About the Student Success Team

Mission
The University of Iowa’s Student Success Team develops ideas and implements initiatives that foster undergraduate achievement within a safe, engaging, and inclusive campus community.

Vision
Iowa’s Student Success Team brings together students, faculty, and staff for the shared purpose of fostering undergraduate student achievement. We emphasize collaboration, communication, and commitment.

SST advances opportunities for all students and embraces diversity as essential to our work. We’re committed to creating an environment where every student can and will succeed.

SST goals and projects are driven by research and ongoing assessment strategies that demonstrate our results.

History
The SST formed in 2006 to bring attention and action to issues that influence undergraduate student success. It’s one of several initiatives inspired by The Iowa Promise strategic plan, which foregrounds undergraduate education and enrichment.

During 2006-2007, SST members reviewed admission and retention data, institutional factors that influence student success, and surveys of student experiences and outcomes. This research informed an action plan for 2007-2009.

Today, projects that originated with SST are becoming part of the campus culture. The IOWA Challenge summarizes UI expectations and values—a mission statement for students. Pick One encourages new students to get involved as soon as they set foot on campus. Fall Convocation marks the start of the academic year with new traditions.

Student Success Defined
At its first meeting in fall 2007, the SST executive committee approved a definition of student success that guides the group’s work:

University of Iowa students succeed when they achieve personal and institutional educational goals. Successful students develop skills and knowledge, become more mature in their thinking, assume greater responsibility for their own lives and learning, develop understanding of diversity and multiculturalism, and become effective leaders.

Student success at The University of Iowa is a shared enterprise. Students succeed by active engagement in educationally purposeful activities. Faculty, staff, and students create formal and informal learning opportunities on campus and off, and policies, programs, and practices that foster student engagement.

The University measures students and institutional success in undergraduate education by examining a variety of indicators, including measures of learning, persistence, graduation, engagement, health and wellbeing, and opportunities after graduation.

Membership
SST is open to any member of the University community committed to fostering undergraduate success. About 200 faculty, students, and staff currently participate in meetings, committees, and online discussions.

A 12-member executive committee decides which projects SST will implement and monitors progress toward established goals.

Meetings
Quarterly meetings feature presentation and conversation about a wide range of topics—strategies for helping at-risk students, physical spaces that promote student engagement, how students learn health information, and much more. In addition, an annual summer retreat sets the agenda for the coming year, and SST action committees schedule meetings as needed to develop their projects.