The Suder Foundation Program Model/Center Development Planning Grant

  • Hollingsworth, Randolph (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky has had in place for many years a substantial effort in collaboration between faculty and staff for a rigorous approach to the First Year Experi-ence. Some examples are the Discovery Seminar Program, Undergraduate Research, Living-Learning Communities and freshman orientation seminars. The current administration established the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, a cooperative effort among some of our most exciting undergraduate programs, serves as an incubator for good ideas in teaching and learning. For example, the Provost's Faculty Forums on First Year Student Experience gives faculty opportunities for discussions about how they can help form and enforce high academic expectations of today's young adults and to increase engagement and student success. Leadership from the Chellgren Center continues to involve more faculty in these discussions with endowed professorships and faculty learning communities. The Chellgren Center has been institutionalized with a gift from a generous alumnus. Provost Kumble Subbaswamy declared war on attrition in 2007. He challenged deans, faculty and professional staff to improve dramatically UK's first-year retention rate and six-year graduation rate. For UK to realize its bold aspiration for Top 20 stature, the success of UK's undergraduates is everybody's business: improving undergraduate education is mission critical. Several programs resulted from this challenge. The latest example is the Academic Readiness Program. This initiative provides personalized services for selected first-year students working to improve their basic skills in writing, reading and mathematics. Its design and planned evaluation strategies were crafted (and continue to be adapted) by a collaboration between the Committee on Undergraduate Success, faculty experts and academic colleges and departments. These types of programs, whether incubated or mandated, present new opportunities for UK to improve our general education curriculum and admissions policies. As we continue to initiative and develop new undergraduate retention and student success initiatives, we must adhere to these guiding principles for success: * Nurture high expectations for rigor and quality in the undergraduate experience * Communicate strong institutional commitment to student learning * Construct educational communities that engage students in learning * Organize learning opportunities in and out of class to maximize student involvement * Increase time that students spend on activities that impact student development * Assist students in connecting and identifying with the University * Increase frequency and improve quality of student interactions with faculty and staff * Promote active learning and regular, prompt feedback * Nurture respect, inclusivity and interaction among diverse groups This means that we are intentional in everything we do with student success as the end outcome, using data-driven, evidence-based approaches to process refinements to the way our students experience UK; and, we value "synergy-by-design" among all academic and support units which touch undergraduates. Together with the reinvigoration of the President's UK Top 20 Business Plan and the Provost's 2009-14 Strategic Plan, the University's dedicated faculty, staff and student leaders, and serving as the state's flagship institution, UK is well poised to serve as a Model Center for The Suder Foundation's Program for Suder Scholars.
Effective start/end date7/1/096/15/10


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