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Degree Completion & Retention Plan

DCR Plan

Plan image

Factor 4: Advising & Student Support Services

Current students and alumni have cited the need for improved academic advising and support services throughout the institution as needed enhancements.  These services improve student matriculation towards graduation in a timely manner.  There is also a greater need in the state of Michigan for higher education institutions to graduate more students prepared for the workforce.

Recommended Key Actions:

1. Create a University College to support and serve students who have not made a final program selection at the University.  Eastern Michigan University needs to put in place proactive and comprehensive strategies to ensure undecided students are supported throughout the major selection process.  The University College provides a structure and home to students without a major in order to ensure that they are:

a. Linked with the faculty mentoring program cited earlier in the plan.

b. Have the same access to information and resources as declared majors.

c.  Be encouraged to focus on tools designed to identify aptitudes, interests and potential careers and their related majors.

d. Provide ways to engage undeclared students in academic and outside the classroom activities. These foster persistence and completion.

e.  Assigned an academic advisor as well as a career coach, both familiar with best practices for supporting student decision making and progression to degree.

f.  Provided advice, referral and access to tutors, study tables, mentors and job shadowing opportunities.

2. Fully Implement Online Degree Tracking and Audit System including transfer and planning modules. EMU currently has implemented the first of three modules of a fully online degree tracking and audit system (Red Lantern).  That module allows students to track their progress against a self selected program of study.  The two remaining modules would allow the import of electronic transfer equivalency information directly into the system without course level tabulation process and import course scheduling data and plans in order to allow students to compose semester by semester completion plans.

3. Conduct a project to enhance advising quality through the development and use of appropriate metrics. The University has selected this area as its Quality Improvement (QI project) for its institutional accreditation process.  It focuses on selecting and testing appropriate measures of advising quality and developing a process for monitoring and effectively using the collection of data via these metrics over time.

4. Undertake a strategic assessment of ways in which to enhance communications with students and provide consistent messages about the need for advising support and career preparation. Focus would be on the timing and content of messages students should receive throughout their academic program about inside and outside the classroom issues related to their success and matriculation.


Degree Completion & Retention Plan, Academic & Student Affairs, 106 Welch Hall 734.487.3200