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Strategic Planning: Academic Student Success

The 2021-2026 Academic Success Strategic Plan

What is the Academic Success Strategic Plan?

Over the last 5 years, offices and programs across campus have worked towards improving retention and graduation rates through focused interventions, collaborative programming, and process improvements. Campus stakeholders, led by the Office of Academic Success (OAS) and the Office of the Provost, have agreed on the following Goals and Tactics that align with initiatives under the Chancellor’s Strategic Priority #1:

  • Enhance coordination of support 
  • Develop data driven content 
  • Create marketing and access to resources
  • Positively impact retention and graduation rates

The Plan is managed by the Core Group

  • Provost Office - Mitch Sollenberger 
  • Provost Faculty Fellow - Kelly Jabbusch
  • Director, OAS - Jess LaGrange
  • Mardigian Library / OAS - Kelsey Parker
  • 2 CASL (1 faculty & 1 staff) 
  • 2 CECS (1 faculty & 1 staff) 
  • 2 CEHHS (1 faculty & 1 staff) 
  • 2 COB (1 faculty & 1 staff) 

Campus Partner Groups will be formed based on Goals, Tactics, and Action Items.

The Campus Partners will include: 

  • Associate Deans from each college, related to their action items
  • OAS 
  • TRIO 
  • Advising Offices
  • SOAR 
  • Hub for Teaching and Learning
  • Enrollment Management 
    • Admissions and Orientation 
    • Registrar's Office 
    • University Services 
  • External Relations 
    • Marketing 
    • Student Communications 
The Process Used to Create and Maintain the Academic Success Strategic Plan

The first step was to evaluate the last iteration of the Student Success Strategic Plan to determine accomplishments and progress, effective practices, and the outstanding gaps in the success of UM-Dearborn Students. 

The next step was to measure and compare the university’s operations, practices, and performance to its desired outcomes. Next – when feasible – the Provost Office measured and compared its operations, practices, and performance against its peer institutions. Benchmarking better enables the university to determine reference points for goal and target setting. The third step was to determine strategic goals, based on our mission and vision, and develop tactics for carrying them into effect.

The fourth step requires the Office of the Provost and OAS to perform periodic evaluations of its goals and strategies to measure its performance. Such reviews should be performed at least on an annual basis to evaluate the effect of specific actions on long-term goals.

Finally, the Provost's Office assesses the Academic Success Strategic Plan in order to make any needed changes and adjust its course based on assessment results. Any revised plan must take into consideration emerging strategies and changes that affect the university’s intended mission to deepen academic excellence and student engagement.

The Implementation Framework

The Academic Success Strategic Plan sets an ambitious, but achievable, set of goals for the next five years. The implementation framework includes:

  • Strategic goals: the broad-based objectives that provide a foundation for achieving student success on campus
  • Tactic(s): the focused plans and actions that will be used to achieve all or parts of the strategic goal
  • Action Items: the specific measurable elements that detail how the goals will be achieved, typically through performance indicators or other measures that provide a definable target for achievement
  • Status: an indicator, based on periodic evaluations, which will provide a general assessment of the status of the plans and actions taken to achieve the overall strategic goals

To sustain our commitments to academic excellence and student engagement, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has identified strategic goals to:

  • Enhance coordination of support 
  • Develop data driven content 
  • Create marketing and access to resources
  • Positively impact retention and graduation rates

These strategic goals will guide the work of the Office of Academic Success and the Provost Office for the next five years.

The Key Performance Indicators

Our campus is currently discussing and determining our Key Performance Indicators (KPI). This section will be updated when such KPI are set. 

To view the historical retention and graduation rate numbers of our FTIAC and transfer students please view the Retention and Graduation dashboard from Institutional Research and Effectiveness. 


Previous Iteration (Archived)

2016 - 2021 Student Success Strategic Plan

2016 - 2021 Goals: 

  1. Enhance overall tracking, collection, and dissemination of student data 
  2. Enhance student participation in, and experience of, high-impact educational practices (HIEPs)
  3. Provide focused interventions for First Time in Any College (FTIAC) and transfer students 
  4. Advance retention and graduation rates 
  5. Enhance Graduate Student Success (split from plan in 2018) 

The accomplishments and completed action items from these goals can be found here

2016-2021 Metrics & Outcomes:

2016-20121 Metric 2021 Outcome
First-to-second year retention rate above 84% 83.5%
Four-year graduation rate for FTIAC students above 25% 26.4%

Six-year graduation rate for FTIAC students above 60%

Second-year graduation rate for transfer students above 15% 9.6%
Four-year graduation rate for transfer students above 55% 53%
Six-year graduation rate for transfer students above 65% 56%
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