Highest Ever Retention Rate and Biggest Number of Returning Students in the University’s History

Congratulations to all the staff and faculty in our undergraduate colleges! And to the wonderful students in our official graduating cohort from Fall 2014 who are continuing their academic careers at UK!

Dr. Bethany Miller, Director of the Office of Retention and Student Success, reports in the Retention Update, August 27, 2015 that we are currently seeing the highest retention rate of our graduating cohort (82.6% for the class entering in Fall 2014) and the largest number of returning students (4.249) in a graduating cohort in UK’s history.

Fall Cohorts 2010 Through 2014 – Retaining Students Over the Summer after Their First Year at UK (see the Fall 2014 Cohort numbers in purple.) Source, UK Tableau Server, secure login access required: https://analytics.uky.edu/views/CohortEnrollmentHistory/2ndFallOverallTable#1

In past years, UK has seen too many of its first-year class drift away during the summer and not return for classes in their second fall. This year is looking very different. Dr. Miller writes:

These figures represent an increase of 0.6% and 460 students since the same time last fall, and are a testament to the campus-wide commitment and collaboration to strengthening student success.  Your hard work is evident and appreciated:  thank you for your continued dedication.

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Golding’s College Success Blog – Let’s Help Get the Word Out about Student Success Strategies that Work

Professor Jonathan Golding (in UK’s Department of Psychology) is trying out another open educational resource (OER) – this time with Blogger – to share some good advice on how to survive college … and succeed. Last year, he and UGE’s own Dr. Phil Kraemer launched an open course on the same topic in Coursera (the latest iteration is just now wrapping up – see more at https://www.coursera.org/course/succeedincollege).

Dr. Golding is asking that University of Kentucky professional staff and instructors of student success strategies contribute as guest authors for his blog: http://beginnersguidetocollegesuccess.com

Please consider repurposing some of your favorite sayings, reminders and resources for student success and adding to his blog. Perhaps you could send out a call to your staff, graduate teaching assistants or your most talented undergraduate instructional assistants to write something to contribute.

You can send content to him directly via email or a Word doc – or if you are a Blogger author already, let him know your account name so he can add you in to his blog to post your own content.

Looking forward to seeing the UK community participate in this OER venture!

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Community Engagement at UK and Volunteering – Not Always the Same Thing

The University of Kentucky is rightly very proud of the tremendous work that our students, staff and faculty undertook on Monday during K-Week’s day of service called UK FUSION (For Unity and Service in Our Neighborhood). Managed by the Center for Community Outreach, UK FUSION brings more than 1,100 participants to volunteer at 75+ sites in Lexington — from outside yard work to painting indoors, and from sorting items in offices to serving meals in soup kitchens. This service day is a good way for our first-year students to get to know others in the UK community and also serves as an introduction to the community directly impacted by the University’s influx of students and faculty each new academic year.

Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement ClassificationThis day of service, however, is not the same kind of community engagement designed with an academic component, e.g., service-learning or internship, that works in a way to enhance the college curriculum at UK. An important component for community engagement, as defined by the Carnegie Foundation, is that a partnership between a University and a community-based partner (at local, regional/state, national, or global levels) must be designed to offer an interaction that is of mutual benefit. This form of community engagement is when we see not just the exchange of resources from or services performed by the UK representative but also in those resources or services offered by the community partner – within a context of reciprocity – that we can see in the creation of new knowledge. This then requires a time of scholarly reflection on what has been jointly created, and for faculty to be able to observe evidence of personal growth, both for themselves as well as for their students.

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

Service-Learning Agreement thumbnailThe University of Kentucky earned the “Community Engaged” classification from the Carnegie Foundation as of 2015. You can read the full report by downloading the .pdf file here: UK Carnegie Reclassification Application April 15 2014 – and the accompanying “Partnership Grid” in a spreadsheet (download the 2015_Partnership_Grid for UK – an Excel file – here).

