3 Actions in Creating a Vibrant Undergraduate Learning Community at UK

Have you been following the Town Halls offered by Working Group #1 co-chaired by Kim Anderson and Jane Jenson? These Town Halls represent opportunities for the community to learn about the University of Kentucky 2014-2020 Strategic Plan and to share ideas about how we want to direct our future.

The Working Group members have come up with three main actions that would need to take place to achieve the larger goal of creating “a vibrant undergraduate learning community” here at the University of Kentucky.

  • Focus on Integrated and Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Engage in High Impact Teaching and Learning Opportunities
  • Achieve National Excellence in Student Support to Degree

Associated with each of the above actions are tactics that would help us formulate specific plans at unit, cross-unit, and college levels. Here is a list of what they’ve presented so far (as of April 15th) as those tactics:

Focus on Integrated and Interdisciplinary Learning

Tactic 1.1: Cultivate academic pride in a UK degree. Infuse the undergraduate experience with a deep sense of intellectual pride of place such that the students feel like they are part of UK, and are proud of their academic accomplishments and their UK degree.

Tactic 1.2: Increase multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary degree programs, certificates, and dual degrees. Building from existing areas of strength at the University and exploring emerging knowledge communities, we will provide our students with a broad and multi-layered base of knowledge which will enable them to thrive in an ever more complex local and global landscape.

Tactic 1.3:  Expand Innovative Living Learning Programs. We will increase opportunities for students to engage in Living Learning Programs that emphasize interdisciplinary education and provide opportunities for high impact learning experiences.

Tactic 1.4: Embed high expectations and meaningful assessment of student learning to demonstrate the value of a UK degree. We will build upon UK Core and leverage our institutional strengths to become a model for universities across the U.S. in outcome-centered learning.

Tactic 1.5: Expand opportunities for undergraduate enrichment programs. We will evaluate and increase capacity in programs of excellence (i.e. Honors, Global Scholars, University Scholars, etc.) to enhance our students’ potential in scholarship and citizenship.

Engage in High Impact Teaching and Learning Opportunities

Tactic 2.1:  Promote the use of innovative pedagogical approaches. We will harness technology to promote a state-of-the-art learning experience for every student, while recognizing and supporting changing faculty roles in the face of rapid technological change.

Tactic 2.2:Develop measures of instructional quality.We will develop ways to recognize quality undergraduate instruction and co-instruction, create opportunities for the development of new instructional practices, and reward exemplary teaching and mentoring of undergraduates.

Tactic 2.3: Increase and integrate undergraduate student participation in research. We will leverage our robust and productive multidisciplinary research enterprise to increase opportunities for and integration of undergraduate participation in research across colleges and departments. Concordantly, we will develop mechanisms and programs to connect undergraduates with research opportunities from the time they arrive on campus.

Tactic 2.4: Increase and integrate student participation in experiential education and service-learning. We will strive to provide every student with an opportunity to learn, grow, and explore through hands-on engagement with, internships, co-op experiences, engagement in service-learning, integrated into the core curriculum and complimented with critical reflection

Tactic 2.5: Expand opportunities for learning abroad and engaging the international community of campus and Kentucky.We will continue to increase opportunities for students to participate in education abroad opportunities, in ways that enhance their degree programs and with attention to equity of opportunity across all demographics of our student body; and we will seek ways to connect our campus classrooms to the diverse community at home and abroad.

Achieve National Excellence in Student Support to Degree

Tactic 3.1: Create a comprehensive transition model from recruitment or transfer to graduation.UK must provide clear pathways to completion. Research emphasizes the importance of investment in retention beyond the first year, as attrition regularly occurs in years two through four. Therefore, we will expand our extended orientation programming for all students, beginning with recruitment or transfer and extending through graduation, to help in the process of self-discovery and to develop students’ decision-making abilities.

