The newest member of the Division of Undergraduate Education, the Office of Student Success, is ideally poised to lead the University’s strategic efforts to improve our retention and graduation rates.
Headed by Bethany Miller, UK’s Director of Academic Retention, the Office works closely with the undergraduate colleges and with other units in the Provost’s Office, including Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Faculty Advancement and Accreditation, and the International Center (Globalization).
Together with a new UK Retention Workgroup — and a Retention Leadership Team that includes a representative from UKIT Data Analytics — they are working on regular retention updates and strategic communications projects. A retention predictive model and the creation of a retention dashboard for the use of college administrators, faculty and staff are both in the works. Focus groups with first-time freshmen, sophomores, UK 101 instructors and peer instructors as well as with the KBook staff have been conducted and new ideas generated. A mid-year update of the Retention Report is being planned for the Provost to share with the UK community.
In addition to Bethany Miller, the Office of Student Success includes Vaughan Fielder (Web Project Manager) and Jessica Powers (Project Manager). The Office’s main goal is to assess historical success efforts and to create new conversations across campus in forging new and innovative strategies.
Other exciting projects on the horizon are for the Office of Student Success to lead conversations and project planning to:
- examine the impact of financial aid on upper-level student persistence and time to graduation;
- expand outreach strategies for priority registration windows;
- analyze and explore new ideas for bottleneck and gateway courses;
- develop a collaborative calendar for strategic retention efforts; and,
- design a UK-centric major exploration tool.
These last few months have been busy! And with your help, the Office of Student Success will lead the University community into a new era of growth through innovation.