“Unlike most higher education software companies that essentially ‘sell software, and wish the university the best of luck,’ Pharos Resources is in the trenches with its clients and constantly develops new approaches and practices to serve as an extension of the campus.”
We are grateful to be recognized as one of Education Technology Insights’ Top 10 EdTech Startups. Looking forward to a bright 2020 and beyond!
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.
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
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.
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 Salosky 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
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.
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.
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.
Today’s blog post comes from Kirana Haley, a student at at private liberal arts university. It is so helpful to hear from our students about their experiences and to be reminded of the ways we can listen to and support those we serve! -Rachel
Serve the students you have, not the students you wish you had.
George D. Kuh often expresses this sentiment when he is describing what DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practice) schools do. As Jason De Sousa puts it, schools are “obligated to work with the students they have, not those they wish they had,” and that great schools have figured out how to do this with excellence.
It’s easy to wish you were serving a different kind of student than the ones you have: smarter students, students who know how to work hard, men and women who aren’t juggling the hardships of life, school and work at the same time, students who don’t have financial burdens, and/or those who are eager for learning…not just the degree.
What we mean when we say we want different students is that we don’t value our students, the ones we have.
For the last few weeks we have been talking about how to determine whether the students you are serving are Red-flag students or At-risk students.
Here are the five principles I use to guide me as I engage students and honor their autonomy:
Win them over
First, students have to believe that you are on their team and want them to be successful. In this relationship, students must know that you will be a reliable, responsive, empathetic, and trustworthy partner. Continue reading
We are talking about how to tell the difference between Red-flag students and At-risk students. It is so important that you define at-risk students correctly on your campus. Once you have a good definition of who these students are, your community will be much better equipped to engage them. Continue reading
We were recently working with an institution and every time Matt and I talked about Early Alert as a positive resource for At-risk students, we were met with resistance. My insistence that there was no shame in being managed in an Early Alert program was met with looks of disbelief. Finally, after three days of working to reframe Early Alert, someone in the room said…
Students will never think that being identified as a Red-flag student is positive!
This was an epiphany. Wait. What? I am not talking about Red-flag students! Every time I said “At-risk students,” our clients were thinking “Red-flag students”. I am here to tell you, these are NOT the same thing!Continue reading
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
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.”