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Access to Success


Dear UWM Community,

Please join Chancellor Santiago and me for our fifth annual Access to Success Day on Friday, February 12 from 9AM to 4PM in the Wisconsin Room of the Student Union.

There is a great deal to celebrate this year, with overall freshman retention increasing by four percentage points and minority freshman retention increasing by ten percentage points since Access to Success launched five years ago. All of the data reports are available now for your perusal at the site linked below. We'll not be spending time on February 12 reviewing these data, but ask you to do so prior to the conference. Our focus for the day will not be so much on what we've accomplished but rather on important next steps.

The morning sessions target action steps to begin implementing curricular and co-curricular initiatives that have been discussed extensively over the past several months and that reinforce UWM's Access to Success. Faculty, staff and students will offer best practices already in place and approaches being proposed for:

(1) Designing, teaching and assessing Essential Learning Outcomes in the undergraduate curriculum.
(2) Designing, programming and assessing Essential Learning Outcomes in co-curricular activities.
(3) Ensuring that all entering freshmen (as new or transferring freshmen) can participate in a course-based learning community in their first year at UWM.

The afternoon starts with a student panel, moderated by Chancellor Santiago, that will focus on increasing enrollment and success of transfer/adult/returning students including veterans; recruiting and retaining high achieving students; improving academic advising; helping students afford and finance college; improving campus and neighborhood security; increasing availability of classes and decreasing time to degree; and enhancing a supportive campus climate. These are also topics that will be the focus of the UWM Commission on Student Life and Learning that will launch its activities with this February 12 conference. The Commission is charged to identify strategies to accelerate UWM's improvement in student life and learning and to suggest options for resourcing action strategies.

We invite faculty, staff and students to contribute to the information sharing this day by exhibiting posters that describe curricular innovations, pedagogical approaches that have been particularly successful, research on student retention and success, and ideas or reports on support strategies improve student learning, academic success and retention. Please contact Tamara Long ( in the Office of Undergraduate Research by February 10 if you wish to exhibit a poster.

The day will conclude with a reception for all participants and facilitators in the Wisconsin Room.

Please find all of the relevant information and registration links for this conference at:

Registration is through myDev at:

And, have some fun with us and take the A2S Survey at:

I hope to see many of you Friday, February 12 for this important campus conversation.

Rita Cheng

Rita Hartung Cheng
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee