Undergraduate Student Success

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Objective: To be the University of choice for aspiring undergraduate students within the Commonwealth and beyond, seeking a transformational education that promotes self-discovery, experiential learning, and life-long achievement.

We will make strategic investments in faculty recruitment, retention, and development, and in approaches that support innovative teaching and learning. In addition, we will advance student success through programs that provide high-quality curricular and co-curricular opportunities. UK will consistently produce outstanding graduates who complete their degrees in a timely manner, think creatively, communicate effectively, and are able to contribute as leaders to a diverse, global society.


Strategic Initiatives and Action Steps

Strategic Initiative 1: Enhance the success of our increasingly diverse student body and help ensure timely degree completion and career planning through high-impact, student-centered support systems.

Action Step 1: Enhance the college readiness of all entering students (both first-time and transfer) by developing a comprehensive readiness assessment plan and by expanding summer preparatory programs, strengthening partnerships with high schools and community colleges, and applying innovative online/distance-learning approaches.

Action Step 2: Implement comprehensive first-year and second-year experience programs designed to deliver on our commitment to student success.

Action Step 3: Provide integrated advising for both degree completion and career planning to maximize students’ success, both during their college experience and in beginning their career.

Action Step 4: Expand both college and centralized services to students, including health wellness and awareness, to meet the demands of continuing enrollment growth.

Action Step 5: Define and communicate clear pathways and provide course offerings that enable students to graduate in four years.

Action Step 6: Align institutional scholarship and financial aid awards and promote financial wellness education to minimize students' unmet financial need and improve financial health.


Strategic Initiative 2: Enhance students’ learning and their preparation for contributing to a rapidly changing world as leaders and scholars through the provision of new and innovative curricular offerings and state-of-the art teaching.

Action Step 1: Building on the innovative UK Core Curriculum, expand current course offerings and introduce new courses that incorporate cultural competency, collaborative
learning, problem-solving, creative thinking, and team building to enhance students’ skills and help prepare them for an ever-changing workplace.

Action Step 2: Building on the foundation of existing programs and on UK’s strengths, identify and develop new undergraduate programs (including certificates, dual degrees, multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary offerings) that broaden student preparation and prepare students to be leaders and scholars in a diverse, global society.

Action Step 3: Implement incentive programs and a reward structure for faculty and staff to identify, implement, and assess leading-edge teaching practices with particular emphasis on reducing achievement gaps.

Action Step 4: Pursue gifts and endowments for creating a group of magnet faculty — comprised of highly visible, high-value, high-impact scholars — who will be dedicated to undergraduate teaching.

Action Step 5: Invest in state-of-the art classroom facilities and equipment that support active learning, distance learning, new pedagogy, and other leading-edge teaching/learning practices.

Action Step 6: Develop and expand support services to assist faculty and staff to continuously strengthen their teaching effectiveness through encouraging innovation, experimentation, and ongoing evaluation of new approaches.


Strategic Initiative 3: Enrich students’ undergraduate education through transformational experiences of self-discovery and learning.

Action Step 1: Integrate high-impact practices such as undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning, and experiential learning programs throughout academic curricula and majors.

Action Step 2: Expand signature programs of undergraduate excellence (such as Honors, the Gaines Center for the Humanities, and the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence) to provide an enhanced learning experience for more students.

Action Step 3: Integrate curricular and co-curricular activities designed to promote student engagement, diversity, and retention by strategically investing in living-learning programs.

Action Step 4: Enhance student engagement in curricular and co-curricular programs that promote civic engagement and leadership development.