As you and your students are planning community-based learning this fall, be sure and design those experiences within a clear framework of understanding that allows for the community partner to contribute in the designing, implementation and assessment of the learning. Use a formal agreement with your community partner – you can find on the UGE website a model template that has been vetted by the UK Legal Counsel and will help assure a good partnership.

globalsl video screenshotEven more important to understanding these principles of mutuality and reciprocity is when UK faculty and students represent all of the U.S. in a global setting. In this video, “International Volunteering” recently developed by globalsl.org and edited by Eric Hartman, research on good and bad community impacts relating to international volunteering is summarized. Some of the most high-risk activities they’ve discovered are “orphanage tourism” and pre-professional health care volunteering. GlobalSL offers a Global Citizen Guide that includes valuable resources for those planning to travel abroad in a service effort so they can “make careful, conscientious, positive contributions.”

Even then, it might not be enough to just make ourselves and our students more mindful of what we are doing and why. We want to avoid the trap of what Dr. Kristin Hudgins calls “drop-in heroism.” When the activist and photographer Boniface Mwangi spoke with students in a high school class in North Carolina, he cautioned those who sought to bring their values to others in the world – in a well-intentioned but often disrespectful effort to “help” others. He said to a young woman who wanted to travel to the Middle East or Africa to advocate for women: “You don’t know them. They don’t know you…. We have people working every day there to deal with those issues. Why don’t you start locally, before you go international [to serve others]?”

We at the University of Kentucky are working to better understand this difficult balance of mutuality, both locally and globally. The global citizenship components of the UK Core Program, for example, depends on a rigorous approach to this sensitive and often confusing issue. These principles of taking a scholarly approach to reciprocity — including research and reflection — are key to the Service-Learning initiatives undertaken by Dr. Katherine McCormick in partnership with UGE’s Academy for Undergraduate Excellence and the Stuckert Career Center’s Office of Experiential Education.

Some of this work can be as simple as inviting international students or visiting faculty into your classes and asking them to help offer alternative perspectives. Or perhaps, using webconferencing, connect with community partners in a way that allows them to participate in the scholarly questions that your students are debating. We have much yet to learn from this poignant message from a Kenyan activist.

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19 Campus Projects Culminating by Fall 2015 at UK

In a recent message sent out to the UK community from Provost Tim Tracy and VP Eric Monday, we got some more details about the campus construction projects underway. The University of Kentucky has invested in $1.8 billion of construction that is either about to begin or has already broken ground. This summer alone we saw the opening of three new residence halls, The 90 dining and classroom facility, the redesign of Alumni Drive and the renovation of Commonwealth Stadium – in these past three months.

Click on the image below to see a map of the nineteen campus projects that are finished this summer or will culminate by this fall. Bird's Eye View of Campus Projects Culminating by Fall 2015

(Campus projects listed on the map above, clockwise from top)

  • Bowman’s Den
  • Starbucks at W.T.Young Library
  • The 90
  • Woodland Glen III, IV and V
  • Sports Center Drive
  • Commonwealth Stadium
  • Soccer/Softball Locker Rooms
  • Alumni Drive
  • Fema Project
  • South Campus Parking Lot Expansion
  • AG Deli Renovation
  • Starbucks KY Clinic Renovation
  • Employee Wellness Center
  • Fusion Cafe Renovation
  • Scott Street Parking Lot
  • Art and Visual Studies Building
  • Gatton Business and Economics Phase I

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry StreetWe heartily recommend everyone start using public transportation or bicycles!  Who knows what or who you will see on Mulberry Street? [Note: Limestone Street here in Lexington was also once known as Mulberry Street.]

Here are some good tips on using alternatives to your car to commute to the UK campus:

  • the BluPass program — UK students, faculty and staff have free access to Lextran service (just show your UKID).
  • the University’s campus bus and shuttle system has more locations served and more frequent bus service. All campus routes (including the Red Mile service) are viewable real-time via Transloc, a GPS-based bus locating system: http://uky.transloc.com/. You can also download a free Transloc Rider app for Android, iPhone and Blackberry mobile devices. Or, you can send a text message to 41411 with UKY and the appropriate stop number to receive a message back listing the next three arrival times for that stop.
  • UK Parking and Transportation Services has announced a voucher program for up to 100 qualified students and employees – $400, redeemable at participating local bicycle shops, in exchange for not bringing a car to campus for the next two years. Deadline for a bike voucher is Sunday, August 30th.
  • The Big Blue Cycles Program (a fleet of 160 bicycles available to students living in campus housing and who promise not to bring a car to Lexington) has already closed registration for 2015-16.
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Happy K Week! Download the K Week mobile app

K Week logoThis just in from Lauren Goodpaster, Director, Office of New Student & Family Programs, Student Affairs:

Hello Campus Partners,

On behalf of New Student and Family Programs, I just wanted to say Happy K Week- it’s finally here!  We could not pull off this massive program without the help and support from each and every one of you.  We hope you know just how much we appreciate your partnership.  Know that the work you do is truly making a difference in the lives of all our students.

