Elevate Student Success
Student success remains at the heart of everything we do at Texas State University. Improving student success metrics is a top pillar of the Hopes & Aspirations High vision for TXST’s future.
Historically, student success initiatives were organized primarily in different units, reporting to different vice presidents. The President’s Cabinet consolidated like teams together under a new Division of Student Success to reduce duplication, improve efficiency, and optimize student support – all with the goal of creating a holistic student success mechanism that gives every Bobcat the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The new Division of Student Success is comprised of departments from the Division of Student Affairs and specific student services units from University College. Dr. Cynthia Hernandez is leading this new division, and her title has changed from Vice President for Student Affairs to Vice President for Student Success.
TXST is moving forward with critical investments that will enhance student success:
- Launching a student success platform that will include software technology that will allow the university to collect, compile, analyze, and act on data that are known to predict student success.
- Expanding student access to virtual mental health counseling and other initiatives supporting student well-being.
Though the full impact of these changes will take some time to materialize, TXST retained a near record 92% of our First-Time-In-College (FTIC) student 2022 cohort from Fall to Spring.
Work that was previously led by the Division of Inclusive Excellence supporting student success initiatives will now be accomplished through the Division of Student Success. Learn more in the president’s July 2023 message.
Dr. Victoria Black joined the leadership team in the Division of Student Success.
Dr. Kambra Bolch remains in the Division of Academic Affairs to lead our first-year and transfer undergraduate student advising efforts. Dr. Bolch will work with the college deans to better coordinate academic advising in their respective colleges. Dr. Bolch and the units under her direction will report to the Provost’s Office, but will also work closely with the Division of Student Success.
The Student Success Executive Committee was transformed into the Presidential Commission on Student Success, which was directed to make bold recommendations to increase student retention and graduation rates. Specific goals include:
- Increase first year retention of full-time, first-time in college students to 85% by 2025.
- Decrease retention disparities between demographic cohorts (e.g., first-gen and gender).
- Develop an institutional vision of equitable student success to increase academic achievement, wellbeing, sense of belonging, and engagement.
- Increase the 4-year graduation rate to 37%.
- Increase the 6-year graduation rate to 58%.
- Increase transfer student graduation rate to 64%.
The commission conducted a comprehensive review of current strategies, identified strategies to sunset, conducted benchmarking and data analysis, and identified strategies and resources needed to meet student success targets. The commission also met with Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Council of Chairs, and other university leaders regarding the charge and solicited input and ideas from faculty and staff.
Unique challenges exist in the current academic landscape. Members of TXST's first-year class have not had the traditional high school experience because of the pandemic. Continuing students experienced similar academic challenges and learning loss. Students need support to meet the expectations of a rigorous academic environment.
For several years, our first-year retention rate has hovered around 77%. Through strategic investments and coordinated efforts across the university, that number jumped to 80% this Fall. That is a tremendous achievement, yet TXST will not settle for allowing 20% of first-year students to not return for their sophomore year. TXST strives to provide conditions that support all Bobcats who are committed to their academic pursuits to ultimately walk across the graduation stage! Our faculty and staff must remain intentional across all student support programs and services to impact student success outcomes
“Doubling down on our commitment to student success is one of the top priorities of my presidency. As we accelerate our progress toward becoming a Research 1 institution, we will stay true to Texas State’s long-standing commitment to student success. We will honor our history and unique identity by recruiting and enrolling a diverse student body and providing a rich student experience that will prepare them for life and success during their time at Texas State and after graduation.”
– President Kelly Damphousse