MAP-Works seeks to help new students adjust

By Adam Harris


Having trouble adjusting?

A new program called MAP-Works has been launched this semester to assist freshmen and transfer students as they adapt to Baylor life.

MAP-Works uses survey questions to find out what students are struggling with in their academic and everyday lives.

The survey, which went online Sept. 5, will be open to students until Oct. 5. Incoming students, both freshmen and transfer students, should check their email for a unique link that will lead them to the survey. Another way to access the survey is through BlackBoard’s home page, where students will find a link on the left side of the page labeled “MAP-Works.”

The acronym “MAP” stands for “Making Achievement Possible.”

Dr. Sinda Vanderpool, assistant vice provost for academic enrollment management, said she hopes to accomplish this goal through the program.

The online survey features questions from a broad range of topics. After the students fill out the survey, results from these topics are uniquely tailored to each student to display their strengths and weaknesses.

Vanderpool said the different areas that are analyzed by the survey range from homesickness to test anxiety. In order to deal with these problems, students are approached by university staff members who are already a part of their lives.

“We want students to graduate in four years,” Vanderpool said. The program is meant to “connect the right dots” to find out what the student requires assistance in.

Once the students take the survey, results can be seen by those close to the student within various departments. These staff members, including the student’s residence hall director as well as his or her academic adviser, use the survey to assist students in the areas they are struggling in.

The results are based on a calculation that takes into account students’ social lives to show results that are unique to each student.

Ron English, academic support adviser for referrals, is spearheading the operation and said the Paul L. Foster Success Center has many tools that can help students in the program who struggle with academics. The success center has mentors and tutoring available for those students. English said this year is a “kind of pilot year” for the MAP-Works program and next year the center hopes to make the program available to all students.

He said the center hopes to see a response from 75 percent of the freshmen and transfer students in the spring, an increase seen from the 59.7 percent participating this fall.