The University of Akron has seen an increase in the "college-readiness" of its incoming freshmen this year. That's the message delivered to the University's Board Of Trustees Wednesday.
Jim Tressel, UA's Vice President for Strategic Engagement tells AkronNewsNow.com the percentage of students deemed college ready has increased to 58% from 53% heading into the Fall Semester.
The percentage of preparatory students, those with ACT scores of 16 and below, is expected to be 11 percent this year, down from 15 percent last year.
Tressel says UA's new 'Inclusivee Pathways" program is also addressing another problem, the length of time students pursue a degree. "College careers are taking too long. Then all of a sudden out students are accruing way too much loan debt. We really need to focus on being as efficient as we can possibly be," says Tressel.
Tressel credits the University working with more local school districts, and offering more college prep courses in high schools for helping to reduce the time it will take to get a college education.
News Release From The University Of Akron
More "college ready" students will attend UA this fall than last fall, Provost Mike Sherman told the University's Trustees today during the Board's regular meeting.
The improvement is a direct result of the University's new "Inclusive Pathways" model for admissions. The model has been designed to help more students succeed at UA and as post-graduates.
Under the model, each prospective student has a pathway into the University.
"College ready" students, who have an ACT of 21 or more, are admitted directly to their majors.
"Emergent" students, with ACT scores of 17 to 21, are admitted as pre-majors and will receive intentional and intensive support to enhance their readiness.
"Preparatory" students have ACT scores of 16 and below, and increasingly, they are being guided to Wayne College or other partner community colleges for the initial stage in their pathways to the University.
The percentage of incoming college-ready students is estimated to be 58 percent of the class this year, up from 53 percent last year. The percentage of preparatory students is expected to be 11 percent this year, down from 15 percent last year. Learn more about the pathways.
The Strategic Engagement Division has been redesigned to support student success. Jim Tressel, the vice president for strategic engagement, told the Trustees about four appointments:
Dr. Stacey Moore has been named associate vice president for student success. Moore will manage the division's strategic projects, including the new university-wide retention initiative, The Akron Experience. She will also oversee the Office of Accessibility, Off-Campus Student Services, the Counseling Center and the Career Center.
Adam Smith, Fedearia A. Nicholson and Nancy Roadruck have been named assistant vice presidents for student success, taking on additional significant responsibilities.
Smith will oversee the advising, academic support and wrap-around services for emergent students, with the goal of speeding their entry into their degree programs. He will continue to design and manage programs that increase the graduation rates of historically underrepresented students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
Prior to this position, Smith was the special assistant to the Office of Academic Affairs and director of STEM student initiatives in the Office of Academic Affairs, where he has designed and implemented institutional and state models of student inclusion and retention.
Nicholson will oversee such student success areas as Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, the Student Services Center as well as the academic components of the Office of Multicultural Development and UA’s Learning Communities Program. Prior to assuming her new role, Fedearia served as the director of the Office of Multicultural Development, where she directed first-year programs related to the retention of multicultural students including three learning communities, a supplemental advising program, as well as peer-mentoring services. She led the national award-winning Black Male Summit, which has brought together hundreds of students, educators and policy makers from around the country to discuss African-American males and their success in college.
Roadruck will oversee programs and services that help college-ready students persist and graduate in greater numbers. She had been director of the Academic Advisement Center in University College, and in her new role, she will strive to further improve the consistency and quality of advising services across campus.During her time as director, Roadruck has collaborated with the advising offices in the degree-granting colleges, branch campuses and satellite advising offices to share information, develop best practices and help improve advising for students.
Oelschlager gift helping UA seniors
The Trustees expressed their gratitude to James and Vanita Oelschlager, who donated $60,000 to enable about 100 UA seniors to enroll this fall. Specifically, the seniors would have been unable to continue their education because they were on financial hold, unable to pay for their courses.