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Boosting Student Success

Providing students with the tools they need to reach their full potential is one of UT Arlington's top priorities. The University has created better access to vital resources and instituted new programs to help them excel academically. It's all part of a concentrated effort to recruit top scholars, improve retention, and help more students graduate in a timely manner.

EASING THE COLLEGE TRANSITION

Making the move to college less complicated is the focus of Success U, a new program geared toward first-year students.

Faculty, staff, and experienced students present seminars on topics such as time management, how to prepare for exams, note-taking, and reading skills—all before classes begin.

"If students know what is expected of them, it's easier for them to produce the work with less stress and anxiety, which aids their success," says Dawn Remmers, executive director of University College, which oversees Success U.

"While we hope the program will ease the transition of our new college students, they learn skills that can be used for the rest of their lives."

More than 1,000 students took part in the inaugural Success U over two days in August. The program is part of UT Arlington's larger goal to recruit top scholars, improve retention, and boost graduation rates.

Anthony Coca

GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION

Pure excitement. That sums up Anthony Coca's first impression of New Maverick Orientation when he arrived at UT Arlington in fall 2011 to register for his first college term.

Recently revamped and expanded, New Maverick Orientation provides an opportunity for newly admitted freshmen to meet with an adviser, register for classes, explore the campus, and meet faculty, staff, and fellow Mavericks—all with a goal of helping new students begin a lifetime connection with the University.

"I think I will be a more successful student because of the program," Coca says. "New Maverick Orientation not only assisted me in the registration process but exposed me to all the great student organizations that UT Arlington has to offer."

Key to creating an educational, enjoyable, and inspiring indoctrination are the students who lead orientation. "They were helpful in giving this newcomer a well-rounded and pleasant experience," Coca says.

ACADEMICALLY GIFTED

Senior Rokhaya Diop traveled halfway around the world to get a college education, and she's making the most of it.

The Senegal, West Africa, native was supposed to study in Paris, France, but her brother encouraged her to consider Texas universities. She ultimately selected UT Arlington because of its solid reputation, welcoming student life, and urban location. Four years later, the international business/French major boasts a 3.9 GPA and expects to graduate in May 2012.

Diop is a student in the academically rigorous Honors College, which offers diverse instructional media, a study-abroad program that promotes global perspectives, and small classes taught by research-active faculty. She's also a scholar in the Goolsby Leadership Academy, an intensive two-year leadership development program for select junior and senior business majors.

She hopes to become a chief executive officer or chief financial officer at an international company with interests in African and European countries.

"I've always dreamed of being successful to be able to give back to my family and community," Diop says.

Rokhaya Diop
students

STAYING POWER

Not only are more students than ever enrolling at UT Arlington, more are also choosing to stay. Retention rates continue to rise, a testament to the University's focus on creating a supportive environment where students can flourish.

Of last year's freshman class, 74 percent returned for their sophomore year, up from about 61 percent five years ago.

"All our indicators, from applications and admissions to the numbers of students continuing to pursue their degrees, are climbing," President James D. Spaniolo says. "It's clear that The University of Texas at Arlington increasingly is seen as an attractive place to be."

The gains in retention can be attributed, in large part, to the opening of University College in fall 2010. Centrally located in Ransom Hall, University College brings together a wide range of services—including academic advising, tutoring, and counseling—that are essential to student success.

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