Faculty Resource Library

Faculty play a critical role in student success.

The Student Success Center has created this resource library for our faculty with this fact in mind. On this page, faculty and staff who regularly interact with students will find resources to support connection with students that will boost their motivation and investment in their academics while building their sense of security and belonging.

Resources are organized according to when your students will need them and include time-sensitive messaging that you can deliver to your students where they'll see it--in class.


Spring 2023 Resources & Slide Decks

Jump to the current week! Just click below. Then, download the slide decks to personalize and share as students come into your classroom and, if you want to learn more about the value and importance of your role in student success, check out the research reported in the articles we share.

Click here to explore the tips shared in Fall 2022.


Week 1: Navigating Technology for Student Success

Image of slide, click to downloadNavigating new technology can be a barrier for student success. Despite being familiar with many types of entertainment technology, college students are unfamiliar with many of the technology platforms faculty use as well as tasks familiar to us such as converting a file to PDF and uploading an attachment to an email. To help students acclimate, approach technology with students as you would teaching any new skill.

Consider the following:

  1. Check your syllabus and assignments for assumptions about students’ knowledge of practical non-entertainment technology.
  2. Add step-by-step instructions for what students will need to know to navigate technology in your course successfully.
  3. Set clear expectations – if students need to check Blackboard each week for class announcements, etc. make these expectations clear.

To learn more about helping students navigate educational technology to support student success, click here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 2: Peer Mentoring Fosters Student Success

 UofL’s robust peer mentoring community is an important part of UofL’s student success efforts. Mentees in higher education peer mentoring programs benefit from increased retention, greater sense of belonging, increased involvement on campus and better acclimation to the university world. 

UofL's first-year peer mentor programs are hiring. You can share the call for applications with your class by adding the slide to the right (click to download as a PPT slide) to your next lecture or recommend individual students using this form. For more information about programs, applications, and deadlines, visit the webpage uofl.me/become-a-mentor.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 3: Supplies for Success

 Support equity in student success by encouraging students to make use of UofL’s many free resources. Supplies for Success is a program that provides students the opportunity to check out academic items for the semester such as scientific and graphing calculators, lab goggles and more. Simply direct students to the Student Success Center front desk in the Belknap Academic Building to check out these items. All they need is their student ID.


Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 4: Student Success Coordinators Support Students

 Students experiencing academic, financial or personal difficulties have a built-in support system at UofL. Every student has a Student Success Coordinator who will work to help them navigate their college experience, overcome obstacles and complete their path to graduation. Faculty and staff are encouraged to refer students to their Student Success Coordinator at any point during the academic year. Visit the Student Success Center website for referral details and a list of coordinators assigned to students by last name.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 5: Student Success and Mental Health Support

 Mental health in college students is a growing area of attention for schools everywhere and has the potential to greatly affect student success. In a recent Gallup study, three-fourths of bachelor’s degree students considered leaving school due to emotional stress while another study found that 60 percent of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem in 2020 and 2021. With K-12 students experiencing unprecedented levels of mental and emotional distress, the problem will continue to persist.

The following are practical tips you can employ to support students’ mental health and well-being:

  1. Support students by adding information about campus mental health resources to your course syllabi.
  2. Set assignment deadlines for late afternoon or early evening, instead of midnight, to help promote student well-being.
  3. Consider embedding mental health discussions into the classroom on topics such as adjustment, stress, and resilience, when it naturally aligns with course content.

Visit the UofL https://louisville.concerncenter.com/ConcernCenter for more information on UofL resources and services that support student mental health and well-being.

To learn more about supporting students’ mental health and well-being, click here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 6: Faculty-student Connections Promote Student Success

 Students with strong connections to faculty are more likely to stay in school, engage on campus, do well in their classes and graduate. However, students can be reluctant to engage faculty. Reasons include not wanting to appear as though they do not understand the material, believing they are not worthy of a faculty member’s time, or that they are simply shy.

See below for practical tips on proactively connecting with students and fostering faculty-student connections during the semester:

  • Provide a temperature check to allow students to share their feelings about current course material. This encourages students to bring up difficult topics or questions and provides a starting point for conversation with anyone who indicated they are struggling in the course. Have students share a (family friendly) picture in the discussion board forum of Blackboard describing their current feeling about the course material or provide three to four images for students to choose from using their clickers.
  • Share personal stories during class to help establish valuable connections with students and promote approachability.

Learn more about the importance of faculty-student connections here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 7: Passionate Learning

 While students are not always excited about a course, curiosity and engagement can still turn into a passion for learning. Faculty engagement and passion can be infectious and shape how students think about the course. Consider the following tips to inspire passion in your students for learning:

  • Regularly relate course concepts to recent real-world examples.
  • Dedicate time each week to how class content can be usefully applied in a work setting or future courses.
  • Be direct, ask students what excites them about your course and their college major, and stimulate a discussion during your class.

Learn more strategies for inspiring a passion for learning in your students here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 8: Beating the Mid-Semester Slump

 If you notice student engagement around mid-semester is lacking, it may be due to students feeling overwhelmed, a lack of motivation or feeling disconnected. The following are practical ways to help students reconnect and engage during this time:

  1. Conduct a mid-semester analysis of their learning experience so far. Make a few adjustments to address their particular needs during the second part of the semester.
  2. Periodically add a learning activity instead of direct teaching.
  3. Incorporate student choice into some assignments and activities left for the semester.

To learn more about recovering mid-semester student engagement, click here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 9: Study Skills Promote Student Success

 Study skills play an important role in students’ academic performance and are transferrable to all subject areas and professional success. REACH, UofL’s centralized academic support unit for undergraduate students, offers a variety of free academic workshops online and onsite. Faculty and staff can request access to a study skills workshop for their entire class or request an in-class presentation.

To learn more about different workshops offered by REACH or the positive impact study skills have on academic success, click here and here.  

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 11: Utilize UofL Testing Services for Student Success

 Exams are an important part of student success, helping assess and reinforce knowledge and thinking skills. UofL Testing Services proctors make-up exams for both online and in-person courses, relieving faculty from administering these exams during non-teaching hours. Students benefit by taking make-up exams in a dedicated proctored environment for minimal cost. Faculty can start the process with a few simple steps.

For more information about make-up exams and other ways UofL Testing Services contributes to student success, click here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 12: Classroom Meditation Promotes Student Success

Finish the semester strongMeditating before the start of class can lead to better focus, retention of information, and better grades. Classes with heavy freshman enrollment tend to benefit even more from meditation. Often these courses can have more students who need help self-regulating.

With finals approaching, it's a great time to start implementing a short meditation practice in your class. Click on the links below for both text and video meditation options:
To learn more about the value of meditation in the classroom, click here and here.
Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Week 13: Wellbeing Promotes Student Success

Wellbeing supports student successWellbeing is an important part of student success. The UofL Health Promotion office offers programs and resources to help foster and promote wellbeing. Stress resilience, mindfulness and effective napping are just some of the topics with programs offered. To promote a healthy campus, many of these resources are open to students, faculty and staff. With finals and culminating projects approaching, it’s a great time to explore and utilize these resources.

For more information about wellbeing resources offered by the Health Promotion office, click here.
For more information on how wellbeing promotes student success, click here, here, and here.
Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Week 14: Decoding Higher Education Lingo

 Getting caught up in dense higher education lingo is a regular occurrence for many students. It can feel like alphabet soup for students as they try to wade through general and institution-specific abbreviations and terminology. To help students decode terms and be successful, UofL provides an online and printable glossary of UofL and higher education lingo. To access the UofL Lingo list, click here.

To learn more about the importance of clear communication with students, click here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Week 15: Success During Finals

 Each semester, UofL offers a variety of resources to help students be successful during finals.

Resources offered range from stress-reducing activities to writing assistance and free food during late night study sessions. In addition to helping mitigate heightened stress during this time, these resources can provide a sense of normalcy and belonging for students. Details about these resources, part of Finals Countdown, can be found here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.


Provost's Newsletter Tips: SSC Services and Resources to Know

These tips are shared in the monthly Provost's newsletter and offer introductions to services, resources, and research that will help faculty and staff support the success of students at UofL.


January: Peer Mentoring

Students benefit from UofL peer mentoring community 

UofL has a robust peer mentoring community that affords students a multitude of benefits. Mentees in higher education peer mentoring programs benefit from increased retention, greater sense of belonging, increased involvement on campus and better acclimation to the university world. UofL peer mentoring programs typically serve first-year students. All other students are encouraged to consider serving as a peer mentor which provides its own unique benefits.  

To learn more about peer mentoring programs at UofL and to help students engage with these programs, visit uofl.me/become-a-mentor

February: Laptop Program

Keys to Success laptop program 

The Student Success Center provides students access to laptops to support their success in courses.   Keys to Success is a laptop ownership program for undergraduate UofL students who have demonstrated financial and technological need and are seeking their first bachelor’s degree. Interested students can visit the Student Success Center website for additional details and to fill out an application to see if they qualify for the program. Students who don’t qualify for the ownership program or who are interested in short-term laptop usage have the option to check-out a loaner laptop for up to 4 hours while in the Belknap Academic Building. Students can simply stop by the Student Success Center front desk in the Belknap Academic Building and present their student ID to check out a loaner laptop. 

Return to top.


March: Clear Communication

Clear language promotes student success 
Clear language is a remarkably helpful tool for students when navigating college. Dense higher education lingo with too many acronyms, abbreviations or complex terminology has the opposite effect. In fact, academic jargon excludes, overwhelms and significantly hinders student success, especially for first-year students. Consider these tips to help eliminate confusion and promote student success: 

  • Write in the active voice 
  • Use more concise grammar and bullet points 
  • Explain abbreviations and acronyms 
  • Sub the word “you” for wordy descriptions of students

Fall 2022 Resources & Slide Decks

Download the slide decks to personalize and share as students come into your classroom and, if you want to learn more about the value and importance of your role in student success, check out the research reported in the articles we share.

 Return to top.


Week 1: Faculty Connections Lead to Student Persistence

Week 1 Slide ImageMeaningful faculty-student connections increase student persistence; motivation and investment in academics; and a sense of security and belonging.Some strategies for cultivating faculty-student connections in the first week include:

  • Sending a welcome email
  • Small tweaks to personalize your syllabus
  • Utilizing a pre-semester survey to get to know your class

Read more about the value of faculty-student connection and how to build connections with your students here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 2: Personally Meaningful Work Increases Student Motivation in Class

Week 2 Slide ImageStudent buy-in happens when the work students are given is personally meaningful. Articulating the "So what?" before you hand out an assignment--and including compelling examples that reinforce the subject's relevance--motivates students to do the work well, rather than just for the grade. Other ways faculty can make work meaningful include:

  • Relating content to today's headlines
  • Articulating how the topic relates to what students are passionate about
  • Articulating how the topic relates to the student's career

Read more about motivating your students here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 3: Active Learning Drives Gen Z Engagement in Classroom

Week 3 Slide ImageGeneration Z students (born between 1995 and 2010) have replaced Millennials on college campuses. Faculty can help Gen Z students be active learners through such strategies as incorporating technology devices into classroom activities, demonstrating the relevance of class content on a global scale, and utilizing visuals and microlearning.

Read more about engaging your Gen Z students here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 4: Meeting the Challenge of Student Engagement in the Classroom

Week 4 Slide ImageLack of student engagement is one of the biggest challenges educators face regardless of whether we are teaching in-person or online. Trauma, exhaustion, and students' perceived lack of personal connection to the content are some of the many possible reasons for students' lack of motivation. Faculty can engage students by relating discussions to real-life examples and activities, using project-based learning, creating other avenues for learning such as videos and help sheets, and more.

Read more about disengaged students here and find creative ways to help them here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 5: Educators at a Student-ready Institution Practice Empathy

Week 5 Slide ImageFaculty and staff play a key part in building a student-ready college. Those who engage with students nearly every day play a critical role in the student experience. Our investment in student success is an essential factor in how successful a learner will feel, even years after graduation. When a student feels seen and understood by their mentors and college community, they will feel supported.

Read more about becoming student-ready here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 6: Belonging Leads to Success

Week 6 Slide ImageFeeling valued and connected to others in one's learning community (i.e., having a sense of social belonging) is positively associated with student well-being, academic engagement, and performance. Faculty and staff can bolster students’ sense of social belonging by sharing their own stories and challenges they faced or their own experiences of belonging uncertainty and how they resolved or improved those concerns over time.

Such stories can be shared at the beginning of the semester, during a pivotal moment in the course, or in response to students expressing concern about their own belonging or potential for success.

Read more about the power of belonging here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 7: Transparency in the Classroom Supports Equity in Student Success

Week 7 Slide ImageFaculty can help students succeed, especially First-Generation College Students (FGCS), by increasing transparency in the classroom. Being transparent about your expectations helps to shed light on the “hidden curriculum” (assumptions and expectations embedded in practices, assignments, content selection, etc. that are unspoken, unwritten, or implied) in higher education that continuing-generation students are more likely to know about or have support systems to help them decipher. Some ways faculty can help increase transparency in the classroom include:

  • Using your role as instructor to help connect your students to university resources outside the classroom (sharing weekly slides from the Student Success Center’s Faculty Resource Library is a great place to start).
  • Explaining classroom practices that you may take for granted and why/when/how students should use them: for example, syllabi and office hours.
  • Offering guidance on how students ought to allocate time on assignments and prioritize various out-of-class tasks.
  • Analyzing your assignments for transparency, determining if they are operating on assumptions you have made about your students’ prior knowledge, experiences, and/or access to resources.

Reflect more on equity-focused teaching practices here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 8: Share Resources to Support Student Success

Faculty can support equity in student success by encouraging students to make use of UofL’s many free resources. Week 8 Slide ImageOne such program, new this year, is the Supplies for Success program born out of a partnership between the Student Government Association and the Student Success Center. Supplies for Success supports student success by enabling students to check out supplies for class at no cost to them. Students can check out scientific and graphing calculators, lab goggles and more. Simply refer students to the Student Success Center front desk in the Belknap Academic Building to check out these items.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 9: Psychological Safety in the Classroom Encourages Class Participation

The fear of humiliating themselves or making a mistake often stops students from contributing to class discussions or asking questions. Creating a sense of psychological safety increases engagement; motivation to tackle difficult programs; more learning and development opportunities; and better performance. Ensuring every student feels valued, listened to, respected, and like part of the group can develop psychological safety and help students overcome their fears.

Some practical ways to model psychological safety in the classroom include:

  • Foster respect and kindness by assuming positive intent when a student provides an explanation for late work or asks for an extension. Giving them the benefit of the doubt recognizes their willingness to be vulnerable and trusting with us.
  • Demonstrate vulnerability by showing students we sometimes struggle or that we don’t always have all the answers. This shows them that we are all human.
  • Appreciate students’ efforts by regularly thanking students after a challenging class session or showing up when attendance is low.
  • Encourage students to engage in active listening to help whoever is speaking feel like their contributions are valued.
  • Encourage students to develop an open mind by inviting them to reflect on their mistakes and those of others. Help them learn from mistakes without judgment so they know what to do when they encounter a similar situation.
  • Instill the belief that asking questions and asking for help is a positive thing.
  • Create a sense of shared identity to maximize students’ sense of belonging. Identifying common aspects or goals that the class share, even trivial suggestions of shared identity, can enhance motivation and persistence.

Learn more about the importance of psychological safety here; then, explore ways to cultivate it in your classroom here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 10: Supporting Mental Health to Foster Student Success

Mental health disorders impact a large and growing share of students. Students suffering from symptoms of mental health disorders are at risk of lower GPA, discontinuous enrollment, and possibly  dropping out. Faculty are often in key positions to notice performance issues or behaviors in students and can play an important role in creating learning environments that support health and well-being, decrease anxiety, increase learning, and encourage seeking help when needed.

 Some key ways faculty can support health and well-being:

  • Include a syllabus statement on mental health
  • Establish class conditions and norms that promote well-being, social connectedness, inclusivity and a growth mindset
  • Invite students to discuss their mental health concerns and empathetically listen within those conversations
  • Refer students to campus resources
  • Model self-care and help-seeking behaviors

Learn more about the importance of supporting mental health, and how to do so in the classroom, here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 11: CardSmart Provides Faculty Access to Students' Success Team

Every undergraduate student has a success team assigned to them to serve as resource guides and provide support towards student success. 

Faculty members can view a student’s team via CardSmart to collaborate with them on a student’s success or help a student connect to their team.

