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Release Date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

HFC team earns “Best in Conference” for presentation at MIACADA

Photo of Paffenroth, Gibson, and Michel.
From L-R: Lorraine Paffenroth, Troy Gibson, and Beth Michel at the 2022 MIACADA Conference. (Not pictured: Dr. Michael Nealon, VP for Academic Affairs).

Four HFC team members attended the 2022 MIACADA Conference on May 20 at Wayne State University, where they made a presentation, “Becoming the River: Bridging Partnerships between Faculty and Advisors for Student Success.” This presentation was named “Best in Conference” by their peers.

The Michigan Academic Advising Association (MIACADA) is an organization of professionals from colleges and universities promoting the intellectual, personal, and advising needs of students in the State of Michigan.

Identifying barriers, opportunities, and benefits in student success

Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Nealon and Lorraine Paffenroth – along with HFC Student Success Navigator Troy Gibson and HFC Student Success Navigator Beth Michel – discussed how an academic advising office works to gain collaboration and form partnerships with members of the faculty to ensure student success, identifying barriers, opportunities, and benefits.

“We include faculty in advising meetings to discuss changes, updates, and to promote classes. As advisors, we ask to join departmental meetings, advisory boards, and have a say in the curriculum,” said Gibson. “We cultivate relationships with faculty and visit different classrooms to discuss success, the next classes to take in a particular program, and we also speak about financial aid when stressing the importance of completing these classes successfully.”

“I was personally excited to have Troy and Beth share this experience as it was their first professional conference presentation,” said Paffenroth.

Raising GPAs and success rates through a summer camp

Gibson’s time at the MIACADA Conference was very productive. One highlight was attending a meeting with students who attended a summer camp in order to prepare for college. These students were those with a GPA below 2.1, he pointed out.

“This summer camp was set up as preparation to assist students with test anxiety, attend learning lab workshops, computer workshops for Microsoft Word, and work directly with a mentor,” said Gibson. “The students would be admitted into the college and must meet with their mentors once every three weeks and provide documentation of their visits to the learning lab. The statistics showed great success and actually a few students spoke about how this program led to their success. One of the students is even on the student council. All in all, I felt this conference was productive and beneficial in terms of finding new ways of helping our students at HFC be successful.”

NACADA Region 5 Conference

Because they were identified as “Best in Conference,” these four will have the opportunity to give the same presentation again in May 2023 in Ontario, Canada at the regional conference for the NACADA Region 5, which includes Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ontario. NACADA is the Global Community for Academic Advising, which promotes and supports quality academic advising in higher education institutions to enhance the development of students.

“We are lucky to have a leader like Dr. Nealon who is willing to share the stage with us and show other institutions that collaboration across divisions is possible,” said Paffenroth. “We concluded our presentation with a short video of our HFC faculty sharing the value they have found in working together with advising.”