A Tri-Modal Approach to Student Engagement

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Online students should have the same access to support and engagement opportunities as their onsite counterparts however this is not always the case.  Join me as I demonstrate how a tri-modal approach - programming, support services, and outreach – serves to create a supportive, nurturing, and engaging online experience.


Sharon Goldstein has a passion for online learning and student engagement that is demonstrated in her 20 + years of delivering online student support and engagement opportunities. Designed to provide students with the highest level of service and support, her innovative, collaborative approach has resulted in various recognitions and certifications for the organizations she has served. As Principal of SFG Consulting, LLC, she continues to offer her services to colleges, universities, and other institutions that are passionate about offering a robust array of online student support, services, and programs. Ms. Goldstein was appointed Campus Operating Officer for Berkeley College Online in January 2007. Ms. Goldstein oversaw day-to-day operations, finances, student and staff retention and support, space management, creative programming, community outreach and expansion. Sharon frequently speaks at conferences and organizations regarding online learning, management, innovation, student support, and operations strategies. She joined Berkeley College in 2003 as the Director of Career Services. Prior to joining Berkeley College, Ms. Goldstein spent 15 years working as a recruiter in the staffing industry and holds the CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) designation. Ms. Goldstein has served as a Board Member for United States Distance Learning Association, and the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Sharon serves as an Advisory Board Member of Stevens Institute of Technology, Web Campus. Ms. Goldstein was named a Fellow and inducted into the 2018 Lead NJ class. Sharon also served as co-chairperson of the 2018 Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate conference. She has also served for many years as a mentor in various leadership programs. Ms. Goldstein has served as a group facilitator for Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a grassroots, nationally recognized job search support and networking organization targeted to adults who are actively looking for work, interested in reinvigorating their careers and undertaking a job search campaign, and continues to support such efforts. She is a passionate advocate on the subject of work/life balance and delivers keynotes and workshops based upon her 'Feeling of Balance' concept. Ms. Goldstein holds a B.A. from Dickinson College and an M.S. in Management from the College of Saint Elizabeth. She is a graduate of Leadership Berkeley, Leadership Paterson, and Lead NJ.

Extended Abstract

Just as online classes are expected to yield the same learning outcomes as onsite classes, the online student experience, outside the virtual classroom, should provide students with a similar experience as their onsite counterparts.  Carefully designed programs should welcome online students, and they should continue to nurture, support, and engage them throughout their educational journey. 

This presentation will focus on the key areas of student engagement, specifically programming, support services, and outreach.  Examples will include an outreach model, key programs to include each semester, and a variety of additional creative programs and support mechanisms designed for maximum engagement.

Participants will be provided with a planning template for use at their institutions.  An open conversation is encouraged, where participants discuss their perspectives and experiences in relation to the subject matter.  Sharing of appropriate links and resources will occur.