USFSP Retention and Completion Initiatives

USFSP Retention and Completion Initiatives

USFSP Retention and Completion Initiatives


Martin Tadlock, RVC Academic Affairs

Patti Helton, RVC Student Affairs

Holly Kickliter, RVC Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications

Prior to 2015-2016

  • Third Year of BCSSE Administration—Top Concern.
  • Examined impact and why students take courses at other institutions


  • Leadership roundtables each semester held with student leaders to talk about student experiences at USFSP.
  • Peer advising program for all FTIC students.
  • The Advising Center coordinates a sequence of emails to students a month before registration to bring students in for advising preparation prior to registration.
  • Careful coordination of advising and ongoing tracking of students using internal processes set up between the colleges, the Student Success Center, and Academic Advising is occurring. The Advising Center coordinates outreach to each undergraduate student who earns any midterm grade below C-.
  • Counseling, psychological and psychiatry services provided within a comprehensive wellness center.
  • Improvement in the incoming student profile of FTIC's each of the past three years.

Academic year 2015-2016

  • Implemented University Success Course for FTICs.
  • Implemented Compass First Year Experience program.
  • Learning communities created in residence halls with coaches assigned for all residential students.
  • Veterans Success Center created, serving over 200 student veterans with specialized advising.
  • Intervention for students who have been unsuccessful in a gen ed course prior to their retaking the course. I.E., students tend to do what they have always done. In a pilot study done at USFSP, those retaking College Algebra were more likely to fail than those taking the course for the first time. We allow faculty members to know prior to the beginning of a semester via early alert who those students are so that the faculty member may reach out to support students re-taking courses with better study skills and content gap identification. Our Center for Student Success works with those faculty members and those students.

Academic year 2016-2017

  • Academic and Student Affairs combined to create the Council on Student Success to advance proposals to the university that could positively impact student success.
  • Launched partnership with St Pete College/FUSE program for students not meeting our FTIC admission requirements directly out of high school.
  • Four year course rotations, sequenced and published with degree maps, created for all UG majors.
  • College Scheduler electronic registration system implementation planned for November 2016.
  • Creation of an online 1 credit course for students who have 'stopped out.’ Course is being offered in December to 53 UG students from fall 2016 FTIC cohorts. Plan is to replicate the USF Tampa Co-op program after completion of this pilot course.
  • Working with USF IT on spring 2016 implementation of a comprehensive solution for an Early Alert program with absentee tracking and faculty/adviser feedback components integrated with Civitas predictive analytics.
  • Completion scholarships for seniors who may deplete financial aid prior to graduation in spring 2017 will be provided prior to spring 2017.
  • Hiring a retention/completion specialist to: identify and recruit back students who left within a year of graduation to complete their degree; identify students who 'stop out' and provide ongoing advising and registration. January, 2017.
  • Academic Planning process is at mid-point and will result in a Master Academic Plan with priorities for academic programming, creation of an academic distinctiveness/identity at USFSP, and goals specifically addressing student retention and completion. Final draft of plan due February, 2017.
  • Strategic Enrollment Management Planning will result in a Strategic Enrollment Plan focused on recruitment and retention/completion will be in draft form in February, 2017.
  • Re-branding and marketing SOCAT (students of concern assistance team) to a Care & Outreach Team which will provide a safety net for students, administered by the office of student affairs.

Future plans for fall 2017 and beyond

  • Extended orientation and early start planned for FTIC summer/fall 2017 students.
  • Identification of 'gatekeeper' courses and creation of a process to revise those courses.
  • Supplemental instruction and parallel courses; co-requisite options or pre-requisite self-paced, competency based education for gateway courses (math in particular).
  • Revisiting scholarship array for potential to provide in-progress incentives to students.
  • Proposal for a new residential facility with 550 new beds to open in the fall of 2019.
  • Review of Bursar hold and academic forgiveness policies along with wording of all student communications.
  • Meta majors, multi-term registration, and what-if plans.
  • Affordable education abroad opportunities. We plan to sign four partnership agreements in Asia allowing full-time USFSP students to spend a semester abroad and/or work abroad at a cost of <$1,000 above the cost of staying in St. Petersburg for a semester. This allows students who feel that they can’t afford one of the 11 USFSP faculty-led study abroad experiences already offered. NAFSA research indicates that students who study abroad graduate at a higher rate than cohort students who do not.
  • A more global USFSP. We plan to bring significantly more international students and international faculty to USFSP from international partner universities mentioned in the previous bullet, creating a two way flow of students and faculty to further internationalize the university.

EAB Best Practice Areas for Student Success

Student Engagement

Co-curricula mappingCampus engagement app

Engagement flash pollsPeer involvement advisors

Mobile push notifications

Special Populations

Staff support networksPeer mentoring

Affinity videosCultural programming

First-year Experience

University 101 coursesLearning communities

Early Intervention

Absentee trackingClosed-loop

Registration campaignsfaculty feedback

Degree Planning

Meta majorsMulti-term registration

Degree mapsWhat-if plans

Developmental Education

Math emporiaParallel courses

Next-Generation Advising

Risk segmentationAdvising career ladder

Success coaching fellowsPopulation health management

Degree Programs

15 to finishLast mile programs

Milestone coursesOn-pace progress grants

Transition specialistsRecruit-back programs

Career Development

Embedded professional tracksIndustry coaches

Pipeline internshipsCareer bridge program

Financial Wellness

Emergency micro-scholarshipsBursar hold forgiveness