in UWM's Students
UWM's Black and Gold Commission
From Planning to Action
Two years ago, I visited
with about 20 classes and student groups across campus. It became clear
to me that it was time for a concerted, campus-wide discussion on how we
continue to improve the student experience at UWM. We formed the Black and
Gold Commission and asked the 12 faculty and staff and the 12 students on
that group to take the 2001-02 academic year to thoroughly research the
UWM student experience and to "set the table" for our work over
the next few years to ensure that UWM's growth as a premier urban research
university is lead by our focus on students.
We're here today to provide an update on how the recommendations from
the Black and Gold Commission have evolved to a myriad of actions across
campus. And describing these activities will be 8 students who are part
of the over 130 students engaged in the work of Black and Gold Committees
across the campus.
I'm delighted to start us out by introducing the student and faculty cochairs
of the 2001-02 UWM Black and Gold Commission: Isaac Monteagudo, a junior
in Business, and Carol Haertlein, Professor of Occupational Therapy.
The Work of the
2001-02 Black and Gold Commission
Isaac Monteagudo, Junior, Business
Co-chair of the Commission
The UWM Black &
Gold Commission was formed in 2001 by Chancellor Zimpher to come up with
creative ways to improve the quality of the student experience at UWM.
The commission, which
was a partnership between faculty- such as Carol Haertlein- students,
and staff, looked at retention and other data, and took special care to
listen to the people of UWM. We held townhall meetings, conducted surveys,-and
ultimately, produced a series of recommendations which are outlined in
the yellow handout you have before you.
To give you an idea
of the work done, one of the recommendations was forming a "one-stop shop"
-type Student Success Center. Another idea was to strengthen UWM's existing
First Year Experience program while working to improve student success
in bottleneck courses.
Today, UWM continues
to focus on student success in a variety of ways. Amanda Snyder, a graduate
student in Communication and a member of the UWM Black and Gold Steering
Committee will tell you more about the ongoing work.
The Work of the
Current (2002-03) Black and Gold Committees
Snyder, Graduate Student, Communication
of the UWM Black and Gold Steering Committee and the College of Letters
and Science Black and Gold Committee
primary recommendation of the Black and Gold Commission was to establish
what they called focus on students committees in each school and one for
the university. These committees are now in place, and to describe what's
going on in three of our schools are:
from the School of Business Administration
Neil Grove from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning
Rose Billingsley from the School of Nursing
of Black and Gold activities in the:
Chiravuri, Doctoral Candidate, Business
The Black and gold
committee at the School of Business met last November and decided on 6
areas of importance. These included class room instruction, student services
and communication. We have taken many initiatives in these areas and
are in the process of implementing many more in the future. Today, I
will talk very briefly about a few of them.
One of our first initiatives
last semester was to conduct surveys of both undergraduates and graduates
in order to confirm the areas of priority. The results did validate our
initial planning. In particular, several initiatives were implemented
towards enhancing classroom instruction as it was the highest priority
for both undergraduates and graduates.
Last spring, Teaching
Assistants were given mid term evaluations by their students so that they
could adapt and enhance their teaching to the students before the semester
concluded. In addition, the teaching working group conducted professional
development seminars for faculty, staff and teaching assistants in order
to enhance their skills.
This summer, the School
of Business is introducing a new career and development course for undergraduates
with an objective of teaching them valuable skills such as creating a
resume, preparing for interviews and effective networking.
We are also implementing
2 novel initiatives next semester. The first initiative is the implementation
of a block scheduling program for freshmen. This is being done with the
cooperation of the College of Letters and Science. Initially, 90 freshmen
would be grouped together as cohorts for 2 courses. We expect this program
to enhance the learning of students and enrich their experiences because
research has shown that studying as cohorts does lead to such advantages.
The second initiative is the implementation of a major orientation program
for students after their sophomore year. The objective of this program,
which would be done for accounting and HRM, is to guide students early
towards their chosen careers instead of waiting until their senior year.
These are just some
of the initiatives of continuous improvement that we have undertaken since
last semester to enhance the students experience.
We thank all involved
for their support and look forward to your continued support in the future.
Architecture and Urban Planning
Grove, Junior, Architecture
The strategy of the
School of Architecture and Urban Planning can be broken down into "four
areas of concentration:"
First, we sought to
get the word out to faculty and students about the Black and Gold Committee.
