Student Success Subcommittee Update

As an institution, the one goal that unites all of us, no matter our discipline or rank, is the goal to help all our students succeed. I am pleased to share updates from all our Student Success Subcommittees, which have worked diligently and enthusiastically on their charges this semester.  As you all know, this initiative started with our Fall 2022 Student Success Retreat and the working groups that resulted from this day long convening. The three working groups were tasked with:

  • Identifying gaps in the current system/structure/policies/practices that inhibit student success in the specific area they are charged with.
  • Creating a timeline of specific actions that could be implemented immediately and action items that need to be coordinated with other groups.
  • Describing the resources needed to implement actions recommended by the working groups.

During the spring semester, subcommittees created by Faculty Council and the Provost’s office worked on specific actions resulting from the discussions of the working groups. Shown below are updates/recommendations from each subcommittee:

  • The Summer Bridge Working Group is ready to launch a program for Summer 2023.  The Center for Academic Success and Excellence (CASE) has led a team through a process supported by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. The program involves partnerships with College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Development, College of Engineering, and the College of Health Professions. Students participating in the program will take two courses. The students will also be involved in student programs that promote engagement with numerous campus programs and high impact practices.
  • The First Generation Working Group developed a proposal for a new position that would coordinate programs and activities that support first generation students at MU.  MU defines first generation students as students whose parents did not complete a four year degree.  A position was developed and approved for recruitment.  A search committee was able to identify an outstanding candidate — Selena Meints — who has accepted the invitation to serve in this role and started this month.
  • The First Year Seminar Working Group was initiated as part of a Summer Welcome Working Group. This team of faculty and staff evaluated new student programs at peer institutions that have excellent student success metrics, including:  South Carolina, Texas – Austin, Georgia, Auburn, Michigan State, Florida, Wisconsin – Madison, Michigan, Iowa State, and Tennessee.  The Summer Welcome Working Group has recommended MU develop and deliver an academic success seminar for all FTC.  This seminar would be required for all FTC during their first semester attending MU. A draft of the course objectives and schedule has been developed as a model.  A business plan is currently being developed to evaluate the financial requirements for implementing this Freshman Student Success Seminar – Mizzou 101.
  • The Support for Students in Distress Working Group has been working to develop and implement processes to assure students have access to support from campus.  Significant adjustments have been made to increase access to counseling services through the Counseling Center.  A resource guide called “See Something. Say Something. Do Something.” has been developed and is available to faculty and staff.
  • The Support for Students with Disabilities Working Group has been working to develop strategies and tactics to support students with disabilities as well as providing faculty with the support they need when working with students with disabilities.  This group has recommended creating a position that will provide pedagogical support for faculty when developing instructional strategies for students in their courses.
  • The Academic Actions Policy and Process Improvements Working Group completed an evaluation of the academic actions policies in the Faculty Handbook.  This group proposed an extensive revision of the policy that included adjusting the GPA for actions as well as language used in the new policy. This policy was approved by Faculty Council during their April 6, 2023 meeting. This new policy will be implemented at the end of Spring 2023 semester.
  • The Early Alert System – MU Connect Working Group has evaluated the data related to MU’s use of early alert flags, institutional responsiveness to the flags and student success outcomes. The group has recommended the campus add 6 to 8 new positions that focus on supporting students with flags. Details on how to organize these new positions within the current student support services and academic advising structure is also being evaluated. In addition to Early Alert, this working group is developing a comprehensive strategic plan for MU Connect.  This group has been meeting with various stakeholder groups including faculty, staff and students. 
  • The Financial Aid, Emergency Aid, and Past Due Holds Working Group is evaluating how MU uses financial aid resources to support students who experience a financial hardship that would prevent them from continuing their enrollment at MU.  This work is in conjunction with the new tuition model.
  • The On Campus Employment and Paid Internships Working Group is developing a plan for how MU will use on campus employment as a student success strategy.  This group is identifying strategies and tactics that help make on campus employment a personal and professional development opportunity while providing financial resources to help make attending MU financially feasible. The group is also evaluating how to retain and financially reward student employees who reach certain benchmarks of service and work performance. On campus employment can also help create a support network for students employees, further increasing the success of our students.
  • The Mizzou Welcome Working Group is working to help the campus envision a new and comprehensive way of onboarding new students and their families.  This team is creating an inventory of all of the activities the campus is currently doing in order to develop a comprehensive plan that uses best practices across all phases of our new student Mizzou Welcome.