Tactic 3.2: Improve the quality of academic advising. The role of advising in degree completion cannot be emphasized enough. Advisors and their relationships with students play a critical role in student success. To fulfill our obligation to our students, we will critically examine the quality of our academic advising systems. We will then make bold, data-driven, and specific systematic changes in order to provide our students with an advising experience that meets their needs and eases their journey to degree completion.

Tactic 3.3: Blend advising and career services to improve the student experience and placement rates. We need to provide a seamless, world-class advising and career services experience for all of our students, helping them in their job search and in their transition from the undergraduate classroom to the workplace or to further study. To achieve this goal, we will conduct a detailed evaluation of the academic and career advising systems across campus and develop a plan for integration and for a more purposeful and individually tailored system.

Tactic 3.4: Develop predictive analytics of student progress. We will expand current early-alert processes to proactively identify measures of student involvement, healthy academic behaviors, and student engagement in self-assessment (goal-setting) to help provide interventions and increase student success. To ensure that our processes are effective, we will review the early alert data weekly and begin individual student intervention as appropriate, we will review retention data each semester and adjust our actions, and we will update and be disciplined in implementing the yearly retention action plan. We will ask Colleges to develop complementary retention action plans, and we will hold the Office for Student Success and the Colleges accountable for making increases in student retention and graduation rates.

Tactic 3.5: Engage in college readiness and pre-UK programming through direct activities and partnerships. We will expand the pool of college-ready students in Kentucky by augmenting our direct activities and community partnerships, increasing dual enrollment programs for high school students, and giving our future alumni the support they need to succeed at UK.

Have some other ideas? Want to ask questions about how this will all work? Send feedback to seetomorrow@uky.edu and online at http://www.uky.edu/strategic-plan/contact-us. Be sure and keep an eye on the updates on the webpage devoted to the Town Halls – http://www.uky.edu/strategic-plan/resources/town-halls – you’ll find videos and podcasts of the events there.

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Town Halls Focused on Undergraduate Education

Front slide for See Tomorrow Feedback Session

Click the image above to download slide presentation

This morning’s Town Hall discussion about the University’s strategic plan featured the work of Working Group #1: “Create a Vibrant Undergraduate Learning Community” was co-chaired by Kim Anderson and Jane Jenson. These Town Halls represent opportunities for the community to learn about the University of Kentucky 2014-2020 Strategic Plan and to share ideas.

Some key points made this morning were:

  • challenges, e.g., even though UK’s first-year students exceed the performance of their peers (identified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education) on three of five National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) benchmarks, UK’s seniors rate UK more poorly than do their counterparts at other research universities on three of the benchmarks (academic challenge, enriching educational experience, and supportive campus environment);
  • opportunities, e.g., experiential education is being increasingly utilized to enhance the undergraduate curriculum; and,
  • three main actions with appropriate tactics to achieve success
    • Focus on Integrated and Interdisciplinary Learning (tactic: e.g., expand opportunities for undergraduate enrichment programs);
    • Engage in High Impact Teaching and Learning Opportunities (tactic: e.g., increase and integrate student participation in experiential education and service-learning);
    • Achieve National Excellence in Student Support to Degree (tactic: e.g., blend advising and career services to improve the student experience and placement rates)

The work group co-chairs encourage us invite a colleague or community partner to participate in the review process. Attend additional feedback sessions in person or online – additional sessions for Work Group #1 are:

  • Student Affairs Strategic Planning Community Feedback, April 18 at 1 p.m. Student Center Room #357
  • Student Forum, April 21 at 4 p.m. Student Center Theater
  • Directors of Undergraduate Studies, April 23 at 4 p.m., 230 Student Center
  • Advising Network Forum, TBA

Send feedback to seetomorrow@uky.edu and online at http://www.uky.edu/strategic-plan/contact-us.

Other Strategic Planning Working Groups include:

  • Working Group #2: Advance a High-Quality Graduate and Professional Portfolio
  • Working Group #3: Cultivate a Robust Research and Creative Environment
  • Working Group #4: Transform the Campus, Brand and Infrastructure at UK
  • Working Group #5: Foster a Positive Work Environment for Faculty and Staff
  • Working Group #6: Have a Meaningful Impact on the Commonwealth and the Community

If you missed this morning’s presentation, you can download it here (.ppt file).  Keep in mind that the metrics in the presentation are a “work in progress” – and that the final version will go before the Board of Trustees for approval. So, this version is not the final one.

Be sure and keep an eye on the updates on the webpage devoted to the Town Halls – http://www.uky.edu/strategic-plan/resources/town-halls – you’ll find videos and podcasts of the events there.

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TurnItIn Plagiarism Education Week

TurnItIn Plagiarism Education Week

2014 Plagiarism Education Week featuring a virtual conference from April 21-25. Register for a week of free, daily webcasts devoted to sharing ideas and best practices to teach educators and students how to move from copying to critical thinking. Certificates of Participation are provided, and they have a few special giveaways!

Tuesday, April 22:
“Tweets from the French Revolution? Using What Students Know to Promote Original Work and Critical Thinking” webcast with Daniel Velasco, Ph.D.
Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Wednesday, April 23:
“I Plagiarized My Child’s Birth”: From Extreme Plagiarism to Contextualized Understanding” webcast with Audrey Wick, Professor of English at Blinn College

Thursday, April 24:
“How to Keep Your Job, Not Lose Your Reputation, Avoid Getting Sued, and Not Kill People” webcast with Kelleen Flaherty, Assistant Professor in the Graduate Biomedical Writing

Thursday, April 24:
“IRAC, Therefore I Write” webcast with Dennis Kessinger, J.D., M.A.
Certified Core Adjunct for National University

View Full Webcast Series and Register Today at


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Seeking volunteers for Bluegrass AAUW Tech Savvy camp for middle school girls, May 17, Frankfort

The University of Kentucky is a partner of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) – and we are seeking volunteers to help out with an initiative led by the Bluegrass chapter: a Tech Savvy camp for middle school girls on May 17th hosted by Kentucky State University in Frankfort. (See more at their website: http://bluegrass-ky.aauw.net/ky-tech-savvy.) Please consider volunteering yourself – or encouraging a UK student to volunteer. The student might want to consider using EXP 396 to get credit for the work undertaken before, during and after the camp as a learning experience in extra-curricular efforts like this in STEM-related college and career readiness programming.

The AAUW Bluegrass chapter’s Tech Savvy is inviting girls in sixth through ninth grade to sample STEM fields led by sessions with women who are successfully working in these areas along with a parallel program for parents, teachers and other adults involved with the girls’ lives. Sessions include Bugging Out over Water Quality, Airplane Building Blocks from A to Z, DNA Testing, Traveling Electrons, What’s a Statapult and How Do I Use it?, What Charges Your iPhone?, A Taste of Python Programming: Disease Epidemic and Food Mapping. Tech Savvy’s track for adults includes information on paying for college, helping with homework and other practical areas of advancing the girls’ educations, particularly in STEM fields. Instructors include women who hail from Alltech, Toyota USA, Lockheed Martin and more.

Tamara Brown

Tamara E. Brown, AAUW Buffalo NY, Champion of Change, 2012

Tamara Brown, who created the program of fun and relevant approaches to STEM and will attend on May 17, knows that girls often need encouragement to consider careers in these areas which may be perceived as lacking in service to others. According to a press release from AAUW, Brown said: “We want to show the girls that STEM education and careers can foster good things, whether it’s societal good or environmental good.” President Barack Obama honored Brown as one of “12 Champions of Change” in 2012.

Registration is open now and the deadline for the youth and their parents to sign up is May 3rd. So please hurry and volunteer today – email kytechsavvy@gmail.com for more information.


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UGE Spring Newsletter 2014

Download a copy of the latest news and updates from the University of Kentucky Undergraduate Education.

