Fresno State University Courtyard Residential Life is a featured program.
One of the core values/outcomes at University Courtyard is the Academic Success and Retention of our students. Although having fun and getting students to interact is the primary predictor of student satisfaction with living on-campus, if students are merely satisfied with their residence life experience but are struggling in school, we do not believe we are doing our job.
Our residential life staff is heavily involved in the academic lives of our students and we push the motto, “Every Grade Point Counts” with our students. In addition the following initiatives have been incorporated in order to both challenge and support our students’ academic success:
- We spend time training our staff on the various resources on campus to support the academic endeavors of our residents
- Leadership Team (Assistant Director, Student Conduct Coordinator and Resident Director team) is specially trained on the following: ◦ How to refer a student to Supportnet (campus online “safety net” for students struggling academically
- How to refer students through StudentLingo – a video tutorial service that holds students accountable for watching videos, with an email sent letting us know they’ve completed the program
- How to identity a student as “at risk” in GradesFirst – and online tool to connect faculty, housing staff, and student affairs support staff
Programs and Initiatives:
Academic Success Programming Committee
Led by an Assistant Resident Director, a committee comprised of Resident Advisors and residents puts on academic success programs throughout the year culminating in the Academic Success Banquet in the Spring Semester
Examples of programs put on by the committee in the past:
- Study Bucks – Staff hands out “tickets” while doing rounds when they catch residents studying. Residents collect these bucks and put them in for a raffle at the end of the semester
- A’s cream Social – If a resident brings a test, paper, or quiz they get free ice cream
- The Big Payoff – Collaborative program with the campus Learning Center, SupportNet, and other campus organizations
Major program is the Annual Academic Success Banquet
- Formal Invitations are sent out to every resident who earned a 3.5 or higher GPA in the Fall semester for a formal banquet on campus
- 4.0 students are invited to bring a guest – a family member or faculty or staff member who inspired academic success
- Program is supported by the President, Provost, VP of student affairs
- Dining allows students to use a meal in their dining plan to pay for the banquet (it is highly subsidized)
We offer the first 500 first year students who apply to live with us the opportunity for nine units (three classes) to be solely with our residents. They have multiple choices for classes, but they are guaranteed these three classes, and they will be in all of these classes with the same residents.
- Every October, Residence Life Staff are required to meet with each of their residents for a one on one meeting during the month. They hand out an academic success pamphlet, and ask how they are doing in classes.
- Every January and February, Resident Directors meet with students who were in academic trouble in the Fall Semester (1.5 and below). They meet for a one on one meeting, provide support resources, and track using GradesFirst.
Other Academic Educational Programming
- A’s not Bees – a Program in September to get students thinking about the importance of good grades
- Success? Not a Problem – a Program in September giving students resources for success
- Study Buddies – One the Resident Advisors put together study buddies in October and matched residents up within classes so they could study together
- Midterm Migration – October program encouraging Residents to “migrate” to the library to assist in studying
- You’re on a roll – November program to encourage students to keep going and to continue to be focused in on their academics
- How do you Study? November program on different study styles
How do we know we are effective in our efforts? We list a lot of our measures on the introduction page. We look at graduation rates for cohorts that live with us and see how progress towards graduation. We also track GPAs of our students, and look specifically by area to note any differences (such as freshman living in our residential suites who tend to achieve less than their counterparts in Community Style Halls).