximately 75% of students who leave college early do so in their first two years. This interactive workshop will discuss why the first years of college are a crucial time for risk of departure and more importantly, as faculty at Christian institutions, what can we do to encourage persistence to graduation. Two campuses will share case studies to increase understanding of what it takes to keep students on our campuses. Data and strategies are presented from the traditional residential campus as well as the College of Adult and Graduate Studies.


 

CCCU 2017 Presidents Conference

2018 International Forum
January 31 – February 2, 2018
The Gaylord Texan
Dallas, TX

We’re proud to serve our CCCU schools and are a platinum level sponsor of this event.

 

Will you be in attendance? Let us know and we’ll look forward to meeting up with you!

25Jan 2017
McLennan Completion Summit 2017

Our partner and client, McLennan Community College, is hosting a Completion Summit on Friday, February 17. If you are near the Waco, TX area, we hope you can join us!

Completion Summit 2017

Building Success: Tools to Help Students Complete
February 17, 2016
McLennan Community College
Waco, TX

Session Topics: (tentative schedule)

  • Gaining Faculty Buy-In: Creating a Network of Care
  • How Do You Measure It? Assessment Techniques for the Hard to Quantify
  • Academic Coaching: Who, What, Where, and Why
  • Resources for Completion: Supporting Special Populations
  • Financial Literacy
  • Early Alert

24Jan 2017

We’re so excited to kick off our 2017 conference season by attending CCCU’s Presidents Conference again in Washington, DC. Our President, Matt Boisvert, will be in attendance and hopes you’ll stop by our table to find out how Relational Retention empowers your plan! We’re proud to serve our CCCU schools and be a silver level sponsor of this event.

CCCU 2017 Presidents Conference

2017 Presidents Conference
January 25 – 27, 2016
The Washington Court Hotel
Washington, DC

Will you be in attendance? Let us know and we’ll look forward to meeting up with you!

19Jan 2016

Data is a tool. Student Engagement is the work. Can I get an Amen?

Can we just start saying this over and over as our mantra:

Data is a tool.

Student Engagement is the work.

I was talking to a friend recently who works in the world of higher ed data.  He is a master of providing data to help schools identify which students are likely to struggle.

I asked him what support and intervention is provided for the identified at-risk students. He looked surprised and said,  “Oh, you know!” as he wiggled his fingers dismissively. I frowned and he continued, “but once they do all the whatever (here the finger wiggle again), we can capture the retention of those students.”

He went on, but I stopped listening because I was really unhappy about his finger wiggle! Did he just “yada, yada, yada” all the weighty work I know student engagement and support entails?! Continue reading

15Dec 2015

I love the rhythm of the academic life. We are finishing the season of work and entering the season of rest.

Andy Crouch recently said, We are made for work and rest, not for toil and leisure.

What a great reminder.

Friends, we have worked hard!  And…we get do good, important and meaningful work.

Matthew Litchfield added this to the conversation: “Sabbathless life ends up w/neither true work nor true rest, but w/frantic & ineffective activity punctuated by couch-potato lethargy.

I intend to rest this season. I hope you will too.

Enjoy your winter rest.
-Rachel
10Nov 2015

I bet you have some Dust Bunny Data at your campus. Don’t act like you don’t know what we are talking about. Dust Bunny Data is data that just sits around, unused, and collects dust. It took a lot of effort (and budget) to gather it, and the intention was that it would be a powerful tool to understand your students and inform your practices. But…no one ever looks at it.

That’s a problem. Continue reading

21Oct 2015

Today’s blog post was inspired by a recent conversation I had with Rachel Phillips-Buck, our VP for Student Success. It went something like this…

Rachel: Matt, I have a great example for your blog topic today. Can I share it?

Matt: Yes, please.

Rachel: Once, when I was visiting a campus, I got locked in a bathroom stall. When I finally managed to escape, I asked the students in the restroom if they knew the lock on that stall stuck. They said, “Yes, you just have to remember not to use it.”

Matt: Exactly what I want to talk about. Everyone knows the truth about your campus. You can’t hide the things that are old, broken, worn, outdated, or useless from your community. Everything on your campus tells the story of value, importance, and quality. Everything speaks.

Continue reading

13Oct 2015

I was an at-risk student

You will hear me say often, and loudly, that I was an at-risk student. I know what it feels like to not be living up to one’s potential. I am also intimately familiar with the feeling that no one on campus can see me; no one cares that I am not doing well, no one is paying attention to my struggling, and most devastating- that no one is offering me any help.

 

Automatic notice: You’re failing

iPhone Missed Class Think for just a second what it means to a student in that state of mind to receive an automatic email that says something like, “You have 5 absences in your history class. Please be advised that if you miss one more, you will be dropped from the class. If you have any questions, talk to your faculty or your advisor.”

 

It.

Is.

Crushing.

Continue reading

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