In this issue:

  • Message from Dr. Ben Withers, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Phi Kappa Phi Inductees
  • Presentation U! joins Undergraduate Education – full listing of Spring Faculty workshops
  • Office for Student Success joins Undergraduate Education
  • National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
  • The New Budget Model
  • Search for Gaines Center Director
  • College Readiness in Kentucky: An Update
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Nominations for UK Staff Senate Due Today

University of Kentucky staff are front line workers when it comes to UK student success. “How do I….?” “Where is…?” “What is the best way to…?” “Who do I talk to about…?” Every day, UK staff help make the University run smoothly and efficiently – and have a unique perspective on how to improve student life at UK. Make your voice heard through the Staff Senate.

Nominations for the open seats for the University of Kentucky Staff Senate closes at the end of today, Friday April 4th. Voting will run from April 21 through May 2. Election results will be announced via UKNow on May 6th.

All prospective candidates must self-nominate. To be eligible for the Staff Senate you must be a regular, full time staff member (FTE of 0.75 or greater) with at least one year of continuous service by April 1, 2014. Nominations are taken according to sectors, and below is a table of the available seats per sector:

Staff Senate Sectors Number of
of Seats
Executive Vice President for
Finance and Administration (EVPFA)
1351 7
Executive Vice President
for Health Affairs (EVPHA)
4862 24
President 848 4
Provost 5186 25

Download the Staff Senate Nomination Form and Guidelines here (.pdf file).

Jeff Spradling, Robinson Scholars Program in the Division of Undergraduate Education is Staff Senate Chair (see the website for a list of all the officers). See the list of current Senators here: http://www.uky.edu/staffsenate/current-senators

For detailed information on the elections:  http://www.uky.edu/staffsenate/staff-senate-2014-election-information

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NCUR 2014 Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) Sessions Program is out

NCUR2014 bannerJust this morning we received the program for the Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) sessions at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2014. You can download your own copy here.

The FAN sessions are held during breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday so as not to conflict with the student presentation times. Presented by faculty and administrators from across the country, FAN sessions cover topics such as:

  • integrating research into the curriculum,
  • community-based research,
  • global undergraduate research,
  • scaffolding research across the curriculum.

Postsecondary institutions represented in these sessions include Carthage College, College of New Jersey, Gannon University, Georgia Southern University, Northern Arizona University, Roanoke College, St. Olaf, University of North Georgia, University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and of course, the University of Kentucky.

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Summer School Catalog is Live!

This just in from Don Witt, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, Director of Undergraduate Admission and University Registrar

Summer Courses Catalog 2014The summer school website has been updated to include a live course catalog feed, a better overview of the advantages to taking a summer course, housing options and a precise look at how many courses are offered for Summer I & II. The current course catalog feed is a ‘read-only’ view of Summer I and II information from SAP. This read only view allows for current and prospective students to browse summer offerings from any browser or mobile device. To register, students must login to the MyUK portal using their Link Blue username and password.

This is a great collaborative effort between the College of Arts and Sciences, EdR/Housing, Undergraduate Education, and Enrollment Management to deliver a great online resource and live course catalog feed for students interested in taking courses for the summer. Future plans are being made to expand upon the online current course catalog for the fall and spring semesters as well as expanding/streamlining the summer enrollment process.

Communications will take place over the next week promoting Summer School through e-communication and direct mail to all current undergraduate students.

For more information, please visit http://www.uky.edu/summer

This initiative supports our ongoing efforts with retention, graduation and related student success goals!


Don E. Witt
Associate Provost for Enrollment Management
Director of Undergraduate Admission and University Registrar
University of Kentucky
132 Funkhouser Building
Lexington, KY  40506-0054
(859) 257-3458, FAX (859) 257-9572
Twitter: @DonWittUK


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Shaping a Violence Free Campus: Understanding the Campus Response

This just in from Rhonda Henry, Intervention Program Coordinator for the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center.

