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June 27, 2024

Collaboration, recognition, and the five opportunity areas: The evolution of the Student Success Newsletter

Portrait of Amy Martin

Amy Martin, assistant dean, Student Success Strategy, Office of Undergraduate Education

Renata Opoczynski

Renata Opoczynski, assistant provost, Undergraduate Student Success, Office of Undergraduate Education

As the 2023-2024 academic year closes, we wanted to reflect on all we accomplished this year and look ahead to next year as we move more fully into the work of the Spartan Undergraduate Experience Strategy.  

First, thank you for all your incredible work this year moving pebbles, rocks and boulders. It was wonderful to see so many new initiatives, reformed policies, advocacy around needs and innovative student success practice. Each of you plays a key role in student success, and we cannot accomplish our goals without the work you each do every day to support our students. Thank you, again!

In this coming academic year, we will continue to focus on creating opportunities for collaboration, recognition, and the five opportunity areas for student success. Feedback from the recent Summit indicated you appreciate learning from others working on similar efforts and want to be more aware of the work your colleagues are engaging in. Much of our great student success work goes unrecognized, particularly the daily efforts that are key to closing our opportunity gaps and supporting student success.

With this in mind, in coming issues of the student success newsletter we will be framing and organizing our content around the five opportunity areas for student success:

  • Self-Discovery of Purpose: Developing core values; academic aspirations; and personally, culturally, and socially valuable goals.  
  • Educational Success (learning and academic): Learning through the acquisition of intentionally designed educational outcomes, using academic support services, experiencing culturally relevant curriculum, and effectively navigating academic policies.
  • Developing Sense of Belonging: Connectedness to campus community including feeling safe, respected, accepted, and valued.
  • Contributing to an Empowered Community: Learning to engage respectfully across differences to promote trust, respect, empathy, and an interdependent learning culture characterized by hope. 
  • Developing Well-Being: Developing fulfillment and stability regarding physical and mental health, social connections, cultural affinity, finances, and other basic needs that allow people to progress toward their goals.

It is our hope that the intentional shift to focus these newsletters on sharing initiatives, projects, policies, procedures, everyday practices and student perspectives in the five areas of student success will become a vital resource for you and your teams. This will be an opportunity to learn about the great work happening across campus and find collaborators or thought partners and offers an avenue for you to share with campus the work you are doing to move boulders.

Overwhelmingly, we want to highlight your great work, share learning from innovations, and grow our student success community! Do you have something you want to share? Email new ideas for articles or share articles from your own communication channels to Amy Martin and Maria O’Connell.

We look forward to sharing the new newsletter format, and don’t forget to save the date for the Student Success Launch on Tuesday, Sept. 17!