Strategic Initiatives

Submit an Idea

Strategic Initiative 8: Promote Undergraduate Student Learning and Success


IUPUI will build on its strengths to create more effective environments, practices, and support for student learning and success.

Task Force on Promoting Undergraduate Student Learning and Success

IUPUI has a strong track record of success in developing innovative undergraduate curricula and in creating opportunities for students to engage in high impact practices. IUPUI is nationally recognized for excellence in areas such as the first year experience, service learning and themed learning communities, and the IUPUI Principles of Undergraduate Learning provide a flexible, competency-based framework for curricular and co-curricular learning.  Support for undergraduate student learning and success is infused across the curriculum and co-curriculum and outcomes are routinely assessed and tracked to help ensure continuous improvement. Student persistence and on-time degree completion are systemically addressed through academic policies and procedures (e.g., IU-FLAGS, Administrative Withdrawal), community-based college readiness initiatives (e.g., SPAN, Upward Bound, Project SEED), cohort-based and scholarship-based support programs (e.g., Cox Scholars, Twenty-First Century Scholars), and campus resources devoted to supporting student learning (e.g., Bepko Learning Center, Math Assistance Center, University Writing Center). IUPUI shares a model program of collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College and we have recently enhanced our support services for transfer students. Councils exist to promote networking and sharing of best practices among academic advisors, career professionals, and faculty and staff engaged in retention efforts.

Despite these successes, IUPUI lags far behind its peers in terms of 1-, 4-, and 6-year graduation rates. It is quite troubling that in the last 3-4 years, our rate of improvement has slowed even as our investment of resources in enhancing student success has increased.  We cannot fulfill our commitment to the state of Indiana to develop a talented, adaptable workforce if we do not reduce the attrition of our undergraduate students, particularly during the transition from the first to the second year. The Council on Retention and Graduation Steering Committee will function as the Task Force on Promoting Undergraduate Student Learning and Success and is charged with: (1) identifying current initiatives, best practices, and future trends related to supporting student learning and on-time degree completion, and (2) making specific recommendations that can help to ensure that we meet our targeted goals for 1-year retention (80%), 4-year graduation (22%), and 6-year graduation (50%) by 2025. We have asked the Council on Academic Advising (chaired by Dr. Cathy Buyarski) and the Career Services Council (chaired by Josh Killey) to convene separately in January and early February to address these issues in order to provide recommendations that can be infused into our work. 

In conducting its work, the Task Force might consider the following questions:

  • How might we continue to provide financial support through on-campus employment opportunities and scholarships to low income, first generation students?
  • How can the expansion of online learning support student learning and success? Can we utilize technology-assisted learning and summer programming to reduce the need for developmental coursework in Math and Writing? Can summer enrollment in online courses within the major be incentivized?
  • How might we continue to refine and expand successful first-year strategies throughout the second, third, and fourth semesters? What resources would be needed to achieve this?
  • How can we improve the process of transitioning students from University College to the major, and how might we ensure that adequate support services remain in place once students enter degree-granting schools?
  • How can we enhance, expand, and integrate academic and career advising to promote self-understanding, career exploration and development?  What strategies might we use to help students to identify ‘parallel plans’ for degree goals and reduce the number of times that students change their majors?
  • How can we take advantage of our position in the state capital to expand opportunities for externships, internships, service learning and other forms of experiential learning?
  • What new retention efforts might be aimed at transfer students, veterans, and returning adult students?
  • How can we develop and institutionalize a ‘culture of expectations’ for summer enrollment and on-time degree completion?
  • How can we reduce ‘bottlenecks’ within degree programs and ensure that courses are offered with sufficient regularity and flexibility to promote on-time graduation?
  • In what ways might we expand student engagement in high-impact practices? What resources and faculty development efforts would be needed to accomplish this?

Promoting Undergraduate Student Learning and Success Task Force Membership

  • Kathy Johnson, Chair
  • Robert Aaron
  • Sarah Baker
  • Cathy Buyarski
  • Zebulun Davenport
  • Andrea Engler
  • Gary Felsten
  • Margie Ferguson
  • Mary Fisher
  • Gina Sanchez Gibau
  • John Gosney
  • Steve Graunke
  • Michele Hansen
  • Julie Hatcher
  • Denise Jennings
  • Susan Kahn
  • Gil Latz
  • Tralicia Powell Lewis
  • Kathleen Marrs
  • Khaula Murtadha
  • Howard Mzumara
  • Nasser Paydar
  • Gary Pike
  • Rebecca Porter
  • David Sabol
  • Ketwana Schoos
  • Khalilah Shabazz
  • Regina Turner
  • Pratibha Varma-Nelson
  • Rick Ward
  • Jeff Watt
  • Marianne Wokeck

Task Force on Campus Life

As an urban-serving institution, the IUPUI campus provides a nexus for several individuals and groups, including commuter and residential students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors.  Vital to the engagement of all of these stakeholders is the need to create venues and opportunities for connections to be established, nurtured, improved, and sustained.  The quality of campus life plays an increasingly important role in the retention, satisfaction, growth, and success of our students, faculty, and staff.  As such, IUPUI also positively contributes to enhancing the quality of life in downtown Indianapolis.  While IUPUI has made tremendous investments in campus life and co-curricular programming, interventions, and infrastructure, future needs call for renewed thinking, planning, and action to create environments that foster the holistic development of the campus community. 

The Task Force on Campus Life is charged with:  (1) identifying current initiatives, best practices, and future trends related to campus life at IUPUI; and (2) making specific recommendations that can better facilitate IUPUI’s ability to foster the holistic development of its citizens through campus life strategies and investments.  In conducting its work, the Task Force might consider the following as suggested questions for framing its discussions:

  • In what ways can IUPUI become a national model for engaging successful campus life activities at an urban-serving institution?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities related to effectively serving the needs of both commuter and residential students simultaneously?
  • In what ways must we conceptualize, design, build, and maintain our physical infrastructure to foster community connections among and between various campus stakeholders?
  • What types of products, services, and solutions are needed by the IUPUI community to improve the overall quality of campus life?
  • How can we create environments and interventions that contribute to the holistic development and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff?
  • What types of co-curricular programming and resources are needed by IUPUI’s increasingly diverse student body?
  • In what ways are their opportunities for expanded partnerships and integration between the curricular and co-curricular aspects of IUPUI?
  • In what ways does the broader Indianapolis community help IUPUI shape and sustain its excellence in campus life?
Task Force on Campus Life Membership
  • Zeb Davenport, Chair
  • Tim Anno
  • Sarah Baker
  • Gayle Barksdale
  • Jennifer Boehm
  • Brandon Cole
  • Jay Gladden
  • Jen Halford
  • Joe Hayes
  • Mike Hines
  • Amy Jones-Richardson
  • Sandy Lemons
  • Allison Loyal
  • Jane Luzar
  • NaShara Mitchell
  • Khaula Murtadha
  • Ketwanna Schoos
  • Khalilah Shabazz
  • Diana Sims-Harris
  • Terry Talbert-Hatch
  • Bob True
  • Rick Ward
  • Phyllis Washington
  • Emily Werner
  • Winnie Wilson
  • Emily Wren
  • Eric Wright