Monday, March 16, 2015

FAMU invests $7.2M in performance funding to help graduation and retention rates

FAMU has invested $7.2M in new performance funds from the Florida Legislature into a number of initiatives to boost the university’s graduation and retention rates.

One is an overhaul of the university’s office of student retention, renamed the Office of Undergraduate Student Success, which includes a reinvigorated focus on promoting academic excellence and advising transfer students. Using a new software program to identify struggling students, two new directors and a coordinator of financial advisement are charged with proactively reaching out to those students to offer targeted services.

FAMU’s efforts to ramp up student engagement also include a renewed spotlight on first-year and second-year experience courses, which teach students about opportunities to study abroad and connect with mentorships and internships.

In addition, the university is revamping its “living and learning communities,” which offer students the opportunity to live in dorms with other students of the same major. Those students then have the opportunity for field trips, group lunches, and additional interaction with their professors.

Gov. Rick Scott has proposed to spend $400M in performance funding in 2015-2016, following $200M last year.

“By making strategic investments, our universities can raise the bar for themselves and ensure that our students have rewarding opportunities in this state,” said State University System of Florida Chancellor Marshall Criser III.

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