Categories
Student Success & Retention

Dr. Jeff Doyle named new director of the Office of Student Success and Retention

Dr. Jeff Doyle, an academic and student affairs professional with expertise in student success, residence life, and student learning, has been named director of student success and retention at SMU. He will begin his duties on July 31, 2023.

“Jeff is a dynamic leader with a demonstrated track record strengthening connections and partnerships across key student support units,” said Dustin Grabsch, SMU assistant provost for undergraduate education and academic success. “With his extensive experience supporting diverse students, including those who are first-generation, low-income, international, athletes, and students with disabilities, among others, I am confident that his leadership will enhance our commitment to student success initiatives on the Hilltop. I eagerly anticipate witnessing his impact on fostering fidelity and facilitating our growth in this crucial area.”

Doyle was selected after a competitive national search. Doyle has over 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently at Baylor University, where he worked in planning and assessment within the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and was dean for student learning and engagement.

He has served on the faculty at several universities where he taught and supervised undergraduate and graduate students, oversaw student organizations, and helped lead campus-wide efforts to improve student persistence and graduation.

Doyle attended the University of Virginia and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and counselor education, with a focus on student affairs. He also holds a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Virginia in education with a focus on organization behavior.

Doyle shared, “I am excited to meet the amazing students, faculty, and staff who make up SMU, and learn more about SMU’s strengths and areas where I can be helpful.”

In his free time, Jeff enjoys road cycling, books, and listening to podcasts.

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
Hilltop Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

Two SAES team members were recognized with The “M” Award at the 2023 Hilltop Excellence Awards

Two Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) team members were honored with The “M” Award at the 2023 Hilltop Excellence Awards on Friday, April 28.

Dr. Caitlin Anderson, Director of the Hilltop Scholars Program and Senior Lecturer of Applied Physiology and Wellness, and Ellen Richmond, Director of the University Advising Center, were recognized with the highest recognition on the Hilltop.

The “M” Award is the highest recognition bestowed upon students, faculty, staff, and administrators on the SMU Campus. The recipients’ efforts have been continuous during their years at the University and are not limited to a narrow vested interest. The “M” Award honorees inspire others, giving unselfishly of their time and talents to make the University, and indeed the world, a better place.

Please join us in congratulating our stellar SEAS and SMU colleagues!

Categories
Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

201 Common Curriculum student records updated due to AP credit

On February 15, the Office of General Education (OGE) shared details of the new automation, which awards Advanced Placement (AP) credit for specific Common Curriculum graduation requirements. 

With the assistance of the Registrar’s Office, OGE audited student records to determine eligible CC students (AP scores of 4 or 5) who would satisfy Civics & Individual Ethics (CIE) and/or Quantitative Applications (QA).

OGE updated 201 student records as a result of the audit. Specifically, 74 students satisfied the CIE graduation requirement and 192 satisfied the QA requirement. Students were notified on March 8, 2023, concerning these DPR updates. Copies of the student communications are below.

Future SMU students will automatically receive this credit, as it is now established in their Catalog.

To: QA updated students with AP credit (n = 192)

From: Office of General Education (gened@smu.edu)

Title: Congratulations! Your Quantitative Applications graduation requirement has been satisfied with AP credit

March 8, 2023

Dear Student –

The Office of General Education wants to inform you that your Quantitative Applications (QA) Proficiency & Experience graduation requirement has been satisfied with your Advanced Placement (AP) credit.

Following an administrative review of your external test credit, you were identified as a student with an AP score of 4 or 5 that could satisfy the Quantitative Applications requirement. Therefore, your QA requirement is now satisfied due to the new automation for AP credit.

Should you have an issue with your DPR, please get in touch with your academic advisor, who may submit a DPR Issue request on your behalf.

We hope this is welcomed news since you are one step closer to completing your graduation requirements!

Sincerely,

Dustin K. Grabsch, PhD
Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success

To: CIE updated students with AP credit (n = 74)

From: Office of General Education (gened@smu.edu)

Title: Congratulations! Your Civics & Individual Ethics graduation requirement has been satisfied with AP credit

March 8, 2023

Dear Student –

The Office of General Education wants to inform you that your Civics & Individual Ethics (CIE) Proficiency & Experience graduation requirement has been satisfied with your Advanced Placement (AP) credit.

Following an administrative review of your external test credit, you were identified as a student with an AP score of 4 or 5 that could satisfy the Civics & Individual Ethics) requirement. Therefore, your CIE requirement is now satisfied due to the new automation for AP credit.

Should you have an issue with your Degree Progress Report (DPR), please get in touch with your academic advisor, who may submit a DPR Issue request on your behalf.

We hope you welcome this news since you are one step closer to completing your graduation requirements!

Sincerely,

Dustin K. Grabsch, PhD
Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success

Categories
Office of General Education

Engage Dallas interns help community partners address community-identified needs in West and South Dallas

As a key office of SMU Engage Dallas initiative, the Office of General Education encourages you to support interns who help community partners address community-identified needs in West and South Dallas.

SMU Giving Day is the University’s one-day giving challenge. This fundraising initiative seeks to drive support for every area of the University and yield as many donations as possible within 24 hours.

This year Giving Day will be hosted on March 7, 2023, and one of the projects available for support is the Engage Dallas Internship Program.

Our internship program allows us to select and pair SMU students with one of our Engage Dallas community partners for a summer work experience. Engage Dallas compensates the intern so the community partner (e.g., one of 35 non-profit partners) does not have to.

