Deb Culbertson, Dean of Student Success, confirmed that there will be no fine or hold on registration if students have not completed this quarter’s PPS.
Several juniors and seniors who were required to do PPS did not have the quiz on their Moodle dashboard and were unable to complete the questions. “I didn’t feel that it was fair to fine someone if they were actually unable to answer questions on Moodle,” said Culbertson. “The only exception to that was folks who are on academic or disciplinary probation, because they need to meet with their faculty advisors to make sure that they are successful.”
“[The glitch] is a result of how we’re fine-tuning the PPS process,” said Registrar, Nicholas Heye. He said they are working on making the quiz available only to students who are required to do it that quarter.
PPS is no longer required every quarter because of two reasons; the first is that faculty advisors don’t have enough time to meet every quarter with every student. Culbertson said, “We [professors] want to be able to really spend time with students…we want to get to know you, and to serve you better.” The second reason is that, according to Heye, quarterly PPS questions got “redundant” both for the student and for the faculty. Professor Chris Riley said, “I look forward to these conversations, and I hope students do too; I think it’s more likely that they will if [the meetings] aren’t so frequent that they become less valuable.”
The content of the PPS quiz has also changed; students now only have to answer three out of ten questions, which lets them direct the focus of their meetings. “The purpose [of PPS] began as exploring a student’s basic wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing,” Culbertson stated. As of last year, PPS expanded to included life, careers, and academics.
Prof. Riley also sees an improvement in the questions. “The previous set of questions often resulted in cut-and-paste responses, which were interesting the first time around,” he said. “I have found the [the new questions] more helpful and more focused.”
Faculty advisors don’t have access to student files, such as class schedules, GPA, or required courses. “That’s just never been the focus of [PPS],” said Prof. Riley. “It could be, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what students are most interested in.” Heye explained, “The way things are right now, if we gave [faculty] access to one person, then they’d have access to everyone, and that’s a huge problem, especially with FERPA, which protects students’ privacy.” Both Heye and Culbertson stated that allowing this access could be a future possibility.
“This isn’t just all about just not having a fine and being able to register; our true goal is to serve each student and support you guys,” Culbertson commented. Heye also expressed that administration appreciates feedback on the PPS process. “Our goal is to make sure that it’s a valuable experience for both the students and the faculty. We’re always fine-tuning it to make it better each quarter, and there’s been some hiccups, but we’ll get there.”