With the focus on strengthening the academic environment for first-year students, West Virginia University’s University 101 and Resident Faculty Leader programs are moving from Student Affairs to Academic Affairs, effective Sept. 1, Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Gray and Provost Michele Wheatly announced this week.
University 101 is a required course for freshmen and new transfer students to help acclimate them to college life and learning. The RFL program places faculty mentors in the residence halls to foster and promote a learning environment outside the classroom.
“With President (Jim) Clements’ request last October that Academic Affairs and Student Affairs work together to create a blueprint to improve retention and graduation rates, it was a natural progression to move these two programs under the academic arm of the University,” said Associate Provost Elizabeth Dooley, who will oversee both initiatives.
“WVU’s retention and graduation rates are above the national average, but there is room for improvement and that is our goal—to put additional support systems in place that will enhance the quality of our students’ educations and, in turn, yield greater student success.”
WVU’s RFL Program began in 1996, under then President David C. Hardesty, as part of an initiative known as Operation Jump-Start, a unique collection of programs to help students navigate and succeed in their first year. University 101 began in the late 1990s as Orientation I, a recommended course, and was approved as a graduation requirement in 2002 by Faculty Senate.
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