The University of Kentucky continues to break records this fall, not only in the enrollment of new students but also in the retention and graduation of continuing students. In addition to the enrollment of the largest freshmen class in history, UK boasts a record-breaking one-year retention rate of 82.7%; the largest number of cohort students retained, 4,253; and the second highest six-year graduation rate yet at UK: 60.9%. See more details at the Retention Update webpage.
“The President and the Provost have made it clear that strengthening our culture of Undergraduate Student Success is a priority campus-wide. These record retention and graduation rates are reflective of the quality of our incoming students and to the dedication and commitment of UK faculty and staff as educators and mentors,” says Dr. Benjamin C. Withers, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.
Retention and graduation rates are indicators of a broader campus culture dedicated to the academic achievement and personal development of those who make up our university community. UK’s work has aimed to strengthen the culture supporting student success through campus educational efforts, the development of campus-wide goals and strategies, and the coordination of activities with our various campus partners.
Central to this work is the Committee on Student Success (CSS) formed in spring semester of 2014. Composed of academic administrators, faculty, and professional staff, the CSS operates at both a strategic and practical level that is ideal for planning and implementing concrete actions needed for institutional improvement. In collaboration with the Provost, Academic Colleges, Undergraduate Education, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Institutional Diversity, the CSS has laid the foundation on which to further strengthen a culture of student success.
“We can attribute our increases in retention and graduation to establishing and refining proactive, intentional, and collaborative approaches to student success,” reports Dr. Bethany Miller, Director of Retention & Student Success. “Our campus recognizes that student success is everyone’s responsibility. While the work can be challenging, the reward is great: we are preparing and graduating more students than ever before.”
By setting aggressive student success goals, UK will continue to accelerate its efforts in retaining and graduating students. Miller adds, “We recognize there is still much work to do, but we are energized from the acknowledgment and reward we are currently experiencing. It’s an exciting time to be a Wildcat.”