Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
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3.4.9 The institution provides appropriate academic support services. (Academic support services)

Off-Site Committee Comments

While it appears that the institution offers appropriate academic support services on its campus, there was insufficient documentation to determine if this was the case for off-campus programs and off-shore programs. The On-Site Committee should seek documentation that academic support services are provided for all faculty and students in programs, regardless of location or format.

Narrative:  

As evidenced in the Troy University mission, the institution is committed to promoting student learning and enhancing student development among its diverse populations and locations at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This response will provide documentation of appropriate academic support services available to faculty and students participating in off-campus and off-shore (Global Campus to include eCampus) programs.

Troy University provides student support programs, services and activities consistent with its mission as well as its strategic plan and that are linked through the use of various technologies. Troy University strives to design all aspects of learning, service delivery, and support to meet the needs of students regardless of location or learning format. The University works to ensure a student-centered culture so that each student (traditional and non-traditional) has the immediate and effective support needed as he or she attends the University on-site through Global Campus or online through eCampus. The integration of technology across all facets of student services allows students at a distance to have access to comparable student services globally. The various academic support services provided to Troy Global Campus, including eCampus, students are described below. The student services model for eCampus is also provided.

Adaptive Needs

The Adaptive Needs program provides assistance and accommodations to students, regardless of location, with documented disabilities that may impede their academic progress. Services include notifying instructors on campus, Global Campus or eCampus about the student’s disabling condition and the specific accommodations to which the student is entitled. Adaptive Needs will not alter the academic requirements of individual courses, and each student must provide recent documentation of his or her disability in order to participate in the Adaptive Needs program. Additionally, various types of supporting software are utilized to assist the hearing and visually impaired student.

Writing Resources

Global Campus and eCampus students may contact the Writing Center staff for assistance via email through the Coordinator of the Writing Center at the Troy campus. The Writing Center Web page offers more than 60 helpful handouts available to students worldwide on topics related to research and documentation, grammar, mechanics, special kinds of writing, and the writing process. The coordinator will assign the appropriate staff member to assist in meeting the student’s writing needs. Global Campus and eCampus faculty may access helpful tools through the instructor resource link located on the Writing Center Web page.

Tutoring

Tutoring is made available to Global Campus and eCampus students through the use of SMARTHINKING. Online tutoring, writing services and homework help are available to students who may need additional assistance in order to succeed. Tutors are available, up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a variety of subjects. The SMARTHINKING schedule of service for live tutoring is provided.

Exam Authentication

Students in both Global Campus and eCampus take numerous examinations, both online and proctored, and may not always be in a secure testing environment. In order to address the need to authenticate student participation and proctor exams, the University has adopted a remote proctor system, Securexam® Remote Proctor System, that uses bio-metric authentication and records video and audio testing sessions in the comfort of the student’s residence. This newly adopted technology is being integrated across business programs with other programs to follow.

Advising

As stated in the Section 3.9.3 of the Faculty Handbook, “…a basic objective of Troy University is to assist each student to develop his/her interests and aptitudes in order to realize full personal and professional potential [therefore] the University places special emphasis on the role of its faculty in the academic advising of students. All full-time faculty members are expected to advise students.…”

Under the guidance of the Coordinator of Academic Advising, Troy University publishes a Guide for Academic Advisers that provides faculty advisers with pertinent information on current aspects of advising.  All academic advising is based on the common Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog, and location-specific scheduling and registration procedures are managed by the appropriate registrar.

Additional advisement of eCampus students is provided by professional staff members and/or faculty members as appropriate.  ECampus students, upon being accepted, are sent a series of emails that identify their professional advisers and other information critical to success.  Faculty members give advice related to academic matters, while professional advisers assist with administrative procedures. Sample emails are provided. Both faculty and professional advisers discuss online the students’ career interests, needs and goals, and assist in planning course schedules and degree plans. 

Students enrolled through a Global Campus or eCampus are also assigned a Troy University office in their geographical regions where they will receive academic and student support services. Students enrolled through the Global Campus, including eCampus, have access to equivalent student support services as other Troy students. Examples of student support are provided below.

Web Advising and Content Management

Utilizing Trojan Web Express, a student may conduct an electronic program evaluation or “Web advising” in a matter of seconds in order to determine his or her current academic progress toward the degree or to check course grades that are electronically posted by faculty members each term or semester.

The University maintains a robust and sophisticated Web presence, including a Web site for students and faculty support, a student interface (Trojan Web Express) with the student database system (Datatel), and a customized Content Management System site (Blackboard). Online courses utilize the Blackboard Content Management System that provides Global Campus and eCampus faculty and students with immediate feedback on review quizzes, thereby helping to identify gaps in student knowledge. Faculty members teaching online are required to undergo Blackboard training (TOP - Teaching Online Proficiency) and to complete mandatory updates of new features of the system before they are allowed to teach using the Blackboard system. Faculty tutorials for using enhanced features in Blackboard are available in an online format under the Faculty Training link within Blackboard. Student support modules are also provided at this location.

Trojan Web Mail

Each student is provided with a Trojan Web Mail account. Trojan Web Mail, the email system for the University, allows students to communicate freely with instructors and other University personnel to support learning as well as administrative and social needs. Trojan Web Express also provides all students access to their grades, degree plans, and current progress to degree reports. Regardless of location, all students may log on and access their academic records or communicate via Trojan Web Mail to Troy faculty and staff.

Technology Support

Technology support is also provided around the clock via an Information Technology Help Desk and Blackboard Help Desk.  eCampus students who have a problem accessing an assignment posted on Blackboard may contact the help desk and be guided through the corrective process. Students and faculty always have someone to communicate with regarding technology problems or concerns.

Student Call Center Support

Troy University provides a customized telephone and email contact center service for constituents of the University. This call center acts as a customer service desk for routine student questions and inquiries regarding subjects such as registering for classes over the Web, Blackboard, financial aid and financial issues.  The call center may field questions on any of the following topics: financial aid, student financial services, admissions, registration, holds (What kind of hold do I have and how to get it removed?), service hours, navigation through Web services, personal identification number reset for Blackboard, personal identification number reset for Trojan Web Express, function and operation of the Content Management System for Blackboard, function and operation of Trojan Web Express, GoArmyEd / eArmyU, physical location of classes, locating faculty or staff, continuing education programs, and other varied general requests. In all cases, should the call center be unable to answer a question posed to a representative then the call center will refer the question or request back to the University, where appropriate.  The call center service is available around the clock and throughout the year, except for national holidays as specified by the University. 

Library Services

Library services are readily available online to Global Campus and eCampus students. The Troy University Library web page has links to all electronic databases, the electronic reserves, interlibrary loan request forms, and the Ask a Librarian 24/7 chat service.  Additionally,the Troy Global Campus, including eCampus, has established a Troy Global Campus Library Services Web page that provides information and links related to Troy University Library services and faculty support).  These services include the Troy Library Web page, the Library Catalog (WebCat), Library Collection, Live Chat, and Ask a Librarian. Library support services are made available online on a 24/7 basis. Located on the Troy Library home page are links to the Library’s around the clock chat service, email Ask a Librarian, the ERES electronic reserves, and a link to initiate interlibrary loan (ILL) requests. Global Campus and eCampus students have the same anytime, real-time access to a librarian throughout the year at Troy University. Some Global Campus sites have physical libraries available to support student and faculty academic needs. All collections are coordinated through the Dean of Libraries located on the Troy campus.

Orientation

Student orientation at Global Campus sites involves a personal (face-to-face) orientation with a site representative prior to enrolling, followed by an online orientation module. The online orientation involves a comprehensive discussion of University policies and procedures regarding scheduled courses, registration, financial aid, and other requirements necessary to progress through a program of study at Troy University.   

Faculty Support

Faculty support and orientation for the Global Campus and eCampus are easily accessible online under the New Employees link on the University’s Web site.  This page includes step-by-step instructions on how to gain access to the services necessary for performing a job.  Additionally, eCampus provides an eCampus Faculty Area online that includes suggestions and tips to help faculty better organize the term and classes, as well as links to the academic calendar and eCampus newsletter. The Information Technology department Web page provides self-help tutorials on University supported software and a list of frequently asked questions regarding issues such as hardware requirements, resetting of passwords, software needs and support, network blockers and updates.

