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Enhancing Student Success

Goal 1 Banner: Students posing for a group selfie wearing graduation gowns.

Goal A: Enhancing Student Success

Enhance the student experience to increase retention and graduation rates and enable students to learn and grow in all aspects

At UHD, students are not numerical outcomes. They are multifaceted and have varied experiences that they bring to the university. These experiences do not compete necessarily with academic experiences, but they do play a part in shaping our students’ understanding of how each aspect of their academic experiences helps them achieve their educational goals, earn their degrees, and launch careers.

With these diverse and related paths and experiences in mind, we aim to show our students, by providing them with a supportive student experience, that we can prepare them for the rigors of learning that will last them a lifetime. Our emphasis on learning will help us to avoid what Dr. Tia Brown McNair calls the “empty promise of student success” which is all too frequently espoused at institutions that focus on institutional success alone rather than, or in addition to, student success.

While we want our students to learn, we recognize that learning can be conjoined with other talents and ways of being in the world. For example, ethical groundedness, concern for the state of our planet, and ease with and acceptance of cultural, racial, and other forms of human difference are equally as important in the lives of our students as is their proficiency in disciplinary knowledge.

Institutionally, if we want to walk the walk, student success must be promoted both inside and outside the classroom. Especially with respect to the latter, outside the classroom, we must evaluate our current student services and improve them so that we can offer wraparound services and robust supports (e.g., proactive advising; academic support; counseling; and faculty, staff, and peer mentorship). Throughout the university, including the classroom, we will facilitate students’ ability to translate the education and skillsets they receive into careers and professional opportunities. And, since UHD is their home, we want our alumni to return for advanced study, additional educational opportunities, and career reskilling.

In addition to the above views on student success, we recognize that traditional higher education has placed an undue financial burden on students from racially marginalized, minoritized, and historically underrepresented groups. Since these burdens can have lasting repercussions for students’ social mobility and economic independence, we will continue to provide a rigorous, accessible, and affordable education that will yield a high return on investment. We also will undertake purposeful collaborations with internal and external partners that can lead to enhanced financial support (e.g., student scholarships, needs-based grants, and micro-grants) and increased financial literacy, both of which are necessary to ease the costs that our students bear in attempting to obtain an education.

  • A1
    Evaluate and improve current advising model and offer intentional student support including robust and intrusive advising, academic support, and faculty and staff peer mentorship.
  • A2
    Enhance and increase institutional financial support and literacy for all students to help them complete their degrees in a timely manner.
  • A3
    Engage students and families in curricular and non-curricular activities to enhance students’ involvement in their education.
  • A4
    Inspire students to discover meaningful connections, explore their interests, and participate in experiences while pursuing their degrees in a timely manner.
  • A5
    Cultivate an environment of well-being that empowers our campus community to establish and sustain healthy practices.