Student engagement efforts honored with national award


The University of Akron, its Division of Student Engagement and Success, Summit College and many other faculty and staff have received the Off-Campus/Commuter Services Excellence award for the quality of services it provides to students.

The national MAP-Works Excellence Award — Off-Campus/Commuter Services from Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI) highlights institutions and/or individuals committed to improving student success and retention through MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible). The program can be used to follow all first-year students and returning first-year students through a survey they complete. Any issues that could sidetrack their success are quickly identified.

One-on-one encouragement

Off-Campus Student Services promoted outreach between its office and students by encouraging them to fill out the MAP-Works survey and join a mentoring program. In particular, the office uses MAP-Works alert system, which allows faculty to communicate student issues that can then be addressed by individuals designated as Direct Connects to work with the students. These individuals include advisers, administrators, mentors, the CARE Team, as well as other faculty and staff volunteers. The issues can range from missed assignments and poor grades to personal problems.

An Outreach Team also was created to help off-campus students identified through MAP-Works as being at risk for leaving school due to a lack of involvement or friends on campus. In this first year, team members reached out to 450 students to help them find the services, programs and organizations on campus they needed. 

“This was the first year EBI offered this award and The University of Akron was chosen from an impressive applicant pool,” said Diana McGregor Fulkerson, director of client services at EBI.

“The committee was extremely impressed with your overall commitment to supporting such a meaningful project on campus.”

Members of the MAP-Works Committee included Dr. Jennifer Hodges, Greg Dieringer, Dr. Stacey Moore, Trillah Culver, Mindy Grove, Bill Kraus, Denise Montanari, Zak Steiner and Mike Strong.