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UT System convenes second annual Student Success Summit

DALLAS—Leaders from The University of Texas System and its eight academic institutions met in Dallas Sept. 20-21 for the second annual Student Success Summit.

Over 125 participants attended the Summit, which was designed to showcase and advance work being done at UT institutions to better prepare and position students to succeed in college.

“UT academic institutions are deeply committed to providing undergraduate students with access to high-quality learning environments and the resources necessary to thrive in the rapidly changing landscapes of higher education and the workforce,” said Rebecca Karoff, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Events like the Summit provide the opportunity to both celebrate the successes of students and amplify our efforts for those students for whom success is more elusive.”

Keynote speakers included nationally recognized student success leaders Tim Renick, vice president for enrollment and student success and university vice provost at Georgia State University; Ken O’Donnell, associate vice president for student success programs integration and assessment at California State University, Dominguez Hills; and Amelia Parnell, vice president for research and policy for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Speakers and concurrent sessions focused on:

  • Approaching student success through the lens of equity and quality;
  • Rethinking business practices to alleviate financial burdens on students;
  • Utilizing predictive analytics and strategic advising to help students persist and complete their degrees on time;
  • Engaging students in high-impact practices and high-touch programs to ensure their sense of belonging, socially and academically.

“Collaborations across UT institutions, like the Student Success Summit, are helping to find solutions to educational obstacles so that we can continue to enhance the success rate of our students while they invest in world-class education,” UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven said.

The Summit is a part of a Student Success initiative launched as part of Chancellor McRaven’s vision in late 2015. The Student Success Quantum Leap is organized around the pillars of finances, advising and belonging as the means to help more students meet their educational goals and to improve institutional retention and graduation rates. In February 2017, The University of Texas System Board of Regents allocated $10 million to distribute to academic universities who submitted innovative ideas to enhance student success.

As a part of these funds, a total of $1.7 million went to support a Graduation Help Desk initiative – started by UT Austin – at each of UT System’s academic institutions. These centralized help desks are one-stop shops (virtual or brick-and-mortar) for students who encounter barriers on the path to timely graduation and have nowhere else to turn. An additional $8.2 million was used to support grant-funded projects at UT Dallas, UT El Paso, UT Rio Grande Valley, UT San Antonio and UT Tyler. Proposals were awarded through a competitive Request for Proposals process and were evaluated based on the case they made for momentous change.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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