Strategic Plan 2021-2024

Academic Advising Mission

student with advisorOur mission to enhance student success and embrace diversity and social justice is reflected in the University’ Academic Strategic plan. Several of the strategies for achieving these goals include advisor access and availability, well-trained professionals versed in policies, procedures, university structure, demonstrated knowledge, and fluency in diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. We are committed to accurate and timely advisement, frequent communication with advisees, curricular transparency and accuracy, and maintaining the integrity of the student’s academic record. We do these with an emphasis on academic success, achievement, challenge, and inclusivity. Each student supported in creating an academic plan that is well-suited to their aptitudes and interests, with the long-term goal of maximizing campus offerings while achieving timely graduation.

Goal One: Enhance Student Success

Strategy 1: Ensure that each individual student receives proactive advising based on their needs (first generation, BIPOC, returning, transfer, varsity athlete, adult learner, etc.) through individual, group, drop-in, classroom, and “living-learning community” settings.

Action: University College Advisors will collaborate closely with and be fully trained on all services offered by departments both within and outside of UCAS. These services include our work with Honors, Early Alert, Athletics, Talent Development, Disability Services, Transfer Resource Center, Compliance Office, Counseling Center, Finish What You Started, CCEE, and the Offices of Student Life and Housing and Residential Life.

Action: Advisors will meet student needs through the full scope of advising delivery channels in addition to in-person advising sessions.  Advisors will also serve students through the living-learning residence halls and through virtual advising sessions and a comprehensive website and social media platforms. .

Action: Advisors will do proactive outreach including personalized messages through emails and Starfish flags and kudos; notes of congratulations to those achieving the dean’s list; and outreach to students who have academic concerns as reported through mid-semester progress reports, probation standings, and Starfish progress reports.

Goal Two:  Make a sustained commitment to inclusion, equity, and social justice within advising.

Strategy 1: Infuse diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice into staff meetings, training, course curriculum (URI 101 and UCS 270), advisor hiring, and employee retention.

Action:  Continue to provide learning opportunities on diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice

Action:  Conduct intentional recruitment efforts within communities of color

Action: Work to retain advisors of color through ongoing support networks and consistent funding for professional development opportunities of their choice

Action:  Continue to require documentation from advising candidates regarding their dedication to and history of integrating inclusion, equity, and social justice into their work.

Action: Staff participation in campus initiatives like co-chairing and/or membership in various campus committees (i.e. Alumni Color Network (ACN), Rhody I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability) Committee.

Action: Leadership will continue to review student services, policies, and practices in advising and teaching through the lens of inclusion and social justice.

Goal Three:  Increase student retention

Strategy 1:  Timely matriculation into degree colleges and on-time graduation.

Action:  Continuously work to identify and eliminate any curriculum barriers to matriculation by working with the degree granting colleges and enrollment services in course demand/offerings, the degree audit system, unnecessary application processes, modification of prerequisites, and so forth. 

Action: Monitor credit completion and progress to degree of assigned advisees each semester and over summer and winter breaks.   Educate students on appropriate course load, using curriculum sheets, audit reports, and credit completion summaries.

Action: Collaborate with the degree colleges to matriculate students in a timely manner.

Action: Identify and communicate barriers to major/program access, the matriculation to degree colleges, and program completion.  Partner with academic departments and CCEE to strategize about alternative major choices for students who are not admitted into DGC/majors.

Goal Four:  Train, support and integrate advisors into UCAS and URI culture

Strategy 1: Provide opportunities for professional development and training.  Support individual advisor growth and goal setting through performance evaluations and ongoing supervision, and provide opportunities to develop new skills and competencies for future professional goals.

Action:  Continue to pay yearly dues to the NACADA and N4A organizations, allowing access to advising resources, updated advising pedagogy, and professional conferences and webinars.

Action:  Provide ongoing supervision on policies, procedures, and practices.

Action:  Encourage additional involvement across colleges and/or departments through search  committee participation,  committee work, teaching, and volunteer opportunities

Action: Commit to ongoing interactions with degree college faculty, department chairs, and deans to stay informed about university and college happenings/changes.

Action: Stay abreast of curricular changes and degree requirements by examining catalog changes resulting from curricular affairs or general education committees.

Goal Five: Engage in continuous assessment efforts

Strategy1 : In collaboration with  New Student Programs (Starfish Coordinator), Institutional Research, Provost’s Office, Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Enrollment Services, utilize Starfish, eCampus, and NSSE data to assess student usage trends, student satisfaction, and efficacy of existing proactive outreach initiatives (i.e. credit completion rates, freshman retention rates, academic progress, major migration, transfer to degree colleges, etc.).

Action: Examine data on advising appointments, drop-in services, and faculty office hours to inform changes to modes of advising delivery.

Action: Use the IDEA advising survey each Spring semester in supervision for performance evaluation and improvement.

Goal Six: Intentional efforts to support timely major declaration for Undeclared students and for those changing majors.

Strategy1 : Provide advising and outreach programs to facilitate timely decision making around majors by the completion of 30 credits. 

Action: Provide URI101 designed specifically for students undeclared in their major that integrates essential career development tasks to promote earlier declaration of major.

Action: Provide early access to TypeFocus assessment in every URI101, regardless of major, to reduce major migrations.

Action: Teach UCS 270 in Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer terms (a major/educational decision-making course) to help students to choose a major by completion of 30 credits.

Action: Work collaboratively with the Center for Career and Experiential Education Career Education Specialists to better assist students to connect major with career choices.