- Associated Press - Sunday, April 30, 2017

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Northern State University plans to continue an advising program that was funded the past five years with a $1.9 million grant that’s expiring.

The Aberdeen News (https://bit.ly/2pXhwd6) reported that under the program, freshmen retention went from 68 percent to more than 74 percent.

“The whole premise of the grant was improving retention,” said Alan LaFave, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Now we’re institutionalizing that.”

The funds allowed for each department to have one dedicated adviser, instead of having faculty act as advisers. The advisers know the curriculum and the best order for students to take classes, LaFave said. The grant allowed faculty to focus on teaching classes and mentoring students on a different level. However, faculty members are still involved with advising.

“Especially from a career point of view, a graduate school point of view, a futures point of view for the students,” LaFave said.

The grant was tiered, meaning Northern received less money to help cover the adviser salaries each year the grant was active, LaFave said. The 2017-18 school year is the final year of the grant.

“They sort of ween you off,” LaFave said. “It’s not like, OK, you’re done, now you have to do it on your own.”

Northern holds most of the financial responsibility for the adviser salaries, said Veronica Paulson, vice president of finance and administration.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com


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