MSCHE Evaluation Report May 2021

Team Report (Self-Study Evaluation)

Page 12

Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience

Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

In the team’s judgment, the institution appears to meet this standard.

This judgment is based on a review of the self-study report, evidence, and interviews with institutional constituencies to clarify information and verify compliance during the self-study evaluation team visit. Summary of Findings The College’s commitment to student success is evident in efforts to recruit a diverse student body with the potential to succeed, in their clearly articulated policies and procedures, and with their highly personalized support services and experiences. Recruiting and Admitting SUNY College of Optometry Students Admission requirements for all programs are clearly articulated and are published on the College’s website. The College makes a concerted effort to attract students from underrepresented backgrounds by not only considering grade point average (GPA) and standardized test scores but also by holistically examining the student’s personal statement and circumstances. The College developed a Diversity and Inclusion Master Plan in 2016 and implemented several strategies– including the development of pipeline programs--to diversify its student enrollment. The College’s success is evidence by the increase of incoming underrepresented minorities from approximately 6% of the incoming class in 2016 to 17.5% in 2020. Additionally, the interview criteria for the OD program, for all graduate programs, and for the residency programs directly align with the mission and values of the College. Policies and Procedures to Inform and Support Students After review of the information published via brochures and via the College’s website, the team confirms that the information published regarding expenses, financial aid, scholarships, grants, loans, repayment, and refunds appear to be accessible to the public and appear to be reasonably valid. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning, in conjunction with the President, ensures the accuracy of all materials posted. The College has clear policies and procedures for the secure handling of student information and records. Staff in Student Affairs are trained in FERPA. Student information is only released to internal researchers if vetted and approved by an appropriate administrator. Physical records are transported and stored in secure locations. Electronic records are secured, and backed up, by the Office of Information Technology.

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