First Four Weeks* - Staff


Student engagement within the first four weeks of any semester is crucial to student success. To support student engagement at Cameron University, please select at least 3 strategies from the following list to carry out in your daily work. Consider choosing strategies from different categories to engage students on multiple levels. Challenge yourself. Some items may seem easy or may be strategies you are already using. If that’s the case, pick at least one item that’s a stretch for you.  Later in the semester, we’ll check in with you to see what you tried and if it worked for you.

Build and Encourage Relationships

  1. When a student comes to you for help, personalize the conversation by asking for the student’s name and giving the student your name.
  2. Ask the second question. New students may not know enough about the university to understand what they need or who they need to talk to. Help them out by asking a follow-up question to figure out what they need to accomplish.
  3. Give students who visit your office your business card. Let them know that they are welcome to call or email you if they need help.
  4. When you send a student to another office, call ahead to make sure someone is there and understands what the student needs.
  5. Give a campus map to a student who needs directions or walk the student to a nearby office. Take the extra moment to help students find where they need to go. Remember this might be their first time on campus.
  6. Make a commitment to respond to email and/or voicemail within 24 hours during the work week.
  7. Attend a campus event and talk with at least one new student.  Find out where the student is from, what the student is are majoring in, and how you can help the student be successful.


Build a Common Culture

  1. Help students understand the terminology of higher education by defining terms that new students may not understand.
  2. Participate in Spirit Friday. Wear your Cameron swag proudly.
  3. Be positive about Cameron and encouraging in interactions with students.


Promote Active, Engaged Learning

  1. When you give a student an answer, explain the process involved so that the student knows what to do the next time he/she encounters a similar situation.
  2. Refer a student to a campus lab or other learning resource when appropriate.
  3. Listen, and let a student talk through a problem. Often you can help them talk their way through to the solution that is best for them.
  4. Help a student worker understand how to better help other students.
  5. Ask your student workers how they are doing in their classes and listen to any problems that they might be encountering.


Be an Effective Resource

  1. Create a cheat sheet of phone numbers commonly used by your office to help in transferring calls from students to the correct department.  Also, make sure to give the phone number of the department to the student before transferring the call in case they need to call back again.
  2. Learn something new about Cameron so that you have another piece of information to pass on to students as needed.
  3. Verify that you are up-to-date on Cameron policies, procedures and resources.
  4. Establish a new connection in another office to create an additional resource for students.
  5. Refer students to the proper chain of command and help them understand how the chain of command works.
  6. Be calm under pressure. Be the rational one and de-escalate a situation that may be stressful for a student.

Ensure that Students Know Where They Stand

  1. Go Beyond “No.”  Help students understand what the options are in a situation where the answer to the initial question is “No.”
  2. Help students understand how to use AggieAccess.
  3. If students have questions about a course or grade, encourage them to meet with their professors.
  4. Check in with students to make sure they are regularly checking their email, AggieAccess, and Blackboard accounts.


*Adapted from SLCC First Four Weeks Strategies

Download a printable copy of these strategies.

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