SIUC Quality Initiative Project

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Quality Initiative Project Committee:

Laurie Bell, Chair, Interim Dean, University College
Summer Ritterbusch, Undergraduate, Animal Science
Meera Komarraju, Dean of College of Liberal Arts
Cristina Castillo, First Scholars Program Coordinator, University College 
Karla Berry, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
Tamara Workman, Registrar
Elizabeth Scally, Associate Director, University Housing
Terri Harfst, Director, Financial Aid
Lori Stettler, Interim vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Nick Weshinskey, UCOL 101 Coordinator
Renada Greer, Director, Student Support Services
Reza Habib, Director, University Core Curriculum

Quality Initiative Proposal Overview:

Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation Completion of First Generation College Students
This project is part of a longer initiative at SIUC that has been in progress to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.
Numerous programs have or have had a focus on first generation students (academic, social, personal development and financial) including a First Scholars program, McNair Scholars, Lewis Stokes Bridge to the Doctorate, ILSAMP, and a Multicultural Center.     Despite these efforts, the success rate of first generation students remains below the norm. In the first-semester at SIUC, first-generation students take fewer credits (13.55 vs. 13.01; 4% lower) and have a lower GPA (2.94 vs. 2.70; 8% lower) in their first college semester than their non-first-generation campus peers.  Additionally, a larger percentage of first-generation students (19.6% vs. 13.7%) find themselves on academic probation (< 2.0 cumulative GPA in semester).
Our Quality Initiative Proposal is designed to identify, review, and address a wide range of policies, activities, and outreach that impact how our campus recruits, retains and graduates our first generation students.

To fulfill SIU’s mission of nurturing student success, the SIU HLC Quality Initiative Proposal focuses on improving the success of SIU’s large first-generation student body.  To that end, 14 initiatives across 4 areas are planned to help students and their parents adjust to college life and increase the retention and graduation success of this student group.

1. Making Information More Easily Accessible
Terminology Translation (Gunning Fog Index)
Jargon Reduction
Create a dedicated “Getting Started” guide
2. Outreach to current and potential students
Establish a first-generation advisory committee
Establish a first-generation ambassador program
Establish a first-generation alumni group
Establish a branding and marketing plan
Host a fall-semester and spring-semester meet-and-greet
Outreach to local high schools – SIU first-generation students to speak with high school first-generation students
Shared experience video campaign
3. Mentorship/Guidance/Advisement
Major-related first gen mentors
One stop resolution center
Advisement Initiative
Parent’s first-year experience