Strategy 1 Stories: Ensuring Student Success

1. Create and enhance a high-touch, graduation-oriented academic and service culture so students feel fully integrated into the Kent State community, are comfortable seeking out resources and opportunities available to them, and believe that all members of the university community care about them individually and about their unique routes to success. 

The narratives below define and bring clarity to what each of the University Strategic Goals means to Academic Affairs. The narratives express our values and beliefs, and create a context to guide implementation efforts. To learn more about the specific strategies and tactics involved in ensuring student success, please view our Academic Affairs Strategic Plan.

Building a Better Student

A student studying for class.

John Dunlosky, Professor of Psychology and Director of Experimental Training, Katherine Rawson, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Christopher Was, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology examined the effectiveness of specific learning strategies commonly used by students. Presented at the Fall 2013 learning institute, Dunlosky and Was discussed course structures that allow faculty to “Build a Better Student” in their classes and help parents prepare their students. Rawson led a similar discussion during the spring semester learning institute held in March 2014.

Linked Courses

Class in a lecture hall in the Business Building.

The Linked Courses Model is a retention strategy where a student cohort is scheduled in at least two common courses. Linked courses enable students to strengthen their academic skills, see connections across disciplines, give new students a community, and improve persistence. The Linked Courses Model is being used by many colleges such as Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication and Information, Public Health, EHHS, and University College.

Helping Student with Difficult Courses

A student works with a mentor outside of class on the Geauga campus.

The University Retention Committee was charged with developing strategies to improve retention and graduation. A major challenge to student persistence and eventual graduation occurs when a grade of D or F is earned or when a student withdraws from a course necessary for graduation. Kent State has defined High DFW courses as those with 30% or more of the students enrolled earn a D, F, or withdraw. To improve student performance in these courses, colleges identified various strategies to be employed in a Fall 2014 pilot program to see if a difference is made at the end of the term.

Policy review aimed at removing barriers to student success

Four friends pose for a photo after the summer 2013 Commencement near the fountain in the Risman Plaza.

The Provost appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Polices and Student Success, comprised of faculty, faculty senators, staff and administrators, to review academic policies that may create bottlenecks and/or delays for students reaching their goals. Policies and practices have been reviewed for the following: