Most of us would agree that social media is a phenomenon that has revolutionized how we think about communication and how we communicate with one another. We are constantly striving to be “in the know” and are virtually connected 24/7. Many of us cannot go a few hours without checking our email, Facebook or Twitter accounts because we could be missing out on something significant or possibly life changing. We eagerly wait for a reply, the next posting or latest tweet. We yearn to know what comes next.
What if our students viewed their education from UTSA in the same way? They would be deliberate about checking on their personal plan for success on a regular basis. They would be consistently tapping into resources and networks to support their learning. They would believe that a degree could transform their lives and be determined to graduate. They would desire to know how to achieve that and what comes next.
There is continued focus and dialogue on graduation rates. The amount of financial assistance our students receive contributes significantly to their decision to attend our institution including year-to-year persistence and ultimately graduation. A large majority of students at UTSA receive some form of financial assistance. A primary function of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services (SFAES) is monitoring and adjusting to changes in legislation which impact financial aid funding including budget cuts and limitations. In this month’s newsletter, we are spotlighting the important role of SFAES in the student experience through the lens of Dr. Lisa G. Blazer, Associate Vice President.
Graduating from college in four years might not seem attainable or realistic for all students in every situation, but it is definitely possible. It is an expectation, a goal. How can we better assist our students with adjusting to the ever-changing educational landscape? How can we help more students graduate in four years? What could potentially be a formula for finishing in four? In Student Affairs, our REACH model could certainly equate to Finishing in Four. It helps to define how we contribute to the knowledge and skills necessary for timely degree completion and prepares our students for what comes next.
Take some time in each of your departments to immerse yourself in the concept and messaging of Finishing in Four. What does it look and feel like for our students? Let’s make graduating from college in four years the next phenomenon at UTSA. Here’s to REACHing for the FINISH line!
We Are Student Affairs!