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SMU in Four

SMU in Four Year-two report available

The SMU in Four team releases the year-two progress report on SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

Updates are provided on early-alert mechanisms, undergraduate academic advising, technology enhancements, and gateway & introductory courses. Plus, student retention, graduation rates, and goals for year three of the five-year initiative are shared.

Download a copy of the SMU in Four Year 2 Progress Report.

In October, a copy of the year-two progress presentation was shared with the SMU community and is also available online. Questions regarding the report or presentation may be directed to smuinfour@smu.edu.

Categories
First-Generation Initiative

Second annual First-Generation Graduation Celebration a success during Celebration of Excellence Weekend

Co-hosted by the First-Generation Association and the First-Generation Initiative, the second annual First-Generation Graduation Celebration was a success on Sunday, April 30, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

This year’s celebration spotlighted the 75 first-generation students graduating in May and August of 2023. The 75 students will be collectively awarded an estimated 142 degrees.

Eighteen graduating students were presented with a first-generation graduation stole, a commemorative Class of 2023 tumbler, and a handwritten letter from a First-Gen Proud Faculty or Staff Ally.

Get to know the 18 graduating students who were joined by their family and friends at this year’s ceremony:

Graduation stoles have long been worn by graduates during commencement ceremonies as a symbol of personal and academic achievement. At SMU, we are proud to provide stoles to all of our first-generation graduating students to help them mark the significant accomplishment of reaching graduation day.

First-generation students often face unique challenges, such as navigating the college or university system, balancing academic demands with work and family responsibilities, and overcoming financial difficulties.

Class of 2023 first-generation students posing for a photo in their graduation stoles.

Wearing a stole that says first-generation during graduation is a way to recognize and honor these challenges and to show pride in being the first in one’s family to achieve this level of education. It is also a way to inspire and encourage future generations to pursue higher education.

This blog post will be updated in two weeks to include additional photos from the ceremony. For information on the First-Generation Initiative, please email 1stgen@smu.edu.

Categories
SMU in Four

SMU in Four Year-one Progress report available

The SMU in Four team releases the year-one progress report on SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

Updates are provided on early-alert mechanisms, undergraduate academic advising, technology enhancements, and gateway & introductory courses. Plus, student retention and graduation numbers are shared along with goals for year two of the five-year initiative.

In September, a copy of the year-one progress presentation was shared with the SMU community and is also available online. Questions regarding the report or presentation may be directed to smuinfour@smu.edu.

Categories
SMU in Four

New tool in development to aid undergraduate Common Curriculum degree planning and progress

SMU in Four – SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – is the SMU’s comprehensive approach to improving retention and four-year graduation rates. To this end, our QEP advances student academic success through its most essential form: progress toward degree. The strategies in the QEP build upon existing University practices to integrate three important levers, which will be activated across academic majors and student-support resources to address the needs of all SMU students and ultimately lead them to greater levels of success.

SMU in Four is developing a new my.SMU tool called HighPoint Degree Planner. This tool will permit Common Curriculum students to plan courses for the attainment of their degree and aid SMU in course scheduling and seat planning to permit timely graduation. Common Curriculum students are those who matriculated in the fall 2020 semester or after. In the coming months, academic departments will be asked to verify their degree plans while advisors & students will be provided with training resources and opportunities.

What is Degree Planner and why would I use it?

HighPoint Degree Planner helps students & advisors develop and sequence a personalized path to on-time graduation. All data used within Degree Planner is real-time as it leverages my.SMU’s system. As a student adjusts their academic plan and complete courses, the Degree Planner recognizes those changes and makes the appropriate adjustments. Students can run a “What If” degree plan if they are considering another academic plan; major and/or minor. Degree Planner should help students stay on track and give guidance when adjustments are made to the academic plan.

Degree Planner is a planning tool for a student’s degree plan while the Degree Progress Report (DPR) is the authoritative source for graduation requirements.

How do I use Degree Planner?

With the implementation of Degree Planner, students & advisors can develop a degree plan to graduation. Together, advisors & students evaluate and update the plan each term and then move the degree plan into a Course Schedule and Shopping Cart for enrollment when the registration periods arrive each term. Specific training information will be available in mid-October 2022.

When is the implementation of Degree Planner?

SMU will be asking departments to review their degree plans in September so that updates can be made when degree plans are rolled out to students in November 2022. Details will be sent to academic departments via SMU in Four School Implementation Teams.

Questions about Degree Planner can be directed to SMU in Four via the smuinfour@smu.edu email address.