Listen to Damondre Lynn’s experience in our inaugural intern cohort.

Engage Dallas is excited to launch our second cohort of interns this summer; however, additional funding would allow us to support more SMU students and community partners.

This year’s goal is $4,500 to support two additional interns this summer. Consider supporting this critical service and professional development experience with a gift. 

Categories
First-Generation Initiative

Expanding our first-generation college student Book & Support Fund

Materials required for classes are expensive. Many SMU first-generation students work multiple jobs to pay for class materials such as laptops, textbooks, and school supplies.

To support our students, the First-Generation Initiative (FGI) created a Book & Support Fund in the fall of 2022 to help first-year and transfer first-generation students obtain school supplies.

During 2022-2023, the FGI provided funds totaling $5,018 to 23 students for class materials. Students return materials to a lending library managed by FGI after the term. Therefore, other first-generation college students can use the resource in future semesters.

Help us expand this critical program, the Book & Support Fund, on March 7 via SMU Giving Day. This resource is invaluable to the FGI and our first-generation students. We look forward to raising funds to continue supporting student success on the Hilltop.

Categories
Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

A one-time exception to two Common Curriculum Proficiencies & Experiences for COVID-19 cohorts

The post below was updated on March 3, 2023, to reflect new inclusion criteria for students who started classes in the summer before the Fall of 2022.

The Council on General Education reviewed a report on undergraduate student progress by admit cohort related to each Common Curriculum requirement. The report showed students are progressing well through general education requirements (Foundations and Breadths); however, the Council identified progress concerns within the Proficiency & Experience Graduation requirements.

Recognizing the COVID global pandemic’s impact on students at SMU, the Council of General Education approved a one-time exception for students admitted between Fall 2020 and Spring 2022 under the Common Curriculum. Students starting classes in the summer of 2020 were also included. Students within the identified admit cohorts will not be required to complete the Community Engagement (CE) and Civics & Individual Ethics (CIE) graduation requirements.

Students who meet these requirements via course or individual activity by the conclusion of Spring 2023 will be documented as having satisfied the condition on their Degree Progress Report (DPR). For instance, if a CE individual activity or a CE-tagged course was completed successfully, it will be reflected.

If either CE or CIE is incomplete by the end of Spring 2023, it will appear waived for graduation. A sample DPR below shows the explanatory text for the waived requirement.

These DPR updates will go live in my.SMU on Friday, February 17, 2023. Students will be notified via email on Monday, February 20, 2023.

If faculty and academic advisors discover errors with an affected student’s DPR, please submit a DPR Issues/Requests to the Office of the Registrar.

The Council on General Education does not intend to make additional exceptions to the graduation requirements for future cohorts. It is imperative subsequent student cohorts complete all requirements to qualify for graduation.

Categories
Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

SMU in Four announces 2nd-round winners of the Degree Planner completion raffle  

Forty winners were randomly selected from the one-hundred and eighty students who have fully completed Degree Planner.   

 In order for your Degree Planner to be considered complete, you must have:  

 2nd-Round Winners are: 

Amazon Gift Card 

($25 value) 

SMU Flex Dollars 

($25 value) 

Starbucks Gift Card 

($25 value) 

Visa Gift Card 

($25 value) 

SEAN M.  RIA D.  DEAN L.  CAROLINE S. 
EDEN C.  KAYLEE D.  HANNAH S.  TREVOR B. 
GRANT M.  JEFFREY M.  AUDREY L.  JAYDIN B. 
TAYLOR C.  MARGARET G.  CONNOR M.  TRAJAN C. 
MACKENZIE T.  GRACE P.  AMBER F.  MATTHEW B. 
LILLIAN N.  ALEXA A.  MICHAEL Z.  ANTHONY L. 
GIANCARLOS D.  ZAKIYA C.  JOHN P.  HANNAH L. 
BENJAMIN J.  SILVIA V.  TAYLOR H.  JENNIFER S. 
MAKENNA K.  BIANCA H.  CHARLES G.  CAMPBELL S. 
PIPER J.  ISAIAH B.  SOPHIE E.  ANA M. 

Winners can come and pick up their prizes from the Office of General Education, Laura Lee Blanton Suite 100, from Tuesday, February 14th – Friday, February 17th.  

Still, working on your Degree Planner? No need for FOMO! You have one more chance to win some fantastic prizes! Prizes include $25-50 Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, Target, and Visa gift cards. You can also win Flex Dollars and SMU swag, such as baseball caps, sweatshirts, hoodies, and more!  

The deadline for the final raffle is March 10th at 11:59 pm! 

All undergraduate students on the Common Curriculum (CC) are required to complete Degree Planner by March 20.   

Visit smu.edu/degreeplanner for help getting started. 

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
First-Generation Initiative

NASPA features SMU’s First-Gen Fest on website

The Center for First-generation Students, an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, highlighted SMU’s celebration of National First-Gen Day, known as First-Gen Fest.

The Center has been monumental in supporting and advocating for first-generation students. Their mission statement is as follows:

“We provide data, training, and expertise for a growing network of colleges and universities around the country to scale and sustain the important work of serving first-generation students.”

It is an honor to have SMU’s First-Gen Fest highlighted by such a powerful contributor to first-generation student success. We look forward to celebrating with our students today, beginning at 12pm on Dallas Hall Lawn.

Happy National First-Gen Day!