February 6, 2013
Southern New Hampshire University may be the fastest-growing university in the nation, but its mission remains focused on academic rigor and student success. This spring, SNHU’s College of Online and Continuing Education (COCE) will add 25 full-time online faculty members to its list of initiatives to meet first-year students’ educational needs. SNHU is one of the first nonprofit institutions in the country to transition adjunct faculty to full-time status based upon their demonstrated ability to enrich the level and quality of support given to students in gateway courses.
“This is a win-win situation as we are both recognizing the efforts and achievements of our high-performing adjunct faculty pool and, in turn, reinforces for our students that we have an unwavering commitment to their long-term success. Placing dedicated full-time faculty into student’s earliest terms, where those students are at greatest risk, and tying faculty’s efforts with that of advising and other support resources, can only further enhance the student experience,” said Dr. Gregory W. Fowler, COCE’s chief academic officer and vice president of Academic Administration. “We expect to positively impact student retention, satisfaction and, ultimately, graduation rates by providing more resources to aid in student success.”
In its effort to provide superior instructional support to students in early-term courses, SNHU will begin piloting the use of full-time online faculty beginning in May 2013. Candidates for the pilot program will be selected from COCE’s existing faculty pool, with a strong emphasis on well-credentialed instructors who have already demonstrated a high level of previous performance and commitment to student success. This spring, the initial group of full-time faculty members will begin by participating in best practices training focused on identifying and assisting struggling students. Full-time online faculty members will work from home and will also receive a benefits package that has earned SNHU the distinction of being named a Great College to Work For five years in a row by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Knowing the challenges that students, particularly adult learners, face in the first year of college, SNHU is committed to doing all that it can to ensure that every student succeeds in that crucial first year and beyond. “The core of our mission as a nonprofit institution continues to be investing in student success by providing high-quality academic experiences and the support students need to progress toward their goals,” said Fowler.
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