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February 7, 2013

Foundations of Excellence: Cohesive student success efforts continue

Creating a campus-wide Student Success Action Team and renaming the Student Access, Transition and Success (SATS) programs to Student Success at Purdue are two recent steps the University has taken to implement its Foundations of Excellence initiative.

Establishing the team and changing the SATS office's name addresses the goals of the FoE initiative's second theme, which calls for the coordination of curricular, co-curricular and academic success efforts for first-year students.

"Changing the name of SATS to Student Success at Purdue was not intended for that office to own everything related to student success on campus," says Dale Whittaker, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs and one of four FoE executive sponsors.

"Rather, it was a charge and challenge to the Student Success at Purdue unit to reach out across campus and help leverage, encourage and support all units that are engaged in this important work."

The Student Success Action Team, which was created in October, consists of about 20 members; each college is represented in its membership, as are the campus offices that contribute to promoting students' academic achievement and personal development, says Jared Tippets, the Foundations of Excellence (FoE) initiative's director and director of Student Success at Purdue.

The team's monthly meetings will be used to share plans and best practices for improving student success.
Shane Hawkins-Wilding, assistant director of student services/director of student success for the College of Health and Human Sciences and action team chair, says communication among team members will help improve upon and add campus-wide consistency to ongoing student success efforts.

"Often, various academic units are developing or implementing student success initiatives for their specific students. The team hopes to bridge these silos," Hawkins-Wilding says.

Action team member Heather Servaty-Seib says streamlining student success efforts will benefit the University's students -- particularly first-year students -- in a big way.

"Particularly for first-year students, Purdue can seem like a number of separate institutions rather than a single university community," she says. "If we can change this through the efforts of the Student Success at Purdue office and the action team, we'll accomplish one of the Foundations of Excellence initiative's vital goals."

An upcoming campus-wide forum about collaborating for student success at Purdue is scheduled for March 27.  As a continuation of the Foundations of Excellence process, this forum will focus on strategies for building strong partnerships through the collaborations of faculty, staff, administrators and all professionals who assist with student success. All faculty and staff at Purdue are welcome to attend and should register at www.purdue.edu/FOE.

Any Purdue staff or faculty member who wishes to learn more about the University's student success efforts may contact Hawkins-Wilding at hawkinsw@purdue.edu or Tippets at jtippets@purdue.edu.

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu