MAP-Works Helps University of Alaska Anchorage Achieve Retention Increases Across All First Year Cohorts

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MAP-Works®, the leading student success and retention program from Educational Benchmarking (EBI), has contributed to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)’s impressive increase in retention across multiple first-year cohorts, EBI announced today. “UAA experienced a noticeable increase in fall-to-spring persistence after the implementation of MAP-Works,” said Dr. Bruce Schultz, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UAA.

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Having participated in MAP-Works for just one year, our faculty and staff know more about how our students transition into the institution than ever before,”said Dr. Bruce Schultz, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UAA.

MAP-Works®, the leading student success and retention program from Educational Benchmarking (EBI), has contributed to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)’s impressive increase in retention across multiple first-year cohorts, EBI announced today. “UAA experienced a noticeable increase in fall-to-spring persistence after the implementation of MAP-Works,” said Dr. Bruce Schultz, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UAA.

“MAP-Works has significantly honed UAA’s ability for targeted outreach, support, and intervention, allowing staff and faculty to systematically track the dynamic needs of students within an entire first-year cohort,” said Schultz. As a result of this targeted outreach, UAA saw retention improvements of 2% among Alaska natives, 2.3% among undeclared baccalaureate degree-seekers, 6% among on-campus residential students, 1.7% among UA Scholars, and 5% among students enrolled in the school’s College Survival Skills program. “UAA is realizing an unprecedented opportunity to better understand and support first-year students. The MAP-Works program bolsters UAA’s larger goals of improving retention and completion rates; increasing efficient student progress toward academic goals; fostering collaborations among programs, schools and colleges; promoting student development through campus involvement; and supporting under-represented students,” said Schultz.

When choosing an assessment program, the UAA Office of Student Affairs found compelling MAP-Works’ ability to provide students with critical success tools and resources in an engaging way, empowering them to create their own success. At the same time, the student affairs staff valued the way MAP-Works provides faculty and staff advisors with rich insights into students’ experiences using an easy-to-follow student-transition profile. “Having participated in MAP-Works for just one year, our faculty and staff know more about how our students transition into the institution than ever before,” said Schultz. “This knowledge is leading the institution toward creating a formal and comprehensive retention program based on a deep understanding of dynamic student experiences.”

“UAA has utilized MAP-Works to craft effective, analysis-based outreach programs and increase student success,” said Joseph Pica, Ed.D., CEO of EBI and the designer of MAP-Works. “The insights provided by MAP-Works foster a cycle of continuous improvement that can result in meaningful impacts on student achievement.”

According to Schultz, the MAP-Works program has been met with enthusiastic reviews from the UAA faculty and staff. “Through MAP-Works, our staff and faculty are experiencing actionable insights into the unique experiences of individual students,” Schultz reported. “The MAP-Works system also empowers collaboration among departments and across major divisions within the university like we’ve never experienced before.” Through the integrated reporting technology and customized alerts, the student support network at UAA has become much more efficient and purposeful, with MAP-Works as a centralized infrastructure.

Support for the time and resources invested in MAP-Works has been widespread at UAA: In a fall 2010 survey of UAA faculty and staff who use MAP-Works, 92% reported that MAP-Works greatly increased their ability to identify and connect with their struggling students, 93% said the program shows great potential to consistently increase student success and retention at UAA, and100% of those MAP-Work users surveyed said the system was easy to use.

Said Schultz, “An astounding 100% of MAP-Work users said the program is worth continued investment. The faculty and staff have embraced the principle of evidence-based change, and as a result, we’re seeing significant progress in improving students’ experiences and persistence at UAA.”

About MAP-Works

MAP-Works is a comprehensive program that enables colleges and universities to improve student retention. Designed for both two-year and four-year institutions, MAP-Works offers a suite of management tools that capture and report on student satisfaction and other issues throughout the school year. It provides an “early warning system” for students who are at risk for a variety of reasons beyond academic difficulty. The program was developed over two decades by Ball State University and has been refined by EBI, which owns and administers the program nationwide.

More information on MAP-Works is available at http://www.map-works.com or by calling (417) 429-0081.

About Educational Benchmarking

Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI)) provides comparative assessment instruments and analyses to support improvement of program quality in many areas of higher education. In addition to MAP-Works, EBI also offers comprehensive assessments of academic programs, student affairs programs, and custom assessments tailored to the needs of educational institutions.

More information on EBI is available at http://www.webebi.com or by calling (417) 429-0081.

About University of Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage is Alaska’s largest post-secondary institution. Located in the heart of Alaska's largest city, the campus is nestled in the middle of a greenbelt and surrounded by lakes, ponds and wildlife. UAA is comprised of six teaching units at the Anchorage campus: the colleges of Education, Health and Social Welfare, Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Policy; the Community and Technical College; and the School of Engineering. There are four community campuses: Matanuska-Susitna College, Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College and Prince William Sound Community College. The University offers many career pathway programs in more than 150 major study areas, including arts, sciences, business, education, human services and health sciences.

More information on the University of Alaska Anchorage is available at http://www.uaa.alaska.edu.

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Lisa Hickey
EBI
417-429-0081
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