Roudebush Hall
Roudebush Hall, home of Miami's administrative offices

Student Affairs

Unifying Goal: Promote a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes.

Objective 1: Prepare students for success at Miami and beyond through a liberal and applied education emphasizing inquiry-based experiential learning that integrates many disciplines.

Metric 1: Miami will achieve a six-year graduation rate of 85% and a four-year graduation rate of 75%.

Research has shown that engaged students are more likely to persist and graduate. Student Affairs strategies will focus on increasing the active engagement of all Miami students.

Strategies:

  • Showcase the full range of co-curricular involvement opportunities for students, including but not limited to, student organizations and Greek life, community service, peer leadership opportunities, activity planning boards, and leadership development opportunities. Clearly communicate the value and benefits of involvement to Miami students.
  • Create pathways for students to begin or increase their involvement at any point during their academic careers at Miami.
  • Evaluate Living Learning Communities (LLCs) annually to ensure engaging learning experiences in areas of interest to the current generation of students.
  • Work in collaboration with Academic Affairs and other campus partners to create and implement a robust collection of First-Year Experience (FYE) courses to assist students with the transition to the college environment. Design courses to meet the needs of specific populations of students (e.g. first-generation students, courses for particular majors or schools, transfer students, international students, etc.).
  • Develop closer partnerships with Academic Affairs through, for example, LLCs, service learning, and international programs, to support and enhance student experiential learning, leadership, and other application-related opportunities.
  • Continually review and update the programs and services offered by the Rinella Learning Center to support students who are struggling academically.
  • Encourage the physical and mental health of Miami students so they are fully able to participate in all opportunities at Miami.
  • Create a climate of shared assessment that better captures relevant information about students, student life, and the impact on strategic efforts.
  • Promote belongingness and academic growth for marginalized students by creating peer-to-peer connections, leadership, sharing identities, and community growth.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Gathering student input on current LLC offerings to assess the quality and appeal of current themes
  • Reviewing end-of-term performance of students who participated in academic interventions in the Rinella Learning Center
  • Developing an effective system to track student involvement that also provides guidance on “meaningful” engagement and involvement
  • Exploring online developmental opportunities, targeted domestic and international programs, and interventions with potentially at risk students to take place during the winter term
  • Expanding programs offered through peer educators and the University to help students make safe and smart choices to maintain physical and mental health
  • Developing a system to share assessment results that could be used by multiple departments to guide decision making around programs and services
  • Making more use of student advisory boards and focus groups to gather information on campus climate and generate ideas to increase student engagement.

Metric 2: Within one year after graduation, 90% of graduates (excluding those enrolled in graduate or professional school) will be employed.

Strategies:

  • Promote career exploration beginning at orientation and extending throughout a student’s four years at Miami.
  • Seek out and promote internship and experiential opportunities for students to help them clarify their career interests, build experience, and develop connections in their industry of choice.
  • Work with campus partners in and out of Student Affairs to increase referrals to Career Services during a student’s first year.
  • Ensure that all students receive assistance in building career development skills, including resume development, interviewing and networking skills, and job-search strategies.
  • Help students identify and communicate the transferable skills they are developing through co-curricular involvement.
  • Increase opportunities for students in all majors to connect with potential employers through job fairs, on-campus interviews, and other programs.
  • Develop closer and more formal connections to engaged graduates by tracking, for example, Presidential Service Awards to feature success stories and to help students connect with successful alumni.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Connecting all first–year students to the Career Services office through the FYE course.
  • Working with academic divisions to support the career exploration components of existing courses
  • Developing a second year experience course in partnership with the academic divisions that will focus heavily on career exploration
  • Identifying reasons for non-employment and adjusting strategies to reflect data
  • Partnering more closely with development and the alumni office in an effort to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates, and provide role models and inspiration to our current students.

Metric 3: Upon graduation, 80% of students who apply to graduate or professional school will receive at least one offer of admission.

Strategies:

  • Develop programming in Career Services to help students clarify their career goals and evaluate the appropriateness and timing of graduate education.
  • Use the winter term to produce programming to help prepare students to apply to graduate school.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Working with the academic divisions to better understand the needs and challenges of students seeking graduate education
  • Coordinating with Miami graduate programs to provide graduate preparation programs and admissions counseling
  • Developing relationships with external graduate programs to create a pipeline for graduate student admissions
  • Developing general resources and targeted winter term programs to: support students seeking to improve standardized test scores (MCAT, GRE); and help them explore post-graduate school career paths.

Objective 2: Immerse faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in research and creative scholarship that forms a vital part of the learning experience.

Metric 4: Continue to increase the quality and impact of scholarship or creative performance.

Strategies:

  • Encourage the development of quality research, presentations, and publications by student affairs staff with undergraduates as research partners.
  • Strengthen the partnership with MU graduate programs (e.g. SAHE, PSY, ED PSY and others) to support divisional graduate assistants, practicum students, and other Miami graduate students and faculty researching issues related to college students.
  • Work with academic departments to expand and enhance research-based LLCs, using the current First-Year Research Experience (FYRE) program and Undergraduate Research Opportunity (URO) program as models.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Collaborating with academic divisions to identify research opportunities focused on student development and success; and working to attract undergraduate participation through offers of credit or other valued incentives
  • Strengthening our collaboration with the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program, and improving the documentation and recognition of these partnerships.

Metric 5: Upon graduation, all Miami students will have participated in a research (40%) or a similar experiential learning activity (100%), e.g., fieldwork, field or clinical placement, service-learning, public or private sector engagement, performances, and other applied learning activities.

Strategies:

  • Increase and diversify service-learning opportunities coordinated by the Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning.
  • Promote alternative spring break and other service-oriented trips as experiential learning opportunities.
  • Identify courses, retreats, internships, and memberships throughout Student Affairs that allow students to put theory into practice through experiential opportunities.
  • Develop a system to track student involvement with all forms of experiential learning.
  • Incentivize participation in research and/or experiential learning activities.
  • Work closely with the Liberal Education Office to develop ways to expand and support the experiential learning requirement in the revised Miami Plan.
  • Place a greater emphasis on student involvement at orientation, and allow students to explore the range of opportunities in the FYE course.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Developing language that describes guidelines for what constitutes appropriate research or experiential learning opportunities not tied to an academic course
  • Developing a list of current opportunities and positions offered through the division (e.g., Armstrong Student Center board, student court, HAWKS, Miami Student and WMSR, Wilks Leadership Institute) that can be structured to fulfill the experiential learning requirement in the revised Global Miami Plan
  • Developing new experiential learning opportunities, particularly during the winter term
  • Evaluating the reflective components of SAF experiential opportunities, and partnering with faculty, when appropriate, to ensure high quality experiences.

Objective 3: Engage students with substantive co-curricular and internship opportunities that augment their learning and establish a strong foundation for lifelong success, growth, and adaptability.

Metric 6: 75% of Miami students will complete an internship before they graduate.

Strategies:

  • Increase the number and variety of internship postings through collaboration with academic departments and with alumni affairs.
  • Assist students with building career development skills, including resume development, interviewing and networking skills, and job-search strategies.
  • Increase the number of internship opportunities available through job fairs.
  • Continue to work with academic affairs to formally link internships to students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences in ways that might allow academic credit for the experience. 
  • Develop an assessment form for organizations employing Miami students as interns so as to better understand market expectations and needs and better prepare our students for these experiences.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Identifying sources for new internship opportunities and ensuring that the internship experiences meet the desired outcomes identified by the University
  • Articulating those desired outcomes to internship providers.
  • Developing a mechanism for students and organizations to evaluate the internship experiences to ensure quality experiences and better prepare our students for these experiences.

Metric 7: 95% of Miami students will have two or more co-curricular experiences before they graduate.

Strategies:

  • Showcase the full range of co-curricular involvement opportunities for students, including but not limited to student organizations and Greek life, community service, peer leadership opportunities, activity planning boards, and leadership development opportunities. Clearly communicate the value and benefits of involvement to Miami students.
  • Create pathways for students to begin or increase their involvement at any point during their academic careers at Miami.
  • Increase student acceptance and utilization of The Hub as the primary source for information about and opportunities for co-curricular experiences, and encourage its use as a tracking tool for student involvement.
  • Increase involvement in Greek life, and simultaneously encourage fraternity and sorority members to get involved in a second campus organization
  • Improve coordination of leadership development opportunities across Student Affairs. 
  • Work with the Liberal Education office and Institutional Research to develop a coordinated and cooperative approach to measuring student involvement and engagement.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Improving our tracking system to encourage student and advisor input and to help us provide guidance on “meaningful” engagement and involvement
  • Encouraging non-ASG funded groups to use the Hub as the central tracking tool for student involvement
  • Working with academic affairs and student government to develop strategies to increase response rates on key assessment projects so we can capture better data about the student experience.

Objective 4: Offer flexible pathways to and through the University, including interdisciplinary, e-learning, and multiple degree options, to help students achieve timely and cost-effective completion.

Metric 8: 20% of our students will graduate with multiple degrees, majors, or co-majors, and 5% will graduate with a combination bachelor and master's degree.

Strategies:

  • Build conversations about multiple degree opportunities in first (and second) year experience courses

Metric 9: 60% of degree programs can be completed in three years or less through curriculum revision and by using different pedagogical approaches and modes of delivery.

This metric does not apply to Student Affairs.

Metric 10: Increase the online and hybrid credit hours to 10% of the total credit hours.

Strategies:

  • Review courses administered by Students Affairs to determine whether they could be adapted for online administration, especially for the winter or summer terms.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Developing online versions of blended courses that are able to recreate the discussion component that characterizes most leadership or experiential academic coursework.