The UIC Undergraduate Student Success Initiative

Student Success Initiative: Bulletin No. 2 (January, 2015)

As reported in our first bulletin to the campus in November, efforts to improve undergraduate education, retention, and graduation, are moving forward. We are delighted to share with you what has been accomplished over the past two months.

Recent Highlights

The Student Success Plan is now renamed the Student Success Initiative (SSI) as the campus has moved from the planning phase into the implementation phase.

  • The Undergraduate Success Center has been repurposed to the Center for Student Success Initiatives. Current advising activities of the Center are being phased out and students are being referred to their colleges and other appropriate resources for support. The new Center for Student Success Initiatives, a joint collaboration of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and the Dean of Students Office, will be the overarching structure that will house three student success-related units (subject to revision as experience dictates):
    • Office of Project Management for Student Success Initiatives
      • Project management of all new and ongoing projects related to improving retention and graduation rates.
      • Development of work plans, assistance in assessment, and monitoring of progress with reports to the campus through
    • Office of First-Year Student Initiatives
      • Coordination of transition coaching with internal and external partners.
      • Resource referral for students.
      • Liaison to UIC Experience and support of co-curricular programs.
    • Undergraduate Advising Resource Center
      • Providing professional development and campus-wide and universal baseline training of advisors.
      • Organization of advising summits, workshops, webinars, award programs, recommends campus advising policies.
      • Maintenance and publication of comprehensive database of campus resources for students.
      • Early alert management.
    • In November, two members of the SSI leadership team (Interim Vice Provost Emanuel Pollack and Associate Vice Provost Tom Moss) attended the annual conference of the Association of Public Land-grant Universities/Urban Serving Universities where the UIC progress in its Transformational Program Grant (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) was presented and discussed. Subsequently, UIC hosted a site visit from the grant project manager who was pleased with the progress in our SSI implementation work.
    • In December, Vice Provost Pollack was invited to be a member of the Illinois delegation to the Alliance of States Annual Convening of Complete College America. He represented Illinois in presenting the State’s progress in the Helmsley Trust-funded Guided Pathways to Success in STEM Careers initiative and met with representatives of the Trust.
    • In addition to the UIC participation in the above organizations, UIC is also a participant in Thrive Chicago (a citywide cradle-to-career initiative that aims to improve the lives of Chicago’s young people – see for more information), the Chicago Collaborative for Undergraduate Success, and most recently, the Chicago Higher Education Compact, a commitment to ensure the preparation and access of CPS students to higher education institutions.
    • On January 15, UIC will host noted math education expert Uri Treisman who will discuss redesigning math pathways, including the concept of math co-remediation, concepts that were strongly recommended by the First-Year Curriculum Task Force. The one-day conference is being attended by UIC math faculty and administration, as well as math faculty from throughout the state. The conference is co-sponsored by Complete College America.

In the next Bulletin, we will provide specifics about the 24 priority projects that fall within the four primary themes: Instruction and Curriculum, Student Learning, Campus Life, and Managing College Costs.

Comments, suggestions, and items for inclusion in Bulletins may be submitted at

Thank you for your continued support.


Emanuel Pollack
Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs

Linda Deanna
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students


Student Success Initiative: Bulletin No. 1 (November, 2014)