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BW initiative chosen for national ‘Student Success Champions’ program

Dr. Timeka Rashid, BW VP for Student AffairsThe national Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) has named Baldwin Wallace University and Dr. Timeka Rashid, BW's VP for Student Affairs, as one of 16 "Student Success Champions" for 2022.

The two-year HEDS Student Success Champions program supports campus leaders as they pursue projects that advance student success efforts and develop change management skills for student success at their institutions.

'Peer Involvement Advising'

Rashid will be networking with the other Success Champions across the country as she develops a new "Peer Involvement Advising" (PIA) program for BW. PIA aims to increase student engagement outside the classroom, vital to a meaningful college experience that leads to graduation and a successful career path.

"The PIA program will emphasize one-on-one advising for co-curricular programming, just as we do for academic course planning," Rashid explains. "In this program, trained students will help their younger peers find the right fit for campus engagement from the large menu of co-curricular opportunities in areas like leadership, wellness, diversity and more."

Individualized assessment

Students attend a 2021 BW Involvement Fair on Grand St.Her vision is that PIA will include a smart question-and-answer assessment that will guide peer advisors as they develop a personalized engagement plan for each student. The process will naturally make students more aware of campus resources and increase a sense of belonging.

"BW has so many great programs and organizations that engage and develop the whole student beyond the classroom, but some students need a little more help finding where they fit," Rashid notes. "Under this model, from the get-go, the act of meeting with a peer advisor helps to forge new connections."

Clearing hurdles to engagement

First-year BW students in a summer orientation group.Rashid will also be looking to explore some of the hurdles to robust engagement for every student.

"Some of the challenges I'm looking to address include questions of time management and over-commitment, the inclusion of our student-athletes in the fabric of student life beyond their sport, and visibility and a sense of belonging for our BIPOC students," Rashid says.

"I know we can reduce these barriers because our students are already champions for each other and want to make our campus a welcoming and inclusive community for all."

Strategic program development

With BW in the midst of the strategic planning process, Rashid says this initiative will be developed with those goals in mind.

"Developing this peer involvement advising program alongside other higher education professionals, who will share their own expertise, challenges and successes, will help BW refine and produce the best experience for our students," Rashid says.

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