This was accomplished through:
a website, linked to the SARUP home page
b) posting flyers
around the building
SARUP students about recommendations and actions
These forms of dispersing
information allowed for the door of communication between faculty, students
and the Black and Gold Committee to open. It also allowed for a flow
of current and reliable information, minimizing rumors.
Second, issues of
Building Maintenance within the School or Architecture and Urban Planning
were a common complaint among faculty and students.
A meeting was held with the quadrant supervisor of custodial staff, and
a new cleaning plan for
the Fall of 2003 will be implemented.
b) first aid
boxes have been installed in strategic locations, and signs have been
placed in every room detailing the location of these boxes.
Third, a letter is
to be sent to all graduating seniors by Dean Bob Greenstreet in the School
of Architecture and Urban Planning, asking ways to enhance the student
experience at UWM and the School or Architecture and Urban Planning.
Lastly, a "town hall
meeting" was called inviting all students and faculty from the School
of Architecture and Urban Planning, which was the first meeting of its
kind in several years. This allowed for an open forum for students and
faculty to ask questions and raise concerns. Most of these concerns related
to changes within the school, budget cut concerns, and building cleanliness.
Rose Billingsley, Senior, Nursing
The School of Nursing
Black and Gold Committee commenced in the spring of 2003. The first priority
of the School of Nursing's Black and Gold Committee was to uncover the
concerns of nursing students. Surveys were distributed to nursing students
in all levels of the nursing program. Some of the top priorities of these
students were scheduling of classes in the nursing major, financial concerns,
and updated labs and technology. In the fall, the Black and Gold Committee
plans to reconvene to discuss these concerns further. The School of Nursing's
Black and Gold Committee comprised of faculty and students will collaborate
to address the students' concerns.
of campus-wide Black and Gold activities
Student Success Center
Snyder, Master's Candidate, Communication
In addition to the
great work being done in the schools and colleges, we have university
wide action teams in place.
One such team is the
Student Success Center. The commission recommended the creation of a
"one-stop" campus center where no student is ever more than two clicks,
two calls or two people away from the answers to their questions regarding
The Student Success
Center action team is moving forward with several recommendations to create
effective "quick wins" on campus. These recommendations include:
- Creating a virtual
Student Success Center or website
- An online survey
distributed by the Student Success Center action team produced 879
student responses regarding what they would like to see on this
virtual Student Success Center website. These responses will serve
to guide the action team in choosing the contents of the website
- Among many
other requests, students asked for UWM specific weather, a more
effective search engine, and a scroll bar announcing up to date
events, news, and deadlines
- We'd also like
to Post a universal symbol or icon at each student services office to
help students identify a link between these locations
- We plan to establish
best practices in customer service and disseminate these practices throughout
all student service offices
- In addition to
this, every office on campus will be supplied with a customer satisfaction
box, complete with student services icon and feedback cards
- "You Are Here"
maps are to placed throughout campus to help new students with directions
- Teams of Student
Success cohorts will be created and led by student ambassadors who would
be responsible for communicating accurate information to peers
- Finally, the Student
Success Center plans to provide real-time web based group advising sessions,
which would give students a chance to receive academic advising online
The Student Success
Center action team is also generating intermediate and long-range plans
for a physical space that would house this student hub. Intermediate
plans include occupying a central and visible office space on campus.
Long-range plans include building, acquiring, or remodeling a building
that would house the Student Success Center.
Kozloski, Junior, Pre-Law
President, UWM Student
Tony Rodriguez, Junior, Political Science
President, UWM Student Association
With the developments
that have come from the Black and Gold Commission of the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the progression of the Student Association is ensured.
With a new Student Association Administration having been elected, we
have the honor of not only representing our students at the local, state
and national level, but working with the Black and Gold Commission to
provide our students with stronger leadership trainings, providing more
support for programming and event planning and implementing, an over all
increase of school pride.
As the 2003-2004 Vice
President of the Student Association, I stand affirmed that the recently
appointed Presidential Cabinet and Student Senators will embrace the Black
and Gold Commission in our endeavors to better suit the needs of our students.
Our Bringing SA to You campaign is rooted in the ideals of the Black and
Gold Commission and with this dedication and commitment; our leaders will
not only benefit our students, but our surrounding Milwaukee community.