Presidential Commission on Student Success

damphousse with female student

“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

Learn about the Presidential Commission on Student Success below.

In addition, visit the Recruitment Task Force page to explore Dr. Damphousse's charge to increase international, transfer, and master’s student enrollment, as well as online enrollment. That Recruitment Task Force will work parallel to the Presidential Commission on Student Success.

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  • We have challenges ahead of us and our students need support to meet the expectations of this rigorous academic environment. Members of our first-year class have not had the traditional high school experience because of the pandemic. Our continuing students experienced similar academic challenges and learning loss.

    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 I do not want to settle for allowing 20% of our first-year students to not return for their sophomore year.

    Ultimately, we want to provide conditions to support all Bobcats who are committed to their academic pursuits to walk across the graduation stage! We must be intentional across all student support programs and services to impact success.

  • The Student Success Executive Committee will be transformed into the Presidential Commission on Student Success, and its charge and membership have been revamped. The purpose of the Commission is 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 will conduct a comprehensive review of our current strategies, identify strategies that need to be sunset, conduct benchmarking and data analysis, and identify and prioritize strategies and resources needed to meet student success targets.

    To shape the university-wide strategy for student success, Dr. Damphousse asked the group to:

    • Think outside of the box and dream big. Share bold, fresh, and different ideas. Set aggressive targets and timelines. Be fearless for the sake of our students!
    • Explore opportunities for impacting student success on both the Round Rock and San Marcos campuses.
    • Avoid the temptation of saying, “but we have always done it this way.” Henry Ford once said: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

    Dr. Damphousse added two points of clarification. First, the Commission is not intended to be an operational committee. Instead, the group will focus on recommending initiatives to meet our student success goals in the fastest way possible. Members have been empowered to use existing subcommittees or form new workgroups, as needed, to research and take deeper dives into focus areas and provide the Commission with recommendations. The Commission will prioritize and generate initiatives based on current data, identified needs, recommendations from workgroups, evidence-based trends, etc. Second, the group will have to make tough decisions around recommendations, resources, and priorities. Investment is likely not to be equally distributed across all student success programs.

  • President Damphousse notified the task force members of their charge on September 20, 2022. Task Force Co-Chairs Dr. David Byrd and Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt have been asked to submit the group’s first report by January 9, 2023. After that initial report, the commission will submit quarterly updates until TXST achieves its student success targets.

    1. David Byrd, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Co-Chair)
    2. Mary Ellen Cavitt, Associate Vice President for Academic Success, Dean of the University College (Co-Chair)
    3. Sonya Armstrong, Associate Dean for Student Success, College of Education
    4. Kambra Bolch, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, University College
    5. Tahir Ekin, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods
    6. Christine Hailey, Dean, College of Science and Engineering, Council of Deans Representative
    7. Danielle Nied, Director of Residential Experience, Housing and Residential Life
    8. Gary Ray, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
    9. Ray Rogers, Director of Career Services
    10. Stella Silva, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Inclusive Excellence-Faculty and Staff Initiatives
    11. Beth Thomas, Director, School of Art and Design
    12. Beverly Woodson Day, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Director of Undergraduate Admissions
    13. Michele Fissel, Lecturer, Department of Biology