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Retention

Retention@State Starts with Me...

What an exciting time it is here at West Virginia State University (WVSU) as we work collaboratively to improve student success at our beloved university. Each of us played a critical role in this success, and it is refreshing to know that our best is yet to come.
 
Our quest for continued growth and success in the areas of retention and student success led us to convene the Retention and Student Success Council (RSSC) at WVSU to help coordinate our retention efforts while promoting student success both in the classroom, and throughout the communities that we serve. With the guidance of the RSSC, we were able to hear from constituents from various areas of the University who provided frank and open feedback related to our various retention efforts. This open dialogue led to many hours pondering how we could capture the collective thoughts of all in a manner that makes it easy to disseminate throughout the University. This led us to create first WVSU Retention Plan which you can review here.
 
The WVSU Retention Plan consists of seven important components that encompass the thoughts of members of the RSSC, and feedback from the first WVSU Retention Summit held January 30, 2015. The goal of the WVSU Retention Plan is to issue a charge to university constituents, and then provide practical, realistic, and attainable goals for us to pursue as we strive to improve retention and student success at WVSU.
 
While we feel that this document is a comprehensive overview of where we need to go, we know that we cannot get there without the dedication and support of each person reading it. Thus, we encourage you to use the WVSU Retention Plan as a roadmap that guides your continued efforts to promote retention and student success. 
 
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowNew Student Orientation

The Charge

  • Provide guidance that gives students the tools to be successful throughout their education paths.
  • Develop a new student orientation program that fosters a positive relationship between participants and the university and serves as a foundation for student persistence and success.

Goal I

Continue to develop a new student orientation program that addresses the needs of students, especially those needs related to successful transition to WVSU.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Increase the amount and accuracy of institutional and departmental information available to students prior to orientation.
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  • Introduce students to academic advisors who will help facilitate the course registration process.
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  • Introduce students to various support services and the providers of those services.
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  • Encourage students to define their success by exposing them to a variety of support mechanisms including alumni success stories, MyDegree@State, promotion of students’ long-range planning, and 15 to Finish.
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  • Increase student-peer interaction and engagement through activities that compel students to interact with peers.
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  • Introduce students to financial aid and money management tools that help develop strategies for financial aid planning.
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  • Engage parents and families in the new student orientation experience by providing information relevant to their University experience. Encourage parents and families to participate in ongoing University post-Orientation activities and communications.
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  • Build upon the pre-registration pilot program currently in place.
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  • Consider options for enhancing “cohort-based” orientation programs – transfer, veteran, international etc.
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  • Use appropriate assessment strategies to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of new student orientation programs.
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  • Improve transfer credit evaluation processes.
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  • Ensure university placement testing requirements consistently and appropriately result in the correct course placement.
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  • Establish a foundation during new student orientation that entices students to actively participate in “Welcome Days” programs and their freshman year experience course.
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  • Recruit, train and mentor student Orientation Leaders (OLs). Develop the program so that the position of OL is hih sought after by current students.
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  • Support the success of online studets by supporting the New Student orientation program develoepd by The Learning House.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowAdvising

The Charge

  • Provide an advising environment that promotes student responsibility and academic success. 
  • Enhance the academic advising experience in a manner that meets students where they are and encourages them to obtain academic and career goals previously unimaginable.

Goal I

Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of academic advising by streamlining the process.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Develop an advising center for freshmen and sophomores that provide academic advising, counseling and other critical student services in a convenient and easily accessible location.
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  • Increase faculty and student usage of MyDegree@State.
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  • Refine and enhance the scope of academic advising through professional development for faculty members who advise students

Goal II

Decrease the time that it takes students to complete a degree.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Work with undecided students during the first semester to help identify potential majors based on academic and professional goals and aspirations.
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  • Promote “15 to Finish” to reduce the time it takes to complete a degree.
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  • Develop and disseminate degree maps through MyDegree@State that provides each student with an overview of the classes needed to graduate, and includes milestones for each academic program.
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  • Develop a check-in program for all students who achieve 60 hours to ensure that students are on the right track to graduate.
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  • Encourage prompt and accurate registration each semester through registration campaigns.

Goal III

Explore the usage of existing and new technologies to provide advisors with critical information to help advise students based on the variables that may influence their academic success.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Increase the utilization of the existing faculty referral system while exploring equivalent technologies that provide comprehensive feedback related to student success and persistence.
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  • Explore and implement various modules in BANNER to provide academic advisors real-time feedback on student progress.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowCourse Scheduling

The Charge

  • Provide convenient pathways to academic degrees by strategically organizing classes each academic year.
  • Utilize technology to enhance the manner in which students select courses while improving the overall registration process.

Goal I

Develop cohorts for students based on various academic and social variables.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Identify groups of students who could potentially benefit from inclusion in a cohort of peers based on common goals and aspirations.
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  • Register cohorts of students in blocks so each student becomes familiar with one another while pursuing a specific academic degree.
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  • Provide academic enrichment support for each cohort designed to increase the likelihood of academic success within the cohort.

Goal II

Improve the efficiency of course registration.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Review the existing course schedule to see if the university offers courses at times that meet the needs of our students.
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  • Explore the use of the course waitlist feature in BANNER to help students gain entry into closed sections of a course.
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  • Explore methods through BANNER that allow students to register for classes two academic semesters at a time.
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  • Evaluate and refine the prerequisite checks in BANNER in an effort to reduce the amount of steps necessary to acquire a prerequisite waiver.
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  • Digitize the permission to enroll process for advisers.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowFirst Year Seminar

The Charge

  • Instill pride and a deep appreciation of the university’s history through a first year seminar course.
  • Develop comprehensive and consistent first year experience courses that encompass the values of the university, and the students who comprise it.
  • Reshape the academic and student life experience by exposing students to the many academic and social options available at the university.

Goal I

Create the curriculum for a common first year experience course for all students based on best practices and feedback from current students and faculty members.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Develop a name for the first year experience that reflects the values we hold true as a university.
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  • Engage faculty members who currently teach the first year seminar course to explore the common elements of the course in an effort to identify the salient learning outcomes for students.
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  • Develop a student focus group to elicit feedback on their first year experience along with recommendations on how to enhance the course.
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  • Utilize the feedback from students and faculty members to create a first year seminar handbook for the university.

Goal II

Develop a structure for the first year experience course that promotes student success in the classroom and beyond.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Expand the duration of the first year experience course to provide additional time for instruction and exploration.
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  • Limit the enrollment of each section of first year seminar courses to no more than 30 students.
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  • Require students to take a first year seminar course their first semester at the university.
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  • Provide training and professional development for faculty members who teach first year experience courses.
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  • Provide support for career pathway development through Career Services.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowDates to Remember

Dates to Remember

  • May 22 - Summer Session 1& 2 - First Day of Class
  • July 13  - Summer Session 1 - Last Day of Class
  • June 19 - Summer Session 3 - First Day of Class
  • July 13 - Summer Session 2 & 3 - Last Day of Class
  • July 22 - New Student Orientation (Transfer Students)
  • July 28 & 29 - New Student Orientation
  • August 11 & 12 - New Student Orientation
GA – Student Government Association
F – Faculty
S – Students
FA – Financial Aid
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowRetention & Student Success Council
What an exciting time it is here at West Virginia State University (WVSU) as we work collaboratively to improve student success at our beloved university. Each of us played a critical role in this success, and it is refreshing to know that our best is yet to come.
 
Our quest for continued growth and success in the areas of retention and student success led us to convene the Retention and Student Success Council (RSSC) at WVSU to help coordinate our retention efforts while promoting student success both in the classroom, and throughout the communities that we serve. With the guidance of the RSSC, we were able to hear from constituents from various areas of the University who provided frank and open feedback related to our various retention efforts. This open dialogue led to many hours pondering how we could capture the collective thoughts of all in a manner that makes it easy to disseminate throughout the University. This led us to create first WVSU Retention Plan.
 
The WVSU Retention Plan consists of six important components that encompass the thoughts of members of the RSSC, and feedback from the first WVSU Retention Summit held January 30, 2015. The goal of the WVSU Retention Plan is to issue a charge to university constituents, and then provide practical, realistic, and attainable goals for us to pursue as we strive to improve retention and student success at WVSU.
 
While we feel that this document is a comprehensive overview of where we need to go, we know that we cannot get there without the dedication and support of each person reading it. Thus, we encourage you to use the WVSU Retention Plan as a roadmap that guides your continued efforts to promote retention and student success. 
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowRetention Data
Below are a series of graphs that illustrate important data related to retention at WVSU. We use the data illustrated in these graphs as outlines for where we are, and where we would like to go. Please look below each graph for a description of the data presented. 

 
The Peer Retention and Graduation Rates graph is an illustration of the retention and graduation rates of our 19 peers – eight of which are 1890 land-grant institutions like WVSU. The average retention rate of our peers is 67%. The data indicates that SUNY College at Purchase has the highest retention rate (87%) of all of our peers while the highest retention rate of any of our 1890 land-grant peers was Langston University (70%). WVSU believes that we can achieve a retention rate of 70% also, and we established that as our target goal. 

When looking at the graduation rate of our peers, the average rate is 37% with the University of North Carolina at Asheville having the highest graduation rate at 60% while Virginia State University has the highest graduation rate (40%) of our 1890 land-grant peers. 
 

The retention rate for returning first-time, full-time freshmen who returned the following fall was 50.2% for the 2011-12 academic year. Through our recent focus on retention, WVSU has witnessed a dramatic growth in this rate. In the 2014-15 academic year, 58.7% of our first-time, full-time freshmen returned to WVSU. The target retention rate for first-time, full-time freshmen returning to WVSU is 70%. The table below shows the number of additional students that we need to retain as we increase retention to our target goal. We base our projections on an average incoming first-time, full-time freshmen class of 416 students. 
 
Retention Rate Students Retained Additional Students Retained
59% 245 0
61% 254 9
64% 266 21
67% 279 34
70% 291 46
73% 304 59

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image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowRetention Plan
The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Retention Plan consists of seven important components that encompass the thoughts of members of the RSSC, and feedback from the first WVSU Retention Summit held January 30, 2015. The goal of the WVSU Retention Plan is to issue a charge to university constituents, and then provide practical, realistic, and attainable goals for us to pursue as we strive to improve retention and student success at WVSU. While we feel that this document is a comprehensive overview of where we need to go, we know that we cannot get there without the dedication and support of each person reading it. Thus, we encourage you to use the WVSU Retention Plan as a roadmap that guides your continued efforts to promote retention and student success.
 
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowData-Driven Decision Making

The Charge

  • Through data collection and analysis, develop a better understanding of student behavior.
  • Select and implement appropriate data warehousing tools that will provide senior administration, deans, department chairs and directors direct and immediate access to information that will assist in decision-making.
  • Develop information-based models (i.e., factor analysis) predictive of student success to support the tailoring of services and to support the selection, development, and implementation of early intervention strategies.
  • Disseminate useful and necessary information to students and staff proactively through a to-be-developed university portal and other systems designed to support the academic enterprise (e.g., early alerts, text messaging, etc.).
  • Explore retention solution options – web-based opportunities for us to collect, analyze and share information about student persistence and success

Goal I

Consistently collect data at appropriate times in an effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of data collection.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Fully leverage the power of the data collection to gain a better understanding of operational dynamics (e.g., student success) to inform decision-making or to monitor progress toward goal achievement.
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  • Monitor progress toward the achievement of stated goals and initiatives and better tell the university’s story by capturing and reporting information (e.g., class attendance or campus involvement) historically missing from academic records.
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  • Develop a timeline for the creation of all reports pertinent to student success.
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  • Develop a master list of all reports that pertain to student success that includes a brief overview of the data contained in an effort to increase the likelihood of sharing reports.
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  • Allow users to create custom reports from data stored in BANNER.

Goal II

Create models based on student behavior and/or performance to predict potential challenges and opportunities that influence success.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Develop student profiles based on individual characteristics of each student.
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  • Utilize predictive modeling to organize observed data into abstract or logical representations to predict the probability of outcomes that allows the university to provide early interventions before the student is aware of issues and barriers to successful achievement of their goals and degree completion.

Goal III

Enhance the dissemination of information.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Identify and implement strategies that support the capture and reporting of non-academic factors in combination with academic data to tailor services and support that will improve student outcomes.
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  • Select and implement data warehousing and reporting tools to support data-driven decision-making related to student data contained in the university administrative systems.
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  • Identify and implement a set of performance metrics and reporting tools in support of Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, the Higher Education Policy Commission Compact, etc.
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  • Design and implement a single sign-in portal for MyState, MyDegree@State, WVSU Online, email, and supports customized information alerts for each student.
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  • Develop and implement appropriate factor analysis to allow key decision makers to better understand and predict student outcomes.
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  • Expand the delivery of information to students via mobile and portable devices.
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  • Generate and distribute retention and registration reports on a college, department and advisor level.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowStudent Life

The Charge

  • Engage students in unique ways to encourage their persistence and success by building upon existing and new programs at the University.
  • Work to integrate parents and other relatives of students an integral part of the educational experience.
  • Develop partnerships with academic departments and individual faculty members that promote student success.
  • Create an environment that fosters relationships between students who live in the residence halls that offers academic, social, community building and other programs that directly influence success.

Goal I

Enhance services offered through Adult and Commuter Student Services.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Continue to create and evaluate community engagement opportunities targeted specifically toward the commuter student experience.
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  • Develop a dedicated online presence directed at adult and commuter students.
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  • Assess the spaces that are currently used for adult and commuter student services to gauge ergonomics and conduciveness to engagement.

Goal II

Expand existing, and create new, programs for the parents and families of our students.
 
Progress Strategies
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  • Establish a concerted effort to collect parent and family contact information.
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  • Create a framework for communication that addresses the needs of families and parents.
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  • Collect and analyze data on what parents and families require, and want, in order to feel more connected to the university.
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  • Design a parent and family web site that allows access to relevant programs and services.
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  • Develop and implement additional enhancements to the parent/family component of new student orientation to include workshops, networking, and personal growth opportunities.
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  • Engage younger siblings and dependents of current students to provide a rich opportunity for recruitment and affinity building. Introduce a comprehensive sibling orientation program such as “Little Sibs” during Homecoming or a “Little Sibs” weekend.
   

Goal III

Achieve greater impact on student success through residential life. 
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  • Develop partnerships between the Residence Life Office and university constituents to offer special events in the halls and beyond.
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  • Intentional training of student Resident Advisors (RAs) and Resident Leaders (RLs) to engage students and assist with first-year transition issues.
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  • Establish new expectations for RAs and RLs including participation in campus events such as athletics, the arts, workshops and community service projects.
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  • Familiarize all student affairs staff with MyDegree@State.
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  • Offer incentives for faculty to work with residential hall students.
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  • Continue to focus residence life programming on community building and participation in larger community events versus “floor programs.”
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  • Explore the availability of tutors, academic advising, etc. in the residence halls.
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  • Explore the concept of living and or learning communities in the residence halls.

Goal IV

Develop a more robust student experience outside the classroom.
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  • Create a sub-committee of the Retention and Student Success Council that focuses on learning that occurs outside of the classroom.
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  • Expand “Welcome Days” – activities and overall connection and experience.
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  • Enhance student-peer engagement through leadership development, community service, service learning, and diversity experiences.
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  • Assess the learning outcomes that result from activities that occur outside the classroom.
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  • Enhance/expand presence of varied student organizations and student activities.
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  • Develop a relationship between our general education curriculum, student activities, and cultural activities to enhance the type of cultural events that we bring to campus.

Our Team

Mr. Tom Bennett, II
Mr. Tom  Bennett, II
Institutional Research
tbennett3@wvstateu.edu
Ms. Barbara Cary
Ms. Barbara  Cary
Student Support Services
carybw@wvstateu.edu
Mr. Coston Davis
Mr. Coston  Davis
Leadership, Mentoring & Judicial Affairs
costondavis@wvstateu.edu
Dr. Daton Dean- Leonard
Dr. Daton  Dean- Leonard
Education Department
ddean1@wvstateu.edu
Dr. Michael Fultz
Dr. Michael  Fultz
Chemistry Department
mfultz@wvstateu.edu
Ms. Senaia Harris
Ms. Senaia  Harris
Communications Student
sharris21@wvstateu.edu
Ms. DonnaHunter
Ms. Donna Hunter
Registrar
hunterdl@wvstateu.edu
Ms. Jolyssa Morris
Ms. Jolyssa  Morris
Computer Science Student
jmorris22@wvstateu.edu
Mr. JarvisPurnell
Mr. Jarvis Purnell
Residence Life
jpurnell1@wvstateu.edu
Ms. JoAnnRoss
Ms. JoAnn Ross
Financial Aid
jross15@wvstateu.edu
Dr. Ami Smith
Dr. Ami  Smith
Research & Public Service
smitham@wvstateu.edu
Ms. Daisy Squirts
Ms. Daisy  Squirts
Counseling & Academic Support Services
dsquirts@wvstateu.edu
Dr. KerriSteele
Dr. Kerri Steele
Criminal Justice Department
ksteele1@wvstateu.edu
Ms. Trina Sweeney
Ms. Trina  Sweeney
Adult & Commuter Students
sweeneyt@wvstateu.edu
Ms. Kellie Toledo
Ms. Kellie  Toledo
Counseling & Academic Support Services
toledoke@wvstateu.edu
Ms. DebbieWilliams
Ms. Debbie Williams
Business Administration Department
dwilli13@wvstateu.edu
Dr. ScottWoodard
Dr. Scott Woodard
Arts & Humanities
swoodar1@wvstateu.edu
Students listening to a lecture

Kumara Jayasuriya, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Chair
kjayasuriya@wvstateu.edu


 
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