Energizing the Student Experience

USF launches major conference focused on student success for both undergraduate and graduate students.


By Mary Beth Erskine

USF.edu News Writer


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2010)On Tuesday, Nov. 9, USF will launch a major conference focused on reshaping the student experience at the university – its inaugural Student Success Conference.


Bringing together key USF administrators, faculty and student representatives, the conference is designed to celebrate and energize the USF Student Success Movement. The agenda will include presentations and action-oriented, small-group discussions intended to generate strategies that will create an institutional culture supportive of student success.


Participants will learn about USF’s efforts contributing to student success, in addition to hearing directly from students during a panel discussion regarding what has helped them succeed, what has been a barrier, and what USF could do to enhance student success. Participants will also engage in small group sessions to develop action steps that will lead to greater student success.


Michael S. McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation and co-author of the nationally acclaimed Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities, will be the keynote speaker. McPherson is a nationally known economist whose expertise focuses on the interplay between education and economics.


Last year, USF launched its Student Success initiative – a comprehensive, campus-wide effort renewing emphasis on the success of undergraduate and graduate students. The objective is to empower students to succeed through educationally purposeful activities, initiatives, and accountability measures and ensure their timely progression toward their career and educational goals