Welcome back for the Spring 2018 semester!
We started this academic year with an outstanding Fall Forum by Dr. David Yeager on how to use a growth mindset to improve the success of our students. His research-based strategies were so inspirational! I know many of you have been implementing new approaches based on his work and I thank you for that. We framed this year’s LEAP theme around growth mindset as well, and 112 faculty, staff, and students from all across campus formed 23 LEAP teams for the January LEAP workshop. Sixteen of the teams are weaving growth mindset into their team action plans using concepts learned from David Yeager and also from Saundra McGuire’s visit in November to enhance student development and success.
An analysis of the data related to students who did not return to UW-Whitewater from last academic year revealed some areas where we could change practices to improve retention. One area related to our automatic dismissal policy. This policy stated that students who receive below a 1.0 GPA in any semester would be automatically dismissed. Working with the Registrar and Faculty Senate, we were able to change this policy from dismissal to placement on Final Probation. This change resulted in the retention of close to 400 students who would have been automatically dismissed. They will receive special advising to help them improve their academic performance in the future. Thanks to all who were involved in this positive policy change!
The university’s new strategic plan calls for creating a comprehensive enrollment plan. As part of this strategy, we have contracted the services of Ruffalo Noel Levitz consultants who will work with us over a 12-18-month period to develop this plan. We will be establishing working groups and a Strategic Enrollment Planning (SEP) Council to guide the process. We will keep the campus updated on progress through the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee (SPBC) meetings, governance groups and Academic Affairs Newsletter communications. You can see agendas and meeting minutes for SPBC here: http://www.uww.edu/strategic-plan/spbc.
The new Student Success Center is up and running! Since opening, nearly 3,000 students have been served in tutoring sessions. The total number of hours of tutoring performed was 45,476 hours, which is one of the highest ever! Forty-four courses offered by 64 instructors also participated in the Supplemental Instruction program. In total, the Center employed nearly 150 tutors to support all of the programming. If you would like to recommend a student to be a tutor or a course that needs a tutor, please contact Dr. Shane Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to Shane Staff and the crew at the Success Center for their dedication to student success!
This spring, we will kick off a fun and exciting time as we mark our Sesquicentennial. This year-long celebration of our history and our future will officially begin on April 21. In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more about a new Alma Mater lyric contest. You will also hear about many events that will happen over the course of the celebration. The 150th website will be launched shortly and will include information about various events and activities, including a 150,000-hour community service challenge that will engage students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the world. Watch UW-Whitewater This Week for updates.
All the best for a great Semester!
Susan Elrod, Ph.D.