In April 2022, we hosted the inaugural session of the Provost’s Colloquium: Student Success Research and Practice. The colloquium featured faculty presentations of research focused on the drivers of student success. These faculty shared their research:
• Professors Kaleea Lewis and Julie Elman discussed their research on the role of mental health in helping students succeed.
• Professors Brad Curs and Casandra Harper Morris shared their findings on financial aid, and financial literacy in improving student performance.
• Professor Michael Williams discussed his work on the importance of creating a sense of belonging for students.
• Professor Phil Wood shared his findings on the factors that impact retention and drop-out rates, including ACT scores, racial and first-gen status, unmet need, and first semester course grades.
• Professor Zack Miller, who co-organized and led the colloquium, shared his work on the use of the MU Connect Early Alert system, and the role and use of early alert flags by faculty and advisors as they help us help students.
I am grateful to the faculty who presented and to the over 60 individuals who attended the session to learn about the drivers of student success. Later this month and over the summer we will work with faculty, advisors, and other stakeholders to discuss specific action items that came out of this colloquium as we plan colloquia for next year.
We plan to host the colloquium every year so that we continue to learn what the research findings tell us about student success. More importantly, our goal is to convert this learning into doing, so we can take appropriate actions both individually and collectively in order to help our students succeed and graduate on time. To this end, this colloquium will become part of an annual series on student success. Every semester we will host 3 sessions on student success, each of which will come at the issue from a different perspective: faculty research, advisor best practices, and peer and benchmark best practices. Please reach out to me if you would like to be involved in these future events.