Division of Student Affairs

Student Success and College Completion Award

Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Kristin Woods, Director of Student Success and Retention and Dr. Deedee Heistad, Director of Undergraduate Studies! Their application was selected to receive the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Student Success and College Completion Award.  This programs involves students, faculty and staff from across the campus in a collaborative effort to help first year students succeed and increase retention.  Congratulations to all involved for this outstanding efforts.  The AASCU award write up can be found below.

Student Success and College Completion Award:

The University of Northern Iowa’s course-embedded peer mentor program creates a supportive environment both in and outside the classroom. Situated within UNI’s general education program or Liberal Arts Core (LAC), the peer mentor program intentionally connects incoming freshmen with faculty, other students, staff and support services while introducing them to community values of respect, ethical responsibility, and intellectual and social engagement. This program involves selecting rising sophomores to return as mentors within courses they completed during the previous year, and pairing them with faculty members to create vibrant, supportive classroom communities designed for first-year students. Since the program’s inception in fall 2011, the retention rate of students enrolled in one of these courses has been 6-8 percent higher as compared to those students who did not enroll in a first-year only section.