The Provost's Office has been developing a comprehensive retention/degree completion program for the campus. The 2014 plan is now available online. The plan focuses on five areas of practice, process, and policy that both scholarly and practitioner research have shown to have great impact on degree completion and retention. These five areas are: Student Preparedness, Enrollment Policies, Financial Aid Policies and Incentives, Advising & Student Support, and Curriculum Structure & Delivery.
In addition the plan features special initiatives aimed at two demographic segments of our student population, men of color, and single parents. Research has shown that targeted programmatic efforts addressing the unique circumstances/attributes of the two segments realize extraordinary results, and many on campus have already and continue to champion these two populations. We are hopeful that this process will not only yield results for our students, but will also move the university towards challenging itself to be recognized as a thought-leader in the two special initiative areas.
Initial draft proposals--intended to initiate campus wide conversation and input--were developed for the five areas and two initiatives, articulating the specific items for action for the area/initiative to move it forward successfully. These initial draft proposals were presented to the campus community for feedback and comment via focus groups and online surveys, and input from Faculty Senate. This feedback/commentary was incorporated into the draft proposals and resulted in a final version of the plan for presentation to the Board of Regents at its December 2013 meeting.
The primary goal of each initial draft proposal was to identify and inventory 4-6 key actions we should do or are doing, but need to expand or improve upon. They were intended to initiate the campus wide conversation and produce a plan which would then go forward for implementation. A formatting model for these proposals comes from the "Advising and Student Support Services" section of the University of Texas at San Antonio's "Four-Year Graduation Rate Improvement Plan," the relevant pages of which can be found on the Resources page.