Assessment of Academic Support – Global Campus and eCampus

Data collected from the 2007-2008 Graduating Student Survey demonstrate that student academic support is not only adequate to meet Global Campus student needs but is also perceived similarly to services available at Alabama campuses. The percentage of students rating overall academic support services as “good” or “excellent” in eCampus  (88.6%) and at Global Campus sites (82.8%) compares favorably with the satisfaction of students attending Alabama campuses (82.5%).  Table 1 presents a summary of student survey data that supports Troy University’s ability to deliver adequate academic support to all students regardless of location or delivery method. 

3.4.9 Table 1.  Percentage of student respondents who rated academic support as average or better in meeting educational needs. (Source: 2007-2008 Graduating Student Survey)

 

Global Campus
(U.S. & International sites)
eCampus Alabama Campuses

Library Support Services

88%

90%

86%

Academic Advising

83%

77%

83%

Registration

90%

94%

84%

Student Orientation

86%

88%

86%

Computer Labs/Learning Centers

83%

N/A

86%

The survey items related to Student Perceptions of Student Support Services, Crosstabulations by Campus from the 2007-2008 Graduating Student Survey provides highly supportive data for both Global Campus and eCampus locations. Areas of possible review include: program quality, academic advising, faculty accessibility, communication between faculty and students, registration procedures, new student orientation, library and writing center. Survey evidence documents that academic support services are provided and appropriate for all faculty and students regardless of program location or format.

Summary

Troy University documents that students and faculty in Global Campus and eCampus are provided appropriate academic support services equivalent to the traditional campuses of the University. Troy University respectfully finds that it is in compliance with this comprehensive standard.

 

Supporting Documentation Location
Adaptive Needs http://www.troy.edu/ecampus/studentservices/adaptiveneeds.htm
Ask a Librarian mailto:libhelp@troy.edu
Blackboard Content Management System http://troy.blackboard.com/
Blackboard Support http://www.troy.edu/bbhelp/
eCampus Organizational Chart http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/fr03-04-09/eCampus-org_chart.pdf
eCampus Orientation http://www.troy.edu/ecampus/orientation.htm
eCampus Student Services Model http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/fr03-04-09/student-services-model_eCampus.pdf
Faculty Handbook, 2008 Edition http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Faculty-Handbook-2008-Edition.pdf
Global Campus Library http://uclibrary.troy.edu/
Global Campus Organizational Chart http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Organizational_Chart_GC_2008.pdf
Guide for Academic Advisers http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-04-09/Guide-for-Academic-Advisers-07-08.pdf
Information Technology https://it.troy.edu/
Library Collection http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/fr03-13-01/CollectionDev.pdf
Live Chat http://library.troy.edu/chat.html
Mission Statement http://www.troy.edu/mission.htm
New Employees, Information Technology https://it.troy.edu/Staff/new.html
Securexam® Remote Proctor System http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/remote_proctor.pdf
SMARTHINKING Handbook http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/smarthinkinghandbook.pdf
Student Perceptions of Student Support Services, Crosstabulations by Campus http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/fr03-04-09/CampusComparison.pdf
Student Support Services, Augusta, Ga. http://augusta.troy.edu/currentstudents.cfm
Student Support Services, eCampus http://www.troy.edu/ecampus/studentservices/
Student Support Services, Global Campus Sharjah Location http://www.shjcollege.ac.ae/
Student Support Services, Global Campus Putra Location http://www.iputra.edu.my/
Teaching Online Proficiency (Blackboard Training) http://www.troy.edu/bbhelp/blackboardpolicy.html
Trojan Web Express http://www.troy.edu/webexpress.htm
Troy University Libraries http://library.troy.edu/
Vision 2010: Strategic Plan 2005-2010 http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Vision2010.pdf
WebCat, Library Catalog http://troy.sirsi.net/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/49
Writing Center http://troy.troy.edu/writingcenter/

 

Last Updated: 02/03/2009