The teacher believes that all students can succeed.

Patton Davis & Museus (2019) suggest educators avoid thinking about students as “at-risk” and focus their attention on the ways that institutions are failing students. Deficit thinking and language is unfortunately common in education. How often have you found yourself saying something such as, “Students just don’t know how to pay attention like they used to,” or, “None of my students know how to write.” We tend to focus on how students are underprepared or what they do not know, rather than the strengths they bring to the classroom. What can all of us do to design courses and institutions that truly serve all our students?  

A belief that all students can succeed does not mean that you lower expectations but maintain high expectations and create pathways for students to achieve success in your course. To support the success of all students, consider the following suggestions: 

  1. Identify and remove barriers that are impacting learning.  
    • Example Action: If students are struggling to align schedules to meet to work on a group project, provide in-class time for group work on a group project. You can pre-record a lecture or have students watch/read supplemental content throughout the week to free up in-class time.  
  2. Create multiple paths to achieve desired learning. 
    • Example Action: Students can choose the format for their final assessment (open-book, essay format questions). They can take the exam in person, complete it online, or they can record themselves responding to the questions and submit via Blackboard.  
  3. Be transparent in your expectations for learning. 
    • Example Action: Facilitate an in-class activity where students work together to create the rubric or grading criterion for a final project.  

When students are struggling to meet expectations in your course, reach out for help through the Faculty Academic Alert System to alert student support staff (advisors, tutoring centers, etc.) to reach out to students. The Faculty Academic Alert System is accessed through your Penguin Portal; step-by-step instructions and videos can be found here.   

You can also provide information on learning support services on campus to help students acquire the necessary skills to succeed in your course: 

  • Resch Academic Success Center: Provides academic coaching (i.e., study skills, time management), course specific tutoring, and support for students with disabilities. 
  • Math Achievement Center: Offers in-person drop-in study sessions, tutor-guided study groups and support for improving math placement, and resources like textbooks and computer workstations.  
  • Writing Center & Language Learning Resource Center: Provide writing consultations for any discipline, linguistics tutoring, and tutoring for world languages. 

Maag Library also provides a wide range of resources and services that will help students succeed in your courses. Students can check out textbooks, request help on how to do research, check out equipment (medical models, exercise equipment, tools, video cameras, etc.), and utilize individual or group study spaces. Maag Library also has a Family Study Room, which may serve as an essential resource for your students who are parents.