Categories
Academic Center for Excellence Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center First-Generation Initiative Honors and Scholars Office of General Education Offices & Programs Rotunda Scholars SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs Student Success & Retention

Student Senate Awards First-Generation Scholarship

The First-Generation Initiative is excited to announce that on March 26th, Student Senate passed legislation, which appropriates $50,000 per year exclusively to Pell Grant, first-generation students. This first-gen scholarship will begin in Fall 2024 and last for the next nine years (Spring 2033).

A huge thanks to all of Student Senate for the unanimous vote, but a special thanks to: Alex Alarcón, Clayton Meyer, Michael Castle, and Wyatt Harms! We also want to thank the First-Generation Initiative’s former graduate/student assistants, Briana Morales and Guadalupe Roman, for their determination in continuing to push for more first-gen support.

 

Categories
Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Success & Retention

Introducing SMU Dining flex cards to support student success

Exciting news, faculty and staff! The Office of Student Success and Retention is thrilled to announce the introduction of SMU Dining flex cards, designed to enhance your engagement with students beyond the traditional classroom or office setting.

This initiative offers a fantastic opportunity for you to connect with students in a relaxed environment, foster meaningful relationships, and demonstrate your support, particularly for those who may need additional encouragement to stay on track or at SMU.

To get your hands on a flex card:

  1. Reach out to the Office of Student Success and Retention at ssr@smu.edu or 214-768-6824 to reserve your card.
  2. Pick up your card from the SSR office in Perkins Administrative Building, Suite 301 between 8:30 – 5 PM Monday – Friday.
  3. Treat yourself and your student to coffee, tea, lunch, or a snack at any SMU Dining location.
  4. Return the card along with your receipt within 24 hours of checkout to the SSR office.

Don’t miss this chance to make a difference! For any inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Student Success and Retention at ssr@smu.edu. Thank you for your commitment to supporting our students and helping them succeed.

Categories
Student Success & Retention

Internal applications for Director of Student Success and Retention sought

SMU Student Academic Engagement & Success (SAES) is excited to share an internal full-time staff position within Undergraduate Education & Academic Success (UEAS). The posting will be available later this week, February 19, via the Internal Applicant login in the SMU Staff Career Portal.

Please consider sharing this with your offices and posting it within your SMU professional networks.   

Director, Student Success and Retention: The Director leads the Office of Student Success and Retention (SSR). The primary role is supervising three full-time staff and providing day-to-day problem-solving for students trying to remain, depart, or return to SMU. Working closely with the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Success and the SMU in Four initiative, the Director operationalizes processes to identify at-risk students, strategically outreaches to inspire engagement, coordinates interventions, tracks academic progress, and assesses our institutional strengths and weaknesses in these areas. Manage interventions as projects, repeating annually or each term, involving multiple offices. The Director chairs a university-wide retention and financial support committee to retrain undergraduate students. Serves as a critical partner to the Office of the Dean of Students. 

  • Deadline: 10 days following posting
  • Applicant Type: Internal Only; only current SMU employees may apply
  • Hiring point-of-contact: Dr. Dustin Grabsch (dgrabsch@smu.edu; 214-768-4887) 
Categories
Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Success & Retention

Enhancing student success: A closer look at SMU’s retention alert system

Ensuring the academic success and well-being of undergraduate students is a priority for SMU, and the Office of Student Success and Retention is taking proactive steps to address potential challenges through its innovative Retention Alert system. Faculty, staff, parents, and families are encouraged to utilize this reporting tool to share information about students who may be considering leaving SMU.

What is a Retention Alert?

The Retention Alert system serves as a valuable tool to identify and support students who may be at risk. This reporting form allows faculty, staff, and concerned individuals to communicate their retention concerns about an SMU undergraduate student. By using this tool, reporting personnel can play a crucial role in initiating timely intervention to support students facing academic or personal challenges.

How does it work?

The process is simple and user-friendly. The Retention Alert reporting form prompts the individual reporting to identify the reason for the alert and provide some details to help the SSR team. This information is then utilized by the SSR team, who will make a deliberate effort to connect with the student. This goal is to offer academic personal support services that can contribute to the student’s overall success and retention here on the Hilltop.

Encouraging Collaboration:

One of the key strengths of the Retention Alert system is its emphasis on collaboration. Faculty, staff, and other stakeholders are encouraged to continue working closely with the identified students even after submitting the alert. This collaborative approach ensures a holistic support system for students, addressing both academic and personal challenges that may hinder their progress.

When in Doubt, Report:

If there’s uncertainty about whether a situation should be reported, individuals are encouraged to err on the side of caution and report their concerns to the Caring Community Connection (CCC) program or call 214-768-4564. This proactive approach ensures that no potential issues are overlooked and appropriate support can be provided.

If you have additional questions or concerns, Contact the Office of Student Success and Retention by emailing ssr@smu.edu or calling 214-768-1231.

Categories
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
Student Success & Retention

Student Success and Retention launches new website, online forms, and expanded initiatives

The Office of Student Success and Retention launched a new website on Friday, July 21. The new website unveiled expanded initiative descriptions and new online forms.

Explore our student success initiatives, empowering all Mustangs to achieve their goals. The initiatives are designed to provide holistic student support and empower students to succeed from their first day through graduation.

Plus, undergraduate students can initiate Withdrawal, Cancelation, and Leave of Absences via a new web form rather than email. This new form streamlines processes, enhances communication with campus partners, and decreases the overall process timeline. Please direct students to this new overview page which includes pre-leave considerations, details on requesting leaves, what to do while on leave, and how to return successfully to the Hilltop.

Finally, SMU employees, parents, and families have a web form to report student retention concerns. Formally known as the Student Intent to Leave Form, the rebranded form is now entitled Retention Alert. 

Retention Alert allows student support personnel to attempt intervention with students at risk. Reporting faculty and staff are encouraged to continue working with the identified student. Student Success and Retention or a partner office representative will try to reach students who would benefit from academic and personal support services. The Retention Alert form will ask you to identify the reason for the alert and your recommendation(s) for follow-up.

Please direct questions, concerns, and feedback to the Office of Student Success and Retention at ssr@smu.edu.

Categories
Student Success & Retention

Help select the next Director of the Office for Student Success & Retention

On behalf of the Director for Student Success and Retention search committee, please join us for an upcoming finalist campus presentation and/or campus partner panel interview.

Three finalists have been selected for the Director of the Office for Student Success and Retention. Finalists will visit campus on Friday, June 30;  Friday, July 7; and Monday, July 10.

Friday, June 30, 2023:

  • 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm: Campus Partner Interview
  • 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm: Campus Presentation

Friday, July 7, 2023:

  • 10:00 am – 10:45 am: Campus Presentation
  • 11:15 am – 12:00 pm: Campus Partner Interview

Monday, July 10, 2023:

  • 10:00 am – 10:45 am: Campus Partner Interview
  • 11:00 am – 11:45 am: Campus Presentation

If you are interested in joining for one or more campus presentations or campus partner interviews, please email Dr. Dustin Grabsch (dgrabsch@smu.edu), chair of the search committee. Calendar invites with candidate materials, presentation prompts, and other applicable information will be shared with interested community members. We appreciate your input as we select this important campus leader.

About the Role: The Director is critical and collaborative in supporting undergraduate retention and graduation initiatives at SMU. The primary role is supervising three full-time staff and providing day-to-day problem-solving for students trying to remain, depart, or return to SMU. Working closely with the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Success and the SMU in Four initiative, the Director operationalizes processes to identify at-risk students, strategically outreaches to inspire engagement, coordinates interventions, tracks academic progress, and assesses our institutional strengths and weaknesses. The Director chairs a university-wide retention and financial support committee to retrain undergraduate students. The position serves as a critical partner to the Office of the Dean of Students.

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.