News Items from UNC Greensboro

012611Feature_GuaranteeThey were formerly known as the Office of Student Achievement. Now the Office of Undergraduate Student Excellence has an expanded role with student success initiatives and retention programming here on campus.

The UNC system General Administration has said that UNCG must raise its retention percentages for undergraduates by several percentage points by 2013. This office’s efforts are part of the strategy for boosting student success.

Among the office’s new initiatives:

Summer Launch triples its number of students It is being reformatted and expanded for 2011. For the last several years, Summer Launch has been a successful six-week academic and residential program provided to a cohort of 30 new freshmen. This year, Summer Launch 2011 will welcome 100 new students arriving on-campus for an intensive two-week session prior to the start of the fall semester. Students will be given additional time and support to”bridge” from summer to fall as they live together in a residence hall throughout the academic year, while also taking at least one course and attending a variety of co-curricular events with each other.

Exploratory Studies will premier this fall It is the newest program initiative within USE, and will premiere this upcoming fall 2011. This living-learning community (LLC) targets new UNCG freshmen who may have initially planned on pursuing the pre-Nursing major, but do not currently qualify based on the School of Nursing’s pre-admission criteria. Alternatively, Exploratory Studies provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the academic majors and career paths within other health and human services areas at UNCG. As LLC members, students will live together in Reynolds Residence Hall, while also taking courses throughout the year in University Studies, Public Health Education, Human Development and Family Studies, and Counseling & Educational Development. Through both in-class and out-of-class experiences, Exploratory Studies helps students discover the connections between different majors, courses, and co-curricular activities at the university, as they also connect with UNCG peers, faculty, and staff to explore their own academic strengths and career interests.

UNCG Guarantee continues the support provided to the inaugural fall 2009 scholar cohort of 34 students as they progress through the spring semester and further toward graduation. We are also anticipating on-going expansion of the scholarship program with the selection and arrival of the fall 2011 scholars. Applications are now being accepted, so share the UNCG Gaurantee web site guarantee.uncg.edu and contact information with any prospective students who may qualify for the scholarship. More than just a financial aid package, UNCG Guarantee provides a range of support services and opportunities to enhance scholars’ academic achievement, including a fall Leadership Retreat with OLSL and guidance from UNCG alumni mentors through the university’s Alumni Association. Several of the UNCG Guarantee scholars were featured in the cover story of the fall 2010 UNCG Magazine.

More information about the office and these initiatives is at USE’s newly designed web site, excellence.uncg.edu.

Learn more at open house All of the campus community is invited to stop by the USE Open House Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon in McIver 126. Meet the staff and learn about these and other campus initiatives such as the Retention SWOT Team and First-Year Task Force, and other ongoing special projects.

Each of the faculty and staff play a role in the helping students be successful, director Kristen Christman said. “We are looking forward to continued collaborations [with faculty and staff] in the coming months.”

Photograph of UNCG Guarantee scholars by David Wilson.

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