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Miami cited as a model in Student Success in College


Miami is one of 20 schools that exemplify "what an educationally effective college or university looks like at the turn of the 21st century," according to the authors of Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter.

The book, released this year by the Jossey-Bass, is based on the Documenting Effective Educational Practice (DEEP) project from the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University.

“It's gratifying to see policies and programs that we here at Miami tend to take for granted being highlighted as exemplary in a book being read by higher education leaders,” said President Jim Garland.

Student Success in College describes policies, programs and practices that a diverse set of institutions - ranging from small, liberal arts schools such as Macalester College to large, research-intensive schools such as the University of Michigan - have used to enhance student achievement.

The colleges and universities profiled in the book all graduate more students than would be predicted based on student characteristics and institutional resources and their students participate more frequently than would be predicted in activities that encourage learning and development.

Miami, for example, is described as an “involving college,” where in-class and out-of-class activities create a culture that encourages students to devote considerable time and energy to their studies and other worthwhile endeavors.

Miami is also noted for:

  • Miami Plan core curriculum, a fusion of liberal arts with healthy doses of personal reflection and practical application.

  • Summer reading program for incoming students, which establishes high expectations for student performance and an academic tone the first days of college.

  • Residence hall living experience: Miami is an “excellent” example of how residence halls can play a central role in the undergraduate experience.

  • Collaborations between academic and student affairs, which are responsible in large part for the diversity of rich out-of-class learning opportunities.

  • Devotion of time and resources to training faculty and students to ensure the success of technology initiatives.

  • Summer Scholars Symposium, which celebrates excellence in student scholarship.

  • Over-the-Rhine Design/Build Studio, where faculty and students from different disciplines work with neighborhood residents on projects for the cultural and economic enhancement of the community.

  • International and study abroad: Miami is among those universities with the highest proportions of students who study abroad.

  • Academic advising: Miami has well-established first-year student advising programs staffed by professionals; faculty serve as academic advisers once students are accepted into a major.

Co-authors of the book are George D. Kuh, Jillian Kinzie, John H. Schuh and Elizabeth J. Whitt. Kinzie is a former acting assistant dean in Miami's School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Peter Magolda, associate professor in Miami's educational leadership department, was a member of the research team and a "key contributor" to the project, according to Kuh.


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