Grants focus on improving student performance

Youngstown State University faculty and staff were recently awarded a total of $10,000 in mini-grants to develop projects to improve the performance of students.

The awards were part of the Continuous Improvement Appreciation and Poster Event earlier this spring that celebrated the service of YSU faculty and staff in support of student learning and success. More than 80 people attended the event on campus.

“With the wide variety of activities, including efforts in assessment, general education, program review, campus climate and accreditation, it has been a year where nearly our entire campus was engaged in work and reflection on what we do well and where we can strive to improve,” said Hillary Fuhrman, director of Assessment.

The event also included a Best Practices in Student Learning Assessment Poster Showcase. Earning first place among academic entrants was Lori Carlson, Julie Seitz, Lance Williams, Susan Mark-Sracic from Mathematics and Statistics and the Center for Student Progress for A Different Approach to Math for Students Who Don’t Need Algebra. And winning the first place prize for co-curricular entrants was Irene Larbi, Lance Williams and Jonathan Sandoval from the Math Assistance Center for The ALEKS Pie: Not Your Average Recipe!

Mini-grants for 2018-19 announced at the event included:

Kathleen Aspiranti
School Psychology
Incorporating a School Safety and Crisis Preparedness Curriculum within the School Psychology Program
Impact on learning: Will enable school psychology students to become certified in crisis prevention and intervention. The curriculum will also be used to train other education students as well as the community.

Snjezana Balaz, Nicole Zayas
Physics and Astronomy, Social Work
Integrated Thoughts: Utilizing Technology for Specific Mindfulness Training to Lower Test Anxiety and Increase Understanding of Physics Concepts
Impact on learning: This interdisciplinary project seeks to increase learning and comprehension of physics concepts by reducing test anxiety.

Kelly Beers, Avery Ware
Student Conduct
Creating an Equitable Student Experience Through Student Conduct Processes
Impact on learning: The project seeks to evaluate their historical records to identify challenges to equitable administration of the conduct process. Based on the results, issues will be addressed through policy, procedure, and training improvements.

Mike Ekoniak
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Communication Learning Outcomes in Engineering
Impact on learning: The project seeks to evaluate current opportunities for learning communication in the engineering curriculums and seek feedback from graduates and alumni about preparation to communication in their career. Based on results, professional development opportunities will be developed for faculty.

Daniel Keown
Dana School of Music
The Effects of Cognitive Sensory Domains within Film Soundtrack Stimuli on Identified Frequency and Location of Music Characteristics
Impact on learning: The project seeks to test a new pedagogical technique to increase students’ learning and skills in critical musical analysis.

Ruth Palich
Dental Hygiene
Strategies for Teaching ADPIE in Dental Public Health: The Dental Hygienist’s Role in Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation for Community Program Planning
Impact on learning: The project seeks to redesign dental health curriculum to enable students to gain more hands-on, real life experience in implementing and evaluating oral health programs. This aligns the curriculum with best practices and accreditation standards.

Nicolette Powe, Keisha T. Robinson, Karen Becker
Public Health, First Year Experience
Comparative Analysis of First Year Experience Courses in Health and Human Services
Impact on learning: The project will compare the effectiveness of common course content in BCHHS FYE courses, specifically looking at the differences between the face-to-face courses and the recently implemented online course.

Ying (Joy) Tang
Assessing the Effectiveness of Emotion Map in Improving Students’ Emotional, Social and Academic Outcomes
Impact on learning: This project will evaluate the effectiveness of a new tool to assist students in improving emotional, social, and academic well-being and success. The project intends to seek a campus partner to pilot the tool with YSU students.