UMBC Enrollment Management and Planning

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    Inclusive excellence online: Pandemic lessons learned supporting traditionally underserved students
    (Henry Stewart Publications, 2023) Baron, Ken; Fritz, John; Mozie-Ross, Yvette
    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and all higher education pivoted to online learning, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) created ‘Finish Line’, a programme designed to help former students with some college, but no degree to complete their studies, often several years after they had left the institution. More than 200 students have done so to date, which was a surprising pandemic silver lining for an institution with fewer than 5 per cent of all courses delivered online before 2020. But was Finish Line just a temporary strategic initiative to get through a global health crisis? Or could it also be a proof of concept for how to meet and support ‘non-traditional’ adult learners where they are — and want to go? In this reflective case study, we offer candid lessons learned to go beyond the logistics of an enrolment management strategy of ‘re-recruiting’ former students through the affordances of online education to reassessing and redefining our ‘inclusive excellence’ mission in a post-pandemic, often digital-first world.
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    Meet a Retriever – Ken Baron, advising champion
    (UMBC Magazine, 2023-07-25) Magazine Editor
    Meet Ken Baron, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Advising and Student Success in the Office of Academic and Pre-Professional Advising at UMBC. As a first-generation student himself, Ken truly appreciates the importance of student support at every level, and finds joy in bringing that philosophy to his work every day through advising at UMBC. Take it away, Ken!
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    The nature of American academic advising in the 21st century
    (University of Surrey, 1999) Baron, Ken
    This case study grounded in the tradition of practitioner-research (Jarvis, 1999) was carried out from 1994 to 1999 at a major land-grant university in the United States. Specifically, the study aimed to explore the nature of American academic advising in the 21st century using qualitative research techniques. A review of the traditional literature from the academic advising profession, as well as the literature from the more encompassing field of student affairs (Davis and Liddell, 1997; Gordon and Grites, 1998), suggested that much of the research conducted in these areas has been quantitative and insular in nature. Thus, in response to an apparent need for more naturalistic and broadly-based inquiries in these areas (academic advising and student affairs), this study employed a variety of different qualitative research approaches in an attempt to investigate and contextualize the practice of academic advising within the forces shaping contemporary society. The first part of the thesis engaged the researcher in a comprehensive review of literature from a wide variety of disciplines including economics, history, political science, sociology and education that aided in the construction of a prospective model of society. As a result of this exercise, two research questions emerged that were later posed to 36 participants, representing the following classifications within the model of society: students, academic advisors, career services professionals, faculty, university hierarchy, and employers (6 in each classification). The research questions were: what is the nature of American academic advising in the 21st century in light of the forces of information technology and globalized capitalism, and how were these forces of change resisted? Using the general interview guide approach (Patton, 1990) and "qualitatively-based," content analysis interpretation techniques (Holsti, 1969; Krippendorff, 1980; Patton, 1990) these questions were explored and analyzed and the results compiled into a series of reports based on findings. These uniform reports were subsequently turned into separate chapters based on a comprehensive analysis of each of the 6 participant group "perceptions" of the nature of future academic advising practice. In particular, the inquiry aimed to illuminate participants' awareness of the forces shaping contemporary society, how they perceived the practice would change in the 21st century, how the participants thought the practice should be operated, their perceptions of the major causes of change, and how they perceived the forces of change being resisted in the future. Findings suggested that participant's perceived the future of the practice of academic advising to be influenced greatly by information technology, requiring stakeholders, at all levels throughout the academic advising process to humanistically assess to what degree and in what capacities will information technology be utilized within each, unique practice setting. Other findings suggested that participants both perceived and endorsed a more collaborative mode of practice in the future - consolidating other student services together with academic advising. Recommendations to the profession included the adoption of a new core value that would engage the profession, and its members, in more "outwardly" directed practices reaching beyond institutional barriers. Additionally, there is a recommendation that the profession become more politically and strategically-oriented in the next century, employing "relevance-grounded" public relations efforts to secure stability. Future comparative institutional studies, studies using additional participant groups and the development of quantitative national, and possibly international, surveys using this study as a model and its findings for reference, replication, or further illumination are suggested.
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    Guest Editorial: N4A Appeal for Student Athletes to Study Abroad
    (Kansas State University, 2006) Baron, Ken
    The guest editorial encourages athletic advisors to provide study abroad opportunities for athletes to develop career maturity and have global exposure.