New tools for Student Success
“...it is all of our jobs to make sure that we are able to help students be as successful as they can be while they are here at UC.”
Student Success Coordinator Adrianne Arnone discusses UC's incorporation of a new app to help retention initiatives and the challenges of building a new program from the ground up.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I grew up in a small town south of Buffalo called Jamestown and I moved to Utica about four and a half years ago. I love to travel, make jewelry and read. I live down the street from my sister and her family so I love to spend time with them. That’s kind of the reason why I moved here. I had some friends from undergrad that were living and working here and I came to visit when my niece was born. I decided that maybe it was time to move closer and be able to see her a little more often. I was living in Pittsburgh and I had just received my degree in library science, so I decided to make the switch back to New York State.
Q: What is the title of your new job and what does it entail?
A: My new title is Student Success Coordinator. It entails a lot of things, but mostly what I am working on right now is the launch of the new platform that we are using through
EAB. We are working with them on a tool called MyTrax that we are planning to launch with first-year students in fall of 2019. It will be available through an app you can download for students and on desktop as well for faculty and staff.
Q: What is MyTrax and how does it work?
A: MyTrax is a tool that is meant to help with our retention initiatives. Basically, MyTrax will allow students to take surveys for career options, be able to find out information about services we offer on campus, schedule appointments and access financial or academic holds they may have. The app also provides a function where new students will be able to access an interactive map to help guide them around campus if they are unsure of where to go. In many ways it really dives in to provide success for all students. MyTrax also offers a function where students are able to take polls and surveys that help indicate to faculty and staff their academic needs so they are able to accommodate them. We are really excited about it. And we know it is a quality tool and we are working really hard on the back end to make sure that it is set to go for the launch. It will be helpful for everyone as every department on campus will be able to use it in one way or another.
Q: How can MyTrax potentially affect or help the UC community?
A: We are hoping that this tool will help all offices, departments and students be on the same page and support one another in helping students be more successful. For example, if a student says they need help with writing skills, we can set them up with the writing center. On the faculty and staff side, we can put a note in that goes to that office so they know they can be expecting to see a specific student. It will help all offices and departments in communicating back and forth whether they were in contact with that student and if that student is on the right path. Overall, MyTrax will potentially hold accountable everyone on campus to really ensure the success of our students. It will be a resource that helps us assist the students as best as we can so they can find the right path and what works for them. We hope that this will help with retention and completion.
Q: What do you like best about your job? What are the challenges you have had to face so far?
A: I love my job. I love working with students and helping solve problems. No matter what the problem is, even if I don’t know the answer, I will help find the answer. I think that it is all of our jobs to make sure that we are able to help students be as successful as they can be while they are here at UC. I was an elementary teacher for many years and watching my students develop in one school year was amazing, so experiencing that now through the students here over a span of four years is just as exciting. For many, college is an entrance into adulthood and the real world, so seeing how a student goes from their first day stepping on campus filled with anxiety, and witnessing their journey through the four years they were here and then watching them walk across the stage at graduation is incredible and I love it.
The most challenging thing I have had to face so far is starting this new program and getting it going from the ground up. We are basically starting from zero and now we are working through all the glitches as well as getting people trained and knowledgeable and up to speed on everything. It is still all brand new to us, so we are slowly finding all of the bumps in the road and making changes to try and do what we think is best for the UC campus.
Q: What are you most excited for this upcoming year?
A: I’m most excited for really everything. I’m looking forward to my new position and working with students, faculty and staff and really just the launching of this product and seeing how it can help our students become successful. I’m really looking forward to seeing the results and everything we can do with the data that MyTrax collects once it comes to life.
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