Connecting Every Student

Student engagement within the first four weeks of any semester is crucial to student success. Faculty and staff are encouraged to build relationships and create a sense of belonging, set expectations, promote active, engaged learning environments, integrate student support into learning experiences and help students know where they stand in class. Below are some suggested ways to engage students in and out the classroom.


Early Academic Engagements

  • Let students know what they need to do to be successful in your course. Direct them to available academic resources like the Shocker Learning Center for tutoring or supplemental instruction.
  • Introduce yourself and share your story with your class. Include where you grew up, your transition to college life, do you identify as first-generation, your struggles, and your successes. Students who are able to connect and identify with their instructor have more meaningful interactions.
  • Send messages in Blackboard to help students to recognize their progress in your class early on. Whether the message is sent to congratulate the student on doing well or to let them know they have some deficiencies and may need additional support, sending these messages will help with support early academic engagement during the first four weeks. If you need help with Blackboard, contact the Office of Instructional Resources.
  • Engage students in at least one active learning strategy during the first four weeks of class.
  • Encourage students to introduce themselves to one another through a guided activity during class. Knowing another student quickly is a great way to connect students immediately to Wichita State, your class, and one another.

Connect to Resources

  • Connect one of your first four week assignments to a campus resource. This will help the student to see the benefit of how this campus resource fits in with your course or the specific assignment you have given them.

    Example: Math 011 Beginning Algebra can connect students with the Math Lab. Ask them to create a post sharing the resources offered.

Social Connections

  • Volunteer at a new student event like Back to School Bash or Clash of the Colleges
  • Be Seen in Black and Yellow on Friday’s! Take this opportunity to show your Wichita State pride and wear green or a WSU shirt to support our students. Pick up your We Support U shirt in the Shocker Store to support and promote mental health.
  • Attend a campus event during Welcomefest and talk with at least one new student. Find out where the student is from, what the student is majoring in, and how you can help the student be successful.
  • Encourage a student to build their peer relationships by getting involved on campus. Help them schedule an appointment with a Student Involvement Ambassador (SIA) who will discuss involvement ppportunities that are best for them.