College of Arts and Sciences

Invitation to Thrive


Early in December, I asked you to share stories of first-year students – students who had faced obstacles and overcome them. Now I need your help again.
The stories you told helped launch the Student Success Integration Task Force that Father Graham asked me to co-chair with Dave Johnson (Student Affairs) and Kelly Pokrywka (Enrollment Management & Student Success).
Our question: how might we better develop integrated initiatives to support first-year students to thrive at Xavier?
Our goal: at least 9 out of 10 students should return for year two.
Over the past two months, nearly 45 faculty and staff from across the university together devoted more than 700 hours to this work. We took the stories you provided and added student interviews, external and internal research about students, examples from other universities, deep dives into university data, and years of collective experience teaching and supporting first-year students.
From that we generated, refined, vetted, prioritized, and further refined 9 integrated initiatives that we think are worth further consideration

  1. Academic Planning for Success
  2. Apply Integrated Strategies to Key Courses
  3. Financial Aid and Tuition
  4. Holistic Living & Learning Communities
  5. Parents as Partners
  6. Support Services: Bigger and Better
  7. First-year Apprenticeships
  8. Know our Students Better
  9. Repurpose Fall Break
Now we need your help again—and that of all interested faculty, staff, and students. Come see posters of each proposed initiative. Help us to make them better and prioritize among them. 
We’ll ask you to identify (1) potential challenges to be resolved, (2) existing university assets that might contribute, (3) the people or departments that should be involved, (4) additional resources that would be required, and (5) how we will know if the initiative has succeeded.
Help us work together to support Xavier students to thrive. Stop by at any point during the two-day open house to learn about the ideas and share your feedback. I hope to see you there.
Where: The Arrupe Overlook, Gallagher Student Center
When: Tuesday and Wednesday, February 4th and 5th
Time:  3:00 – 4:30pm