Hi campus friends,

We are excited to announce our upcoming Faculty and Staff training, “Shaping a Violence Free Campus: Understanding Campus Response” to be held April 23rd.  In this session, we will explore the coordinated campus response to power-based personal violence in-depth.  This will include a panel of key campus stakeholders and scenario based discussion. Participants will:

  • Recognize how power-based personal violence can change the dynamics in a class, office or department
  • Learn the skills to navigate challenging conversations about violence related issues

This training is appropriate for those who have never attended a VIP program in the past as well as those who have attended and would like a more in-depth look at campus resources and response.

Please help us spread the word and share with others who may be interested.  Click the image below to be taken to our web page and register today!

VIP Poster for Shaping a Violence-Free Campus

Rhonda Henry, MSW, CSW
Intervention Program Coordinator
Violence Intervention and Prevention Center
University of Kentucky
Frazee Hall, Lower Level
Lexington, KY 40506-0031
Phone: 859-257-3574 Fax: 859-323-3646

Self-Care Blog:http://viptrueself.wordpress.com/

For 24/7 assistance, you may contact:
UKPD at 257-8573
GreenHouse 17 (formerly The Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program) at 800-544-2022
The Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center 859-253-2511 or 800-656-4673

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Spotlight on the Schroeders and See Blue STEM Camp at UK

Craig Schroeder

Dr. Craig Schroeder, Jesse Clark Middle, Fayette County Public Schools

The See Blue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Camp was developed by Dr. Craig Schroeder, a UK graduate and Fayette County STEM teacher, and Dr. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, a UK College of Education professor in the newly created STEM Education department. Dr. Mohr-Schroeder currently serves as chair for UK’s secondary mathematics certification program.

Margaret Mohr-Schroeder

Dr. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, UK College of Education

Funded by a grant from the Mathematics Clinic at UK (received from the Kentucky Center for Mathematics), the first camp started out with just eight students in the summer 2010 at Jesse Clark Middle School in Lexington.  Over the past four years, the camp has grown to 144 campers.

In summer 2012, Drs. Craig and Margaret Schroeder moved the camp onto UK’s campus to increase students’ exposure to UK STEM experts and give the students authentic experiences on a university campus. The goal of the See Blue STEM Camp is to increase middle school (grades 5-8) students’ interest in STEM careers. Past camps have included hands-on presentations and experiments with Dr. Tim Knaeur (Director of the McAdams Observatory), Dr. Robin Cooper (Dept of Biology), Dr. Cindy Jong (Dept of STEM Education), Dr. Bruce Walcott (College of Engineering), Dr. Leslie Vincent (Dept of Marketing), Ms. Carolyn Crowdus (College of Medicine), etc. Additionally, the students spend half of the day learning about computer programming via the use of NXT Lego Robotics, concluding with a competition at the end of the week.

While the camp is open to all area middle school students grades 5-8, it remains deeply rooted and connected to Fayette County Public Schools. Part of their leadership team includes a Family Resource director who works closely with all the Youth Service Centers at the elementary and middle schools helping to recruit underrepresented populations, especially females and students of color, who would not normally have the opportunity to attend such a camp – scholarships and transportation are provided for these students.

This has been a very popular summer opportunity and a “must attend” from Fayette County Public Schools. Data has been collected on students’ attitudes, perceptions, and interests towards STEM and STEM careers for the past four years. This research has been used to inform UK’s preservice teacher preparation programs on how to motivate students more towards the STEM careers and also helped to identify the “prime” years for increasing students’ interest in STEM careers. This research has been presented locally, regionally, and nationally at conferences such as the School Science and Mathematics Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

This camp was partially funded for two years by the Kentucky Center for Mathematics; that seed money allowed the leadership team, including Drs. Craig and Margaret Schroeder, Christa Jackson, and Bruce Walcott, and Mr. Mark Evans (Fayette County Robotics Teacher) and Gabe Brown (Fayette County Youth Services Center), to apply and receive NSF National EPSCoR Track III money to continue the camp and its focus on underrepresented populations. A publication regarding the camp and its impact on students’ interest in STEM is due out in the STEM Special Issue of School Science and Mathematics Journal in October 2014.

For more information about the information above, please contact Dr. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, UK College of Education.

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