- Global Outreach+–
Harrison's developing International Division is building degree partnerships with select institutions abroad, one conversation at a time. Through a global network of university partners, students living all over the world can study at Harrison College by completing Harrison courses online. The College also is laying the groundwork for international students to come to Harrison through study abroad. A full range of academic and student support services help international students make the cultural adjustments they need to succeed.
In spring 2013 Chinese Consul General Weiping Zhao met with Harrison College and The Chef's Academy–Indianapolis staff to learn more about the College, students and academic programs. And as a result of a meeting between Harrison staff and international partners in India, Maureen Lobo, a dean with that country's ITM Institute of Hotel Management, came to Indianapolis to tour the Downtown and The Chef's Academy–Indianapolis campuses and explore a partnership through which her students can enroll in Harrison degree programs.
- Toward Student Success+–
Every student has unique assets and needs. Harrison evaluates opportunities to create engaging, meaningful interactions with our students to meet these needs while alleviating risk factors. This year saw the expansion of initiatives designed to help and motivate students to successfully complete their education.
Student coaching: Harrison added InsideTrack Coaching to its student support lineup. The College partnered with a leading provider of student coaching services to pilot a coaching program for the fall and winter terms. Retention of coached students, particularly online students, exceeded non-coached students by 8 percent. Based on those results, new students taking online classes only began receiving one-on-one coaching from InsideTrack in the summer 2013 term.
The individualized coaching complements existing Student Affairs activities that help students balance their courses with family and job commitments. By working with students in their first two quarters, the coaches ensure a smooth transition into the Harrison experience. Key topics include setting short and long-term goals, honing time management and prioritization skills, and strategizing career options—all designed to help students stay motivated, manage stress and use Harrison resources well.
eMentoring: More than 100 Harrison alumni partnered with current students in a new eMentoring program that offers graduates a meaningful way to give back to Harrison while impacting the students' success. Graduates of Harrison's associate's and bachelor's programs share their time, experience and expertise with current students via email. Their exchanges focus on supporting, guiding and encouraging current students in their educational and professional goals. The alumni understand many students' challenges and are role models for overcoming them. Students may search for and connect with alumni in their field of study for a one-time connection to ask program-related questions; or request a mentor for up to a year for a more in-depth relationship. Eighty-three percent of student participants in the eMentoring program are still enrolled or have graduated from Harrison.
Student communication: Feedback from students helps Harrison College create a better learning experience for them. In a series of student town halls that began in March 2013, students meet with members of the College's Executive Committee, where the students are encouraged to ask questions and to share both good news and concerns. Student feedback has led to Saturday hours at the student computer and study lab at The Chef's Academy-Indianapolis campus and a revitalized new student orientation to prepare students for online learning. And Campus Life, a new student newsletter, was launched in May 2013, giving students information, access to resources, and a forum to share success stories that can inspire others.
Navigate: Based on recommendations from the faculty's 2011-12 General Education Program review, Harrison introduced a new student entrance exam called Navigate that ensures consistency and accuracy across all Harrison campuses. The College initiated the Navigate Critical Thinking Assessment (CTA) to prospective Harrison College and The Chef's Academy students during the admissions process in April 2013. Navigate CTA measures an applicant's critical thinking skills and reading comprehension level—a key element in student success.
- Visionary Technology+–
Harrison marked KnowU's first anniversary in June 2013. In its first year, the innovative virtual campus logged 1.5 million visits and 20,000 content posts, and the College steadily expanded its use. Harrison completed KnowU's design in 2011, piloted it in limited release in early 2011, and expanded its usage college-wide last summer. The College introduced KnowU to The Chef's Academy students in January 2013.
KnowU combines the social community of a college campus with online learning. The site (knowu.harrison. edu) incorporates three areas: learning, support and community: "Learning" recommends resources based on student preferences; "Community" allows students to connect with other students with similar interests and majors; and in "Support," students can access 24/7 assistance via chat, email or phone for everything from course-related questions to informational links on their future profession. KnowU emulates popular social platforms like Facebook, so students easily adjust to the familiar environment. It is flexible, using sophisticated analytical engines to suggest resources based on students' academic, personal and career needs.
In "Getting to KnowU," a new-student orientation launched in summer term 2013, interactive tutorials help students navigate KnowU and online courses and class materials. This user-friendly preparation allows the students to spend less time figuring out the technology and more on learning.
KnowU also is generating interest around the country, as representatives from Harrison have been invited to demonstrate the platform on several national stages, including the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities convention. Attendees at Blackboard World 2012 voted KnowU the national conference's "Must-See" session, and the KnowU presentation was named "Best in Track" at the 2012 Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning.
- Program Initiatives+–
New programs offer new opportunities to Harrison students while enabling the College to respond to real-time needs in its communities.
Emerging Leaders Certificate: This year the College invited experienced professionals to a new certificate program designed to boost their leadership competences. Harrison's Emerging Leaders Certificate equips high-potential people with content developed in partnership with Simon T. Bailey, founder of the Brilliance Institute. Offered through the School of Business over six weeks, courses are delivered online and emphasize business ethics, global leadership management, change leadership and effective leadership communication.
Application Developer Academy: A new Application Developer Academy in the School of Information Technology combines an apprenticeship with academic courses to address a shortage of skilled software developers. Students earn three Microsoft certifications over 12 months as they combine coursework with increasing work hours at their apprenticeship host company. The Academy prepares students who complete the program to enter the workforce as junior-level application developers with practical, real-world experience.
- Military Students+–
Harrison College remains strongly committed to serving military students and their families. As part of efforts to continually expand services to them, Harrison this year added an option to the Student Resource Services (SRS) counseling offered to all students—counselors specifically trained to work with military families and veterans. Harrison College contracts with SRS to provide no-cost counseling services that help students overcome the many challenges outside of the classroom that might adversely impact their academic performance or cause them to interrupt or discontinue their studies. Now Harrison students can talk to counselors trained on military and veteran-specific topics that include post-traumatic stress disorder and the family reintegration process.
A Military Advisory Board, financial aid analysts who specialize in Veteran Affairs benefits, and a Spouse and Dependent Scholarship also benefit current military service members, veterans, and their spouses and dependents. A midterm start option that provides four additional opportunities each year to begin an academic program has been especially well received by military students who appreciate its flexibility.