Academic Early Referral System
The Academic Early Referral System allows UCO faculty to alert Enrollment Management of students who are at risk of not making adequate academic progress in their courses. Faculty will use the current computer system to access the system to alert advisors by the sixth/eighth week of the semester. This allows university staff to be proactive in getting that student the help he needs to be academically successful. Only grades of "D" and "F" will be reported along with the following choices of reasons: poor attendance, incomplete homework, poor test grades, lack of class participation, or the student needs tutoring.
Bookstore Credit Voucher System
Beginning a semester without the required textbooks is a recipe for failure. UCO's Bookstore Credit Voucher System is designed to increase book availability at the beginning of the term and to protect institutional resources. Employees within Student Financial Services can review a student's account (including potential future financial aid that is being processed) and provide a book store credit voucher based upon available credit or an advance on expected funding to the student. Applying the program in this way has led to millions of dollars in books being allocated to students with very little 'bad debt.'
Compass Living/Learning Community
The Compass Learning Community will focus on helping students find the right direction for their academic success. Each summer we will invite 25 students to participate in this community which will provide them with an incredible opportunity to tap into some of our best faculty and tutoring resources. Participants will take five of the same classes together their freshman year, explore a cohesive curriculum, live on the same residential floor, and enjoy supplemental tutoring and instruction possibilities.
Diploma Production Change
During the past year, UCO switched from ordering graduation diplomas from Herff-Jones to printing diplomas in house. Turnaround time for student delivery went from six weeks after graduation to two weeks after graduation. It also makes the reordering and/or replacing of diplomas for students simplified as they can be done in less than two days compared to the weeks or months wait time before. Once start-up costs are recovered, it will result in a resource savings for the institution long term.
Enrollment Central was initiated in order to better prepare UCO's incoming freshmen for their first semester at the university. Students participate in a day-long program that includes an academic information session, course placement testing, interest inventory assessment, individualized advisement, and enrollment. Parents and family members are also able to attend and are provided a separate question and answer session during the day. Enrollment Central provides our incoming classes with the tools and knowledge base to start school with confidence. The program is largely self-funded through an associated participation fee.
GED Student Outreach
Before 2007, students who complete their GED were not actively recruited by the institutions of higher learning in Oklahoma. That all changed when Undergraduate Admissions requested approximately 5,000 names from the state and contacted them to encourage them to pursue higher education. While some may ultimately choose UCO as their destination, UA will first conduct workshops and information sessions to inform the student about their options. Facilitation and cooperation with other state institutions will be the key in "handing off" these students, but the primary goal will be to see these students persist toward an Associates or Bachelor's degree.
Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE)
The MYLE is a brand new prospective student event to be held in November, 2007. While Diversity Day has been in existence for several years and showcases both the academic and social side of UCO, MYLE is intended to attract higher achieving multicultural students who aspire to develop their leadership and academic goals. High School counselors will be asked to submit their top students, and students will receive certificates of recognition for their participation.
New Federal Grants
The 2006-2007 academic year brought two new federal grants to campus. The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and SMART Grant are new grants that are actually extensions of the Pell Grant program for students majoring in key academic programs. Given the relative lack of need-based aid sources, these grants are having a positive impact on our students' ability to afford going to college.
New procedures are being developed to optimize the resources available for providing student employment. Initially, these efforts are focused on the work study program. A new office has been created to serve as a liaison between work study eligible students and the departments who have work study allocations. Though simply managing this relationship has proven to be productive, plans are in place to dramatically reshape budget allocations based upon actual student employment opportunities within the department.
UNIV 1012: Success Central, UCO's freshman seminar, has been expanded to reach a greater percentage of the incoming freshman class. The curriculum has been revisited and adjusted to prepare UCO freshmen for success in their college careers. The course provides an examination of such topics as study habits, learning styles, time management, and campus and workplace diversity and also continues students' college orientation process by addressing such topics as library instruction, career and counseling services, advisement, and campus involvement. Course offerings have increased dramatically over past years to accommodate increased participation by the freshman class and the expense to the university is largely offset by the tuition revenue generated.
UCO Short Term Loan (Book Loan)
This is a loan program administered by the office of Student Financial Services that allow students who have not applied for Federal Financial Aid to secure up to a voucher valued at up to $600 per semester to purchase books. The students sign a 30 day note and are charged a $10.00 (non refundable processing fee). The application period begins Monday prior to the start of the semester. Applications are available on a first come first served basis as long as funding remains available.
Rather than simply denying students admission to UCO, inadmissible students are now referred to one of our partner 2-year schools (NOC, OCCC, TCC, Rose State, and Redlands) who have agreed to work with us to ensure graduation at their schools and eventual transfer to UCO. Those institutions felt strongly enough about this endeavor that they requested their own students be allowed to participate. UCOMPASS was then developed into a true pre-admission program, and we welcome the first group of students in fall 2007. UCOMPASS students will have access to the Wellness Center, Student Health Center, Library, on-campus events, workshops, and services, and each student will be in consistent communication with our Transfer Center staff to foster retention efforts at their home 2-year school before transferring to UCO.