Media Contact:Melissa Connolly
Send an E-mail
Date: Mar 09, 2007
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE STUDENT SERVICES
“Focus on Students” Designed to Develop Students’ Potential, Forge Nurturing Student-Centered Programs
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY....Vice President of Student Affairs Sandra Johnson today announced a series of initiatives designed to assist students with their entire college experience, complementing and supporting students' experience in their academic pursuits. These initiatives begin a comprehensive, University-wide campaign to support student success and enhance the programs and services under the umbrella of the division of student affairs.
"The Hofstra experience prepares students for success after college," said VP Johnson. "These initiatives are designed to give our students comprehensive, nurturing support and enable them to take full advantage of everything Hofstra has to offer, while creating administrative support teams and relationships that recognize each students' individual needs and potential."
The comprehensive reorganization initiatives announced by VP Johnson are the first steps of the "Focus on Students" campaign. A multi-year effort to create a culture of excellent student service and support, Focus on Students will improve communication, processes and service across all departments through defining the goals of administrative areas, administrative process refinement and a comprehensive training and communication program with University employees and the entire community.
"There is no better place for our University-wide focus on student service and success to begin than with the Division of Student Affairs," said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. "Our shared goal is the success of our students, and supporting them in every possible way. The foundation of the Focus on Students campaign is to improve in every way possible our student support services."
The Division of Student Affairs will begin its department-wide reorganization this spring. Some of the changes will include:
Reorganization of University Advisement Office
Under new Dean for University Advisement Anabella Martinez, Advisement's methods of operation will change dramatically to better serve students. Students will be able to:
* Develop a relationship with a personal advisor who knows each student's unique needs and regularly reaches out to assess each student's progress and development.
* Set up an advisement appointment at their convenience by calling, emailing university advisement@ Hofstra.edu or dropping by the MemorialHallAdvisementCenter.
* New advisement hours are as follows:
o Appointment hours
o Walk-in hours
Beginning in the fall of 2007, upon admission to Hofstra, each student will be assigned a dean, who will remain with the student throughout their academic career, and will be able to assist students with navigating all of the resources and opportunities at the University. In order to ensure that students have the advisement support to make their college years a success, the Advisement Office and the Office of New Student Support will merge, and Assistant Dean and Director of New Student Support Services Jennifer Boscarino-Green will become the new Senior Associate Dean of University Advisement.
Creation of Orientation & New Student Programs
In order to continue to assist our newest students through their transition and introduction to the Hofstra community, the Office of Orientation & New Student Programs has been created. The Office will organize orientation and welcome programs throughout the year, and will produce the FOCUS lecture series. Assistant Dean Stanley Cherian, formerly a member of the Office of New Student Support Services, will lead this effort to coordinate all of Hofstra's resources to welcome and orient new students.
New Director of Parent and Family Programs
Branka Kristic joined the University in January as Hofstra's first Director of Parent and Family Programs. The newly created Parent and Family Programs unit provides strategic leadership in planning and implementing the parent and family outreach initiatives at the University. The office works closely with all areas of the university by providing programs, services, news and information to parents and families from pre-entry through graduation.
Student Forums Announced
"While we have initiated this campaign in response to feedback from our students, we are in the first part of reorganizing all of our administrative services to serve students better. Continued input from students, as well as the entire Hofstra community, is critical to creating an organization that helps our students succeed, both in the classroom and beyond, and enriches their college experience," said Vice President Johnson.
The "Speak Out for Success!" outreach series will begin with a series of informal dinners, conducted by VP Johnson and members of her senior staff, at her home. Some of these dinners will be for specific groups, such as Residential Assistants or Student Government Association representatives, and some dinners are open to all undergraduate students. In addition, VP Johnson will have open hours where students can schedule a time to meet one on one to discuss any ideas, thoughts or concerns. Lastly, during Common Hour and other times (to be announced) students will be able to speak with senior administrators at other "Speak Out for Success!" programs. The schedule will be posted soon on the "Focus on Students" microsite, also available on www.hofstra.edu/focus and will continue to be updated.
VP Johnson has scheduled the following dinners, open to all undergraduate students, to discuss the changes she has announced and help develop the second phase of reorganization. The dates are:
Wednesday, March 14
Open Feedback: Multicultural Awareness Programs and Education
Monday, March 26
Open Feedback: Topic TBA
Wednesday, April 18
Open Feedback: Topic TBA
To reserve a place at one of the dinners, please email StudentAffairs@Hofstra.edu or check Hofstra.edu/focus for other opportunities to discuss your ideas and concerns with us.
Students also may access our new "virtual" suggestion box online; either on the my.hofstra.edu portal homepage or through the Hofstra.edu/focus website.
Educating the community
"Giving our students assistance, correct information and caring advisement and guidance is our primary focus," said VP Johnson, "and to do that we need to make sure all HofstraUniversitystaff and administrators have the necessary tools to give students prompt, effective advice. Staff educational sessions about campus resources, cross-department training and communication skills will be a major part of the change initiative."
This initiative will be the central part of the campus-wide implementation. A committee has begun to create a comprehensive training program for all employees, to empower them to provide excellent student service and tools to deal with difficult situations, to teach them about all of the resources available on campus, and to introduce them to the functions of all Hofstra departments.
An evolving initiative
Over the next year, more structural changes in Student Affairs will be announced. "Our goal," said VP Johnson "is to create a nurturing, student-centered environment, focused on helping our students succeed, connect to the Hofstra community, and prepare them for life after college."
"The Student Affairs team has been briefed on these changes and is fully involved in the discussion about how we'll continue to develop a strong student-centered organization. I expect our staff to move into new roles and assist in shaping the reorganization," said VP Johnson. "Gina Crance, our current Dean of Students, has moved into an advisory role in my office during this reorganization. I am grateful that she has agreed to assist us during the transition and change process."
The first phase, during Spring 2007, will involve the reorganization and training of the division of Student Affairs. During the Spring, an interdepartmental team will assess training, communication and service needs, in anticipation of launching this program in all administrative areas across campus, beginning over the summer of 2007. The Focus on Students program, affecting all Hofstra students, faculty, staff and administrators will be in full operation by September 1, 2007. According to VP Johnson, "this program will continue to evolve, as we continually assess our students' needs, opportunities and concerns. While our launch date is this fall, we'll continually update what we're doing, continue to educate staff and faculty, and continue to ask what we could do better."