Thursday, February 10, 2022

UAGC Cohort Jumpstart Research Project by Dr. Connie Lower

Dr. Connie Lower
The intention of the UAGC Cohort Jumpstart project is to increase perseverance of entry-point students through the formation and support of a learning community (as defined by George Kuh in “High-Impact Educational Practices”) in a cohort of students as they navigate their first three classes together:  ASH 101, GEN 103, and GEN 102.  Entry-point students frequently express feeling alone, overwhelmed and under supported in their first entry classes.  Placing these students into a supportive cohort with the high-impact practice of a learning community will give them a stable, supportive group for fifteen weeks, thus increasing their motivation and determination to persevere. 

This effort also incorporates the Power of One initiative to improve retention and graduation through increased student/instructor engagement and care by faculty and support services.   The components of Power of One will be used to provide flexibility for student completion of work and enhanced instructor engagement with students.

Dr. Connie Lower Bio

Dr. Connie Lower is a full-time faculty member of the Academic Engagement Center at UAGC.  She has been in an instructor role at Ashford/UAGC since 2008.  She has a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in the Instructional Process and a Superintendent’s Certification from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, as well as a Master of Science in Educational Administration and a Bachelor of Science in K-12 education from Illinois State University.  She served as a public school administrator for a number of years before transitioning to higher education. Dr. Lower has always been passionate about teaching and learning, and is deeply invested in providing opportunities for students to attain their goals, whether very young or as adults. “UAGC has students that are serious about upgrading their lives and the lives of their families,” she says, “and the UAGC faculty and staff  are all dedicated individuals who wish to give our non-traditional students every opportunity to succeed.”

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