As part of ongoing efforts to ensure the university is providing world-class student experiences, Illinois has launched a new effort called the Student Success Initiative. The university-wide initiative aims to better understand the factors that lead to undergraduate student success, which include retention, graduation rates, placement, degree-completion time and other outcomes and experiences.
Planning for the initiative begins at a kick-off event on Sept. 16 where administrators will invite campus community members to identify what constitutes, supports and carries forward undergraduate student success. Individuals will help identify strengths, gaps and priorities with a focus on academic support, co-curricular activities, first-year experience and foundational courses.
Kevin Pitts, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, said this university-wide initiative is a critical step in ensuring the university is providing the best academic experiences for our students.
“We already do a good job of ensuring success for our students,” Pitts said. “Our retention and graduation rates are already above average, and the feedback we receive is that our students feel supported. However, as a land-grant institution, we have an obligation to always be improving. This initiative is an opportunity to look critically at all of those potential improvements.”
After gathering feedback from the campus community, Chancellor Robert J. Jones and Provost Andreas C. Cangellaris will charge several committees to look at the predominant areas of interest that emerge. These committees will then work to identify potential solutions and actions that can be taken by the university and submit reports to university leadership at the end of the academic year.
After the reports are submitted, the university will begin deciding what actions should be taken to ensure we are giving our students every opportunity to succeed. The initiative will also work to identify the student success work already being done to ensure a collaborative and thorough strategy is developed across the campus. Committees are expected to begin work in the coming months.
The initiative was launched in step with the university’s strategic plan for 2018-2023. Goal 2 of “The Next 150” is Provide Transformative Learning Experiences, in part through utilization of student performance data and advanced analytics to improve student success.
To learn more about the Student Success Initiative, please visit the website here.