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Skyfactor and Its Impact on Education

Updated on July 6, 2017

Skyfactor is a new student success program which integrates data from all the necessary points for the careers of new students. The aim of the program is to provide a student the ability to resolve the hurdles on the way to achieve success in college education before the problem becomes too much. The intuitive program was created with a focus to make the use of mind comfortable and enable students identified areas of their weakness and ways to achieve their goals. The program draws more than two decades of industry research which eliminates guesswork from retention initiatives and student success. The program can analyze student achievement right from enrolment to post-graduate success and all the joints in between. The program has been able to report improvement in retention and student success while increasing participation in student services. The program has been able to provide an easier path to accreditation form of focused.

Sky factor takes into consideration the whole student when making predictions about achievement and risk. The outcome is a complete picture of every student analyzed, visually pointing out who is at a better position of achieving more, those who are vulnerable and the factors that will contribute to the outcome. Moreover, Skyfactor program also provides more than just a snapshot of the student. When used on a regular basis, the program is capable of tracking the progress of students; monitor the success of the intervention approaches employed and connecting them with the necessary resources that will propel them to achieve success.

Mapworks, a comprehensive student retention, research-based, and is a platform that was created through collaboration between Ball State University and Skyfactor. The first MAP (Making Achievement Possible) program was started by the University over twenty years ago. Mapworks main advantage is its ability to predict the students who are at risk. Mapwork delivers information a format that makes it easy for the institution and its staff to dwell on the students’ needs as early as when the term begins. In addition to having a positive impact on the student’s retention and eventually success, map work also traces a student’s sociological and economic background to establish areas of weakness.

Mapworks enable institution staff to effectively and efficiently point out the student at risk as early as the beginning of the term, to have an impact on their retention. Mapwork also helps to minimize the time required to point out the weak students, while at the same time maximizing the time that is needed to help this needy student. The program also monitors the students’ performance throughout the year by the use of continuous assessment tests. Also, the program also combines students’ course work performance with the class attendance information from the institution. The information also includes the social, emotional issues and learned behavior of the students. Also included is the information regarding the terms’ results including persistence, GPA, and credits earned.

Mapworks also promotes interactions through mobile access to facilitate communication and delivery of information around the institution in addition to appointment- scheduling. This ensures the weak students are referred to appropriate staff members for help. Also, the program also coordinates efforts among the staff who have the responsibility to reaching out this poor student, by employing notes taking and referrals. It also program collects personalized feedback from the student and uses the data gathered from the student regarding their experience and challenges. After the data collection, the program the will analysis the data and use it to support the institution's initiatives and make decisions in regards to the student attention services and success programs.

The first year of college is a basis for a student to be aware of what to expect in the form of how much effort they will need to put in to succeed and overall college experience. As a result, the institutions have come up with a range of program that supports the student to achieve. Putting more emphasis on the first year. For this system to be successful, there should always be a shift system of ensuring that there is quick, efficient feedback and response between the student and those assisting them. Therefore, the institution must first gather enough comprehensive and quality information about these students. Also, the institution must put in place measures that ensure there is effective communication between the student and those assisting them regarding feedbacks. Moreover, the institution must work collaboratively to ensure that most of the resources are made available for use by the students, and create an enabling environment for the interactions and interventions that will ensure student learning.

MAP (Making Achievement Possible), was inspired by the need to help student achievement possible through dwelling on early interventions, back in 1988. The Ball State University pointed out three major areas that it felt they were of concern in regards to first-year students.

• Unrealistic Expectations – many first year students had wild ideas about college. For example, a majority of them expected to get good grades with making any efforts; they did not have social adjustment or who their roommate will be like

• Retention Rates – the methods for pointing out students issues early enough was very limited.

• Better information – ways to understand the characteristics of the first year student to help them succeed in their studies was not available.

They set down goals that would address these concerns and were as follows. The institution was to create earlier intervention opportunities between the first year students and the institution, educate the students on the expected behaviors that will make them successful while at the University, lastly, the institution was to gather systematic information on the characteristics of the first year students.

For these goals to be achieved by the institution, a development committee was put in place. The pilot phase of MAP was conducted in 1989. A survey was carried out among the student and staff members, and then the results were compiled and developed through an iterative process using panels of experts. After a series of iterations, a standard for the program was formed. Skyfactor and Ball State University partnered in 2005 to develop the new and improved MAP, the called it Mapworks.

To ensure that the student hands-on skills that will make them ready for the job market, the institution is encouraged to assist students to be involved in service learning projects in the surrounding communities as well as within the institution. As a result, the student will achieve a professional growth as well as personal growth. The service learning program is more beneficial to a student in that it helps them to adopt social expectations, define career goals, develop their identity among the large institution population and finally adjust to college. Volunteering allows for exploration of careers; it also helps the student to acquire hand-on-skills that will assist help them in the job market; lastly, it helps in the co-curricular resume building.

Mapwork, ensure that the students that graduate from the institution are ready to contribute positively to the economy. According to the UNESCO report on the Importance of Good Quality: What Research Tells Us, there is a relationship between quality labor and economic growth, the report continues to say that the society or country that is more educated is more likely to see higher rates of innovations coming up. As a result of these, the overall productivity will improve the economy of the given nation, in addition to the introduction of new technology at a faster rate.

The report continues to add on that, a quality of human resources is directly related to the individual productivity, economic growth as a result of how much the individual earns. A study done in the United States suggest that individual that are highly trained and skilled; earn more than those that are not trained well. This clearly shows that the quality of education one receives will influence the individual’s earnings.

According to the survey conducted by the Skyfactor, in 2015 about Student Involvement, 70.35% of the student that took part in the study agrees that the program has increased their campus connection. While 59% of those interviewed, said that the program has helped them finish their course work.

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