To learn how to use CardSmart to access your students' success team, download this flyer.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 12: Progress Reports Help Faculty Support Student Success

Progress reports help faculty play an important role in student success. Faculty are in a prime position to notice behavioral signs that are highly indicative of a student’s chances of successfully  finishing a class. Progress reports can be submitted for an undergraduate student at any time during the semester to notify the student and their advisor that they are at risk of not succeeding in a class.

To learn how to use CardSmart to submit or check progress reports, download this flyer.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 13: Transparency Encourages Success

 Transparency around academic assignments enhances students’ success – especially that of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented college students. Making the purpose, tasks and criteria of an assignment clear leads to students experiencing greater academic success with an assignment. Moreover, as student develops the knowledge, disposition and skills necessary to succeed in school, these skills carry over into succeeding in life.  

Learn more about transparent instruction here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 14: 4 Ways Faculty Can Support Student Success with Finals

 As the fall semester winds down, faculty can help students take steps to be successful and finish the semester strong. Below are four ways faculty can support student success before and during finals:

  • Encourage your students to make a plan in advance for finals. Their plan should include reviewing class syllabi, class notes and the university exam schedule then working backwards to determine how much time they’ll need to devote to each course. They should then add these time slots, as well as, regular breaks to their planners or time management system.
  • Remind students that their final exam schedule will be different than their class schedule. Students can check their final exam schedule on the Registrar’s website.
  • Encourage your student to take advantage of UofL’s numerous campus resources to help them prep for finals. A good place to start is here.
  • Encourage student to prioritize self-care and wellbeing as much as they are able to. This should include time to sleep, eat, move their body, and socialize with people who support them in their academic journey. Students can check out the Finals Exam events around campus here as well as the Health Promotion website for additional ideas and wellbeing resources.

Learn more about supporting student success for finals here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 15: Supporting Student Success Through Grace

 Affording grace to students promotes flexibility, develops a welcoming classroom climate and fosters a more supportive and inclusive culture. With a new semester approaching, we have some tips for building that grace into your next course. Tips range from easily implemented to some that involve more effort and planning, but all will help faculty support student success:

  • Have a ready list of campus resources where students can find help with academics, mental health, getting connected and more.
  • Let students know you care by reaching out to them via email or blackboard when you are concerned about their well-being and touch base regularly with check-ins using polls, google forms, padlet, etc.
  • Maximize the flexibility of your course policies by re-examining late submission, attendance and participation policies.
  • Build a flexible course plan by prioritizing learning objectives and including one or two flex days.
  • Reimagine classroom culture to build connection, foster inclusivity and improve learning outcomes.
  • Leverage students’ values and goals to connect course content to their own lives and opinions.

Learn more about supporting student success through grace here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Week 16: Supporting Non-Traditional Student Success

 Non-traditional students are on their way to becoming the new majority amongst college-going students and typically face unique challenges while pursuing their higher education goal. Often, they are dealing with the responsibilities of caring for a family, holding down a full-time or part-time job, or even the stress of starting their careers anew. The Student Success Center has some strategies to help you support non-traditional students in the classroom:

  • Flexibility - offer flexibility while maintaining class standards by including additional time or attempts on lower-stakes assignments. Or consider creating multiple assignments but letting students skip 1-2 of them if something unplanned comes up. Flexibility is one of the most critical classroom components to help non-traditional students succeed.
  • Variety in Course Materials - offer alternative mediums like audio or digital textbooks rather than a traditional, print-only selection of course materials. Beneficial for all students, but particularly beneficial for non-traditional students by allowing for more opportunities for engagement and learning while they balance school with their responsibilities.
  • Multiple Assessments + Feedback – structure your syllabus with multiple micro-assessments or low-stakes practice opportunities early in the semester to help ease non-traditional students back into being students. A critical aspect of this approach is providing immediate feedback which helps not only non-traditional students but students across the class demonstrate increased improvement.
  • Non-traditional Office Hours – non-traditional students are likely to have commitments during the typical works hours of 8:00-5:00 pm. Consider holding some of your office hours virtually or during non-traditional times.

Learn more about supporting non-traditional student success here and here.

Click on the slide to the right to download the slide deck.

Return to top.


Check back for more timely content to support your connection with students next semester!

 

 

 



Student Success Center

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Office Hours

M-F 8:00am to 5:00pm

Phone

tel (502) 852-7969

Social Media