The increase in student success at the University of Kentucky is taking shape through a collaborative, campus-wide approach involving a variety of entities, including Undergraduate Education, the Colleges, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, International Center, Institutional Diversity and UK Analytics & Technologies. We are working together to monitor early alerts, midterm grades, and financial balances. We have outreach efforts to individual students occurring via the Residence Halls. Transformative Learning created a new course “Collabcats Mentoring and Outreach” (EXP396) in which their students meet weekly in small groups with a student mentor (upper division peer tutor from Presentation U or The Study), attend two Power Hour workshops and one Individual Academic Consultation session.
“I feel like there is growing, positive energy toward impacting student success.”
— Bethany Miller, Office of Student Success
The Campus Retention Advisory Committee (CRAC) is a large representative body that advises University leadership in the design, implementation and assessment of UK’s student success initiatives (see more details about this group’s membership and their meeting minutes on the Student Success website). In addition, there are several smaller teams working on strategic efforts to improve student retention and graduation rates.
- Student Success Intervention Team (SSIT)
President Capilouto requested last fall that an intervention team meet regular to “coordinate comprehensive and fully integrated intervention for students with academic, financial, or personal challenges.” Meeting every other week, this ten member team creates and implements concrete actions aimed at the 700 targeted sub-cohort of the Fall 2014 cohort. Members of the Intervention Team include Ben Withers (Associate Provost for UGE), Anna Bosch (A&S), Kim Anderson (Engineering), Marianne Young (B&E), Kevin Flora (Education), Randa Remer-Eskridge (HS), Karen Badger (UGE Advising & Career), Deanna Sellnow (UGE Transformative Learning), Holly Sandlin (Financial Aid), and Bethany Miller (UGE Student Success).
- LINK UP Task Force
Undergraduate Education and Institutional Diversity partnered to create an intentional outreach program for freshmen students who are first generation, an underrepresented minority, or a recipient of a federal Pell grant. Entitled LINK UP, the pilot program leverages existing campus resources to reach to targeted students. The task force consists of Matthew Deffendall (First Generation Initiatives, Chair), Toni Thomas (CARES), Jeff Spradling (Robinson Scholars), Lydia Wims (Student Support Services TRiO), Lauren Goodpaster (New Student and Parent Programs), Grace Hahn (Center for Student Involvement), JoLynn Noe (Enrollment Management), Bethany Miller (Student Success) and Ben Withers (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education). This fall more than 1,750 Fall 2014 cohort students are members of one of the three targeted subgroups (first gen, underrepresented minorities, Pell recipients). The list of 1,750 students was compared against the high school readiness index and college targeted sub-cohorts (the 700); as a result, a distinct group of 384 students were identified for additional outreach via phone calls and intrusive secondary advising through one-on-one appointments, midterm grade checks, and inclusion in programs and workshops previously provided to a limited number of scholarship recipients through the aforementioned programs.
- College Retention Committees (CRCs)
Each undergraduate college has formalized their own student success through a faculty-led college committee to marshal and guide retention and graduation efforts. These college committees work to identify and prioritize specific college metrics and the programs, activities, or practices to implement to achieve them. The CRCs are charged to:
- Establish college-specific retention and graduation goals and plans.
- Establish college priorities based on solid data, benchmarking, and best practices.
- Include a staff or faculty member who is responsible for providing data and analytics and trained in using HANA/Tableau (a “super-user”).
- Report regularly to the Dean or to associate dean charged with undergraduate education.
- Communicate regularly with the Director of Retention and Student Success (Bethany Miller).
College CRC Chair Agriculture, Food, & Environment Vanzant, Eric Arts & Sciences Kornbluh, Mark (Chair); Bosch, Anna (Contact) Business & Economics Kelley, Scott Communication & Information Veil, Shari Design O’Bryan, Mark Education Flora, Kevin Engineering Anderson, Kimberly Fine Arts Adams, Ruth Health Sciences Stewart, Sharon Nursing Hensley, Vicki Public Health Howard, Alex F Social Work Craig, Carl Undergraduate Studies (and all UGE-related courses/programs) Badger, Karen
- Tableau Super-Users
Each college has designated at least one individual to serve as its Tableau Super-User. The Super-Users serve as liaisons between College Leadership and CRCs, UK Advanced Analytics Team (UKAT), and UGE. The Super-User is the first contact for college student success information, and is responsible for tracking and monitoring college success. Super-Users help colleges determine what issues need to be examined, what data are needed, and progress toward student success goals. In collaboration with UKAT and UGE, Super-Users also establish data definitions, consistency, and accuracy; determine data needs based on priorities and goals; and create self-service dashboards. Facilitated by Mary Kathryn Starkey and data scientist Craig Rudick (Institutional Research & Advanced Analytics), the Super-Users meet every other week. A list of Tableau Super-Users can be found here.
- Financial Wellness Advisory Board (FWAB)
This advisory board helps ensure that prospective, undergraduate, and graduate students depart from our university with a gain in financial knowledge and an increase in finance-related positive behaviors. Efforts to help improve student financial wellness will include tactics such as peer coaching, financial wellness seminars, online education programs, and purposeful collaboration with academic departments. Areas actively involved with the FWAB include Undergraduate Education, Graduate School, Enrollment Management, Dean of Students, College of Agriculture, Gatton College of Business and Economics, UK Student Government, and the Executive VP of Finance and Administration.
- Research Consortium on Student Success (RCSS)
This group of faculty members, data scientists, and selected members of the UK community studies factors contributing to students’ persistence at the University of Kentucky. Championed by Dean Mark Kornbluh and facilitated by Senior Vice Provost Vince Kellen, the group recognizes the importance of assessing best practices that engage students, foster learning, and promote academic success. Members understand that the University’s ability to retain and graduate more students depends, in large part, upon our ability to provide students with the support needed to achieve academically and thrive socially.