Mobile app screen shoteBe sure to check out the schedule of events on our website (www.uky.edu/kweek), and don’t forget to download the K Week mobile app.  Simply search for “UK K Week” on your iPhone or Android.

If you have any questions throughout K Week or need anything, please feel free to let us know.

Thank you again!

All the best,

Phone: (859) 257-6597
E-mail: goodpaster@uky.edu

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Launching Student Success Initiatives for Fall 2016

This just in from Dr. Bethany Miller, Director, Office of Retention & Student Success:

Student Success WorkshopsIn Fall 2015, as part of the First Year Experience’s “The Blueprint”, UK will offer Student Success Workshops to all new and returning students.  These free, hour-long sessions starting September 1st cover a wide range of topics to help equip students with the tools they need to excel academically and personally.  Here’s a list of those planned so far just for the month of September (with more to come!):

  • Anxiety 101
  • Budgeting 101: Can I Afford My life?
  • Discover Your Learning Style and What Works for You
  • “Do What You Are”: Where Personality Meets Profession
  • E-Portfolios/Web Design
  • First Year in a Flash
  • From Your Paper to the Podium: Strategies for Effective Speech Delivery
  • Help! I need scholarly articles
  • How Money Smart are YOU? Contest
  • How to Make the Most of Your College Experience
  • Involvement 2.0
  • Listening & Responding: Empathy, Understanding & Constructive Criticism
  • Planning Ahead!
  • PowerPoint Me in the Right Direction: Constructing and Integrating Presentational Aids
  • Say What??? Developing and Organizing an Effective Speech
  • Soup & Substance: Real Talk, Real Issues, & Real People Series
  • Take this Down! Note-taking Tips for Student Success
  • The Balance Ninjas
  • The Right Cite to Write: Exploring Academic Integrity when Conducting, Evaluating and Using Research
  • Undergraduate Research Session
  • Use My Book? How to use a textbook
  • Work-School-Life Balance: Time Management Skills Every Student Should Know

UK students are strongly encouraged to attend one or more of these meaningful workshops.  Those enrolled in UK 101 are required to attend at least one workshop.   For more information, please visit www.uky.edu/studentsuccess/workshop-series or contact larissa.mclaughlin@uky.edu.

The Academic Majors Fair will be held on Tuesday, September 22nd from 1:00 – 5:00 pm in The Hub at W. T. Young Library.  This event will allow students to explore the different academic options open to them at UK as well as provide resources to help them navigate the process of changing or adding Majors or Minors.  Larissa McLaughlin will be reaching out to college contacts this week regarding table assignments and further planning.  The below image can be shared for promotional purposes.  For more information, visit www.uky.edu/studentsuccess/majors-fair-2015 or contact larissa.mclaughlin@uky.edu.

Over 200 Majors, It's Your Decision, Find Your Way, Academic Majors & Minors Fair, Tuesday, September 22, The Hub at W.T.Young Library, 1-5 pm

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Don’t Forget to Update Key Information on Your Syllabus: New Contact Info for DRC and New Senate Rule on Plagiarism

A reminder for all of you who are updating your syllabus for this fall:

  • New staff and new offices for the Disability Resource Center (DRC) – be sure and include the following contact information on your syllabus: corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive in the Multidisciplinary Science Building, Suite 407; or by phone at (859) 257-2754 and via email at drc@uky.edu.
  • New version of Senate Rule on plagiarism updated last spring (Senate Rules 6.3.1 has a new section dated 3/9/2015). Here’s the full version of this section updated:

“… all academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by students to their instructors or other academic supervisors, is expected to be the result of their own thought, research, or self-expression. In cases where students feel unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work, they are obliged to consult their instructors on the matter before submission.

“When students submit work purporting to be their own, but which in any way borrows ideas, organization, wording or content from another source without appropriate acknowledgment of the fact, the students are guilty of plagiarism.

“Plagiarism includes reproducing someone else’s work (including, but not limited to a published article, a book, a website, computer code, or a paper from a friend) without clear attribution. Plagiarism also includes the practice of employing or allowing another person to alter or revise the work which a student submits as his/her own, whoever that other person may be. Students may discuss assignments among themselves or with an instructor or tutor, but when the actual work is done, it must be done by the student, and the student alone. Plagiarism may also include double submission, self-plagiarism, or unauthorized resubmission of one’s own work, as defined by the instructor. [US: 3/9/2015]

“When a student’s assignment involves research in outside sources or information, the student must carefully acknowledge exactly what, where and how he/she has employed them. If the words of someone else are used, the student must put quotation marks around the passage in question and add an appropriate indication of its origin. Making simple changes while leaving the organization, content and phraseology intact is plagiaristic. However, nothing in these Rules shall apply to those ideas which are so generally and freely circulated as to be a part of the public domain.”

Be sure you add an acknowledgement that any assignment they turn in may be submitted to an electronic database to check for plagiarism. Now that UK is moving to Instructure Canvas, we can use TurnItIn – a much more robust plagiarism detection software than SafeAssign. See the UKAT Training calendar for notices about how to use these enterprise-wide tools for student success.

Be sure and review the Syllabus Template available at the CELT (Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching) website: http://www.uky.edu/celt/node/20. Complete information about plagiarism and cheating – and consequences here at UK – can be found at the Ombud’s website: http://www.uky.edu/Ombud.

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Add a New Tool in your Student Success Toolkit! Read&Write Gold available free to all students, staff and faculty at UK

Looking for some tools for creative studying techniques as you encourage your students to achieve higher standards in your classes? Looking for some visual-oral-verbal communication strategies to support better critical reading and scholarly writing by your students? Then start thinking about how your students can use Read&Write Gold. Want your students to be sure and learn from your notes or from an article you loaded up for them to read? Encourage them to use R&WG to convert it to an .mp3 file to listen to while they are working out in the gym or commuting from home. Want your students to use an expanded vocabulary in a more meaningful way? Encourage them to use R&WG’s word banks and vocabulary list builder. You have a large lecture class but want each student to know you’re personally thinking about their success? Use the voice notation tool to insert audio files into their drafts (and yes, you can use copies of your favorite versions of a commonly needed comment without limits – either way, the student hears your voice and inflections in relation to their own work).

Using it, learners as well as researchers and instructors, can:

  • use a phonetic spell checker and word prediction that is smarter than any mobile device we currently use for creating texts;
  • select choices more quickly (depending on learning style or comfort-level with the language) using a picture-based dictionary, fact-finder, talking calculator or a translator;
  • review and remember more deeply by converting a “wall of text” into a sound file (.mp3), an image (e.g., screen shot of a table) into narrative or a .PDF file to be read aloud, or a long audio file into a text-based version to read;
  • expand reading comprehension and writing abilities by using a vocabulary list builder, concept mapping, screen masking, word bank;
  • create a more nurturing learning environment between instructors and students by using the built-in voice notation tool and highlighting.

Dr. Deb Castiglione (UK’s new Universal Design & Instructional Technology Specialist) says that Read&Write Gold can be used by students, staff, and faculty to facilitate learning, accessibility, efficiency, effectiveness, and overall success. It can be a great tool for ensuring that your class includes universal design principles. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was inspired by the “universal design” concept in architecture, “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” (Ron Mace, North Carolina State University). The intent of universal design is to simplify life by making products or environments usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost, benefiting people of all ages and abilities. Here’s an article that shows how UDL is more encompassing than special accommodations for learners with a disability:

In a learning environment, universal design means providing participants with multiple means of representation, engagement and means of expression throughout the learning process. It means using varied formats (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, numerical, narrative etc.) for delivering content; individual and social engagement options; and choices of modalities through which students can demonstrate learning comprehension. (Romy Ruukel, “A Case for Accessible, Usable and Universal Design for Learning” Inside Higher Ed, 3 June 2015, https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-beta/case-accessible-usable-and-universal-design-learning)

In other words, UDL is based on the neurological research, for example out of the Center for Applied Special Technology, showing that learning is different for every individual student. The goal is to integrate flexible approaches for learners (and teachers) into instruction, study strategies and assessments that reduce barriers while still maintaining academic rigor and high standards. See more about Deb and the initiative involving this software at the CELT blog post: http://www.uky.edu/celt/blog/improving-accessibility-readwrite-gold. Instructions from the UK Academic Technology Group are available on their training website: http://www.uky.edu/acadtrain/content/readwrite-gold.

