collage of students

In our 2018 annual report we outline our vision, activities, accomplishments, and plans to increase undergraduate student learning, persistence, and success at Michigan State University.

We and our campus partners celebrate many accomplishments, some of which include increasing students’ credit momentum, reforming math curriculum, progressing proactive advising, and continued partnership with the University Innovation Alliance.

In this annual report we outline our vision, activities, accomplishments, and plans to increase undergraduate student learning, persistence, and success at Michigan State University. By reviewing many of our programs and plans in one place, we hope to illustrate the progress we have made, celebrate the cross-campus partnerships they represent, and facilitate the reflection and analysis needed to prioritize and decide on next steps. In addition, we hope this exercise will enable a review of the organization and management of our student success efforts, so we may improve our processes and procedures as well.

Highlights of our student success accomplishments this year include substantial increases in first-year student credit momentum (pg. 9), reform of our gateway mathematics curriculum (pg. 12) progress in proactive advising (pg. 13), continuing growth and scope for the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative (pg. 20), coordination of Spartan Pathways for students including reorganization and new leadership of the Pillars (pg. 15) and the creation of deep linkages with the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology (pg. 29). 

Our successes this year suggest fruitful approaches for the future. The success of gateway mathematics curriculum reform demonstrates the power of combining course and curricular innovation with advising and student support and illustrates the need for the deep engagement of faculty, departments, and colleges in student success. Introductory writing (Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures (WRA) 101 and related courses) and Integrative Studies are essential next areas of potential course and curricular reform. The improvements in credit momentum were the result of collaboration across multiple units, including colleges and the Office of the Registrar to provide seats for students, internal communications to message the importance of “Go Green, Go 15” to students and their family members, and especially the collaboration of the advising community and our academic orientation program to register incoming students appropriately. We celebrate the successes and strengths of our students, and have seen an increase in the six-year graduation rate and decrease of the first-year probation rate for African-American/Black students. We continue to refine our interventions to build trust, cultural sensitivity, and to better support students of diverse identity groups. These activities will be crucial to ensure the success of our new initiative to create credit-bearing summer bridge programs – an activity which has greatest potential to increase our ability to serve our first-generation and underrepresented student subgroups, and to substantially close the corresponding opportunity gaps.

Finally, while this document is co-authored by the members of the Student Success Steering Committee, which includes direct representation from the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, MSU Information Technology, the Office of Planning and Budgets, Institutional Studies, the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, and the Office of the  Registrar, the advances reported here and future success depends on the hard work and collaboration of numerous other campus partners, including the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Services, Residence Education and Housing Services, the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education, Admissions, Financial Aid, and the many deeply dedicated faculty, staff, departments and colleges with whom we have the honor of working. The work of student success is broad-ranging and we could not possibly document all of the initiatives here.

View the 2018 Student Success Annual Report 

Best Regards,

R. Sekhar Chivukula

Feedback and suggestions, especially from the MSU community, welcome: email

R. Sekhar Chivukula is the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University.