University of Kentucky Strategic Plan for Higher Retention and Graduation Rates
GOAL #1: Improve Academic Orientation and Student Placements GOAL #2: Improve Persistence Trends
Students will have a smooth transition from high school to UK and The retention rate of UK’s first year students will rise to 90% and UK
establish solid foundations for advanced college-level learning. will reach a 72% six-year graduation rate by 2020.
1. Infuse the See Blue campaign across units to create a sense of 1. Hire, orient and develop academic advisor staff to support the first and
community and pride at UK. second year student experience, using data-driven programming.
2. Develop a dual-credit “middle college” program with local schools. 2. Faculty and teaching staff submit academic alerts for advisors and
3. Implement the International Workgroup proposals. residence hall directors to craft Action Plans to address specific issues.
4. Enhance scholarship and grant opportunities, especially for those most 3. Re -recruit graduating cohort who withdraw, create a “leave of
at risk (e.g., first-generation, minorities, veterans, adult learners). absence” policy to educate and encourage student persistence at UK.
5. Develop a common portal and federation of data for recruiting, 4. Enhance the midterm grade reporting process to assure consistency
education and tracking of children in the STEM “pipeline.” across courses and analyze the impact on a regular basis.
6. Encourage the use of emerging technologies in social media as well as 5. Use national and institutional survey results together with retention-
mobile technology, I2, and data repositories for sharing new knowledge. based communications to inform new initiatives.
7. Bolster the BCTC-UK Dual Enrollment Program to offer a developmental 6. Implement a strategic model undergraduate student employment.
education program and increase awareness of the BCTCblue+ program 7. Create more small community opportunities that enhance connections
8. Develop/implement University-wide Summer Academy for students between new students and University faculty, staff and students.
admitted with 2 or 3 academic readiness deficits. 8. Offer a greater variety of formats and delivery modes for selected
9. Continue to develop and improve orientation curriculum to focus on undergraduate majors to increase access for non-traditional students.
learning outcomes and align with University priorities. 9. Offer re-recruitment incentives targeting high-achieving students (UK
10. Increase the number, type and impact of learning communities in the GPA of 3.5 and higher before the census date of second Fall semester.
first year to emphasize thematic orientations to colleges and programs. 10. Create a centralized, online, federated environment for student success
11. Take leadership role in Kentucky teacher preparation and research, and relying on participation data from support services units.
in supporting improved academic challenges for P-12 students. 11. Recruit and retain more students in a STEM major.
12. Create/maintain inventory of undergraduate mentored scholarly inquiry 12. Improve teaching effectiveness of UK undergraduate faculty and
experiences outside of the classroom and increase participation. instructors through Scholarly Learning Communities.
Enhance STEM programming to include interactive path to recruitment. 13. Increase degree audit usage and include the use of the ePortfolio in
13. Use inquiry-based, learner-centered methods (gaming) for recruiting, academic advising to examine why students change their majors.
admissions and orientation to colleges together with career counseling. 14. Encourage high impact academic programming in the upper classman
experience such as internships and capstone courses.
15. Increase alumni mentoring.
METRICS – Goal I 13. Increase persistence to second year/quicker time to choice of major from
1. Correctly place 95% first-year students needing the Academic Readiness which the student then graduates/improvement in NSSE first-year students’
Program; retain 80% of this group to their second fall semester and improve responses (accounting for regression analyses and/or compared to a control
their graduation rates by 3%. group) by participating in undergraduate research experiences
2. 90% of all P-12 outreach efforts is assessed centrally. 14. Users of first-year “pathways” game improve retention and graduation
rates for their initial college by 2% each year.
3. Increase graduates’ use of credit-for-prior-learning strategies by 25%.
METRICS – Goal 2
4. Create senior capstone experiences of high impact and academic 1. Move at least 60 staff into new tiered academic advisor positions; by
challenge in at least 50% of the academic programs offered at UK. 2014, all colleges will be able to achieve a ratio of professional staff advisor
to first-year-students of 1:140 (or better) and show systemic improvement.
5. Raise student satisfaction rates to 80% for use of integrated degree
planner and ePortfolio program allowing students to graduate on time. 2. Increase the use of the ASK software to 100% of support units included in
UK101 curriculum and craft at least 5 new communication campaigns.
6. Increase the amount and number of scholarships by X.
3. Lower student-faculty ratio to 1:25 for more than 50% first-year students.
7. Improve student perceptions of University image evidenced in focus
groups by X. 4. Lower by 10% the D/E rates of courses with high first-year-student
enrollment and in gatekeeper courses for STEM degrees.
8. The NSSE score on questions for first-year students about planning for
their education should improve 3%. 5. Raise key UK NSSE results by 5% for first-year students and improve APEX
audit usage by X.
9. 75% of Middle College students should matriculate at UK by Year 5 – 50%
of those should be first-generation college-going. 6. Increase the number of small community opportunities led by faculty so
that at least 50% of all first-year students achieve and maintain a 10:1 ratio
10. University participation in its K-12 initiatives create a 50% reduction in in a co-curricular activity.
remediation needs in college-going populations.
7. Appalachian and minority students in AMSTEMM persist in STEM majors
11. Participation in learning communities increases overall persistence to at a significantly higher rate than the UK population in general – striving for
second year by 2% each year. a 4% increase by 2014.
11. [all Summer Bridge goals go here... including CARES, RSP, CATS] 8. Two faculty learning communities each year produce new data-driven
retention initiatives for the Provost Retention Workgroup to guide
12. Raise AMSTEMM student population retention rates (currently between implementation.
2% to 5% higher than the rest of the UK student population based on
regression analyses) by 4% in 2014.