“Accudemia facilitated the central collection and access of multiple data sources related to our student-facing services at the LLC (Library and Learning Commons). This encompasses a broad range of areas that include virtual and live tutoring, access to LLC resources, and more.”
Greg V. Michalski
Director, Institutional Analytics & Research
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) has been serving the First Coast community of Florida for more than 50 years and continues to rank among the top colleges and universities in Florida.
FSCJ serves around 50,000 students with facilities consisting of four campuses and three centers, encompassing 104 buildings with approximately 2.4 million gross square feet (GSF) on over 833 acres in northeast Florida.
Administrative Offices are located in the historic Springfield area on the perimeter of Jacksonville’s core business, entertainment and sports district. The Administrative building houses the College President’s office, senior College staff, centralized administrative support staff, FSCJ Foundation, FSCJ Artist Series, and boardroom for the District Board of Trustees.
The Urban Resource Center, adjacent to the Administrative Offices, is an academic facility that includes classrooms and additional College offices such as Student Services, Workforce Operations, Financial Aid, and Student Records. The combined area of the complex consists of 10 buildings with approximately 700,000 GSF on 41.5 acres.
We are familiar with the saying, “knowing is half the battle,” and as colleges look for ways to improve student services, data analysis of student performance associated with the student’s level of engagement with these services is paramount. For the State College of Florida at Jacksonville, having Accudemia collect critical data regarding student visits to the Library and Learning Commons (LLC) allowed the centralization of data and enabled more staff and administrators to access multiple data sources related to their student-facing services.
“Before Accudemia, data collection at FSCJ was more ad hoc and inconsistent,” says Dr. Greg Michalski, the director of Institutional Analytics & Research. “There was no one-place to view – much less download, analyze, and use the data pertaining to our LLC. The adoption of Accudemia has solved many of the challenges around scheduling and the orderly collection of actionable data.”
Established as Florida Junior College in 1965 as the first integrated public and postsecondary educational institution to serve the communities of Duval and Nassau Counties in Florida, FSCJ has a rich history and like many community colleges of that era, has undergone several growth spurts and name changes.
A lot has changed since the College held its first classes starting on August 22, 1966, at two renovated, temporary facilities and experienced their first Commencement ceremony in May of 1968. Since then, the College established the four campuses and three centers that are still occupied today and compose the current FSCJ.
In 1988, the College adopted its initial Strategic Plan, established the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and began operations for Open Campus. This plan and subsequent plans have led to the desire for access to more targeted data and a better understanding of student services' impact on student success. Such data collection has become even more essential after the College received accreditation to offer baccalaureate degree programs, and led in 2009 to the name by which the College is known today – Florida State College at Jacksonville.
As part of the 2017 strategic plan goal to increase retention and completion, the Office of the Provost allocated funding to the LLC for the purchase and implement the Accudemia system to enhance tutoring service tracking and reporting. With Accudemia, a web-based academic center management system, FSCJ can track student visits, manage appointments, collect feedback, record student-faculty interactions, and much more. This tracking facilitates critical assessment data for the tutoring services and helps the College to document the importance of their tutoring and other LLC services.
From an initial enrollment of 2,610 students in the Fall of 1966, FSCJ now serves more than 50,000 students annually. Serving this broad group of students requires more service staff and additional data needs. FSJC adoption of Accudemia has brought centralized data collection in their LLC.
“We have found this centralization to be quite helpful in the analysis and improvement of our service to students,” says Michalski, the director of Institutional Analytics & Research at FSJC.
Accudemia records self-reported and detailed student login information for LLC services. This data collection includes a very simple sign-in process as presented in the video found on the Library and Learning Commons website.
This and other data collected by Accudemia is much more robust and automated than the methods previously used by the LLC via manual student log-in records and tabulation by campus/center staff. The Institutional Analytics and Research (IAR) team at FSCJ is no longer reliant on hand tabulated data but can trust the accuracy of Accudemia as they build the critical reports and dashboards college administrators need to see if they are achieving their strategic goals and initiatives.
“Accudemia has a robust user interface that allows for both surface or summary level data presentation as well as deep data extraction for analysis and use,” says Michalski. “One of the first projects we engaged upon involved the extraction of detailed or record-level data from Accudemia for presentation and access via a series of Tableau dashboards. We found Accudemia to have a range of flexible data presentation and access options that fit the needs of the institution.”
Now the Office of IAR finds the ability to access record-level data for advanced analysis and dashboard production to be most useful.
After the successful implementation of Accudemia at FSCJ in August 2015, the College has been able to observe key data points. These include the number of students visiting the center and the number of unique visitors. Between August 2015 and July 2016 the College observed 185,184 student visits for LLC services at all College campuses and centers, comprised of 21,584 unique student users. Of these visits, 56,103 students received tutoring services.
The College then took a deeper dive into the data to correlate these visits with course success, particularly as it related to gateway math courses (MAT 1033, MAC 1105, MGF 1106, MGF 1107). In Spring 2016, the success rate of students achieving a grade of “C” or higher was greater for those students who utilized tutoring services. Most significant differences were related to MAT 1033 and MAC 1105 success rates.
Thanks to Accudemia, the LLC continues to gain greater insight into student usage of tutoring services and the impact of those services on student success. With this and other data, Florida State College at Jacksonville can improve existing services and continue to provide those services that have the greatest impact on student success.