Read&Write Gold is now available to all students, staff, and faculty who are part of the UK community.

CELT, UK Academic Technology Group, and PresentationU! here in UGE are in the process of developing educational and support materials. Any suggestions you may have as we move forward with Read&Write Gold are welcome. If you have any questions or would like additional information, feel free to contact Deb Castiglione in the Center for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching (CELT), 518 King (Science) Library or call her at 859-257-9685.


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President Capilouto Asking for Volunteers for Move In and K Week Activities

This just in from President Capilouto – please consider supporting the welcoming culture for our incoming students by volunteering in any one of these important activities:

Dear Colleagues:

Student success at the University of Kentucky begins from the moment students and their families arrive on campus. We all must be invested in the success of our students — from first-year students to those at the graduate and professional level.

They are why we are here.

Against that backdrop, Move-In and K Week are the initial experiences many first-year students have with the University when they arrive on campus. These are critical times when we, as a campus community, can make our students feel welcomed, wanted and valued.  Making a comfortable transition is often pivotal to a student’s success, and you can play an important role in that transition.

Hundreds are directly involved in the planning and execution of Move-In and K Week, but hundreds more volunteers are needed. There are many opportunities to meet and greet our new students and their families. I encourage you to participate in one or more of our welcoming events, which are scheduled from early morning to late night.

Move-In is an exciting time for all of us. Members of the University family devote many hours organizing an extraordinary “UK WELCOME” to greet our new on-campus residents and their parents. Volunteers are needed to help students unload their belongings onto carts, answer questions, and help them successfully transition into the residence halls.

This year’s Move-In is scheduled over four days. Students participating in FastTrack and sorority recruitment, as well as UK band members will move into the residence halls Saturday, Aug. 15. The Living Learning Program participants move in Wednesday, Aug. 19, and the official day when our first-year students move into the residence halls is Friday, Aug. 21. Returning and overflow students move into the halls Saturday, Aug. 22.

If you are interested in being a part of this wonderful opportunity to make a great first impression for students and their families please visit https://auxweb.ad.uky.edu/movein/signup.  You can volunteer for a three-hour shift or longer if you have the time.

Another way to participate in the Move-In experience is to partner with UK Dining and assist with serving complimentary hot dogs and keeping the ice bins filled with bottled water. Serving others is a great way to show your support for our new students and their families. Volunteers are needed for a 30- or 60-minute shift on Wednesday Aug. 19 and/or Friday Aug. 21. Service times both days are 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. To sign up for a service commitment, contact DeWitt King at dwking1@uky.edu and indicate the time, day, and campus neighborhood (north, central, or south) that you prefer. All who volunteer will receive information on what to expect.

A complete schedule of events can be found at www.uky.edu/KWeek, and faculty and staff are invited to participate in all K Week events. Below are three events that may be of particular interest to UK faculty and staff:

An informal Parent and Families Reception, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21, from 6-8 p.m. in Starbucks at W.T. Young Library, enables families of new students to meet faculty, staff, administrators, veteran UK students, and UK Parent Advisory Council members. The UK Parent & Family Association needs volunteers who can greet guests and answer any questions the families may have. To volunteer for the Parent and Families Reception, please send an email with your contact information to parents@lsv.uky.edu.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., I invite all faculty and staff to attend the New Student Induction Ceremony in Memorial Coliseum. This opening convocation closely mirrors Commencement and establishes a tone of academic excellence for our new students. If you would like to participate in the faculty procession at this event, please email KWeek@lsv.uky.edu.

FUSION (For Unity and Service In Our Neighborhoods) is Monday, Aug. 24. The planning committee is asking for UK faculty and staff to volunteer as site advisors for the event. The FUSION team anticipates more than 1,000 UK students serving at nearly 100 community and neighborhood organizations. Each small group is led by one or two student site leaders, and a faculty or staff site advisor. For registration information, visit http://uknow.uky.edu/content/fusion-2015-faculty-and-staff-site-advisors-needed or email fusion@ukcco.org.

Let us all work together to get the 2015 fall semester off to a great start!

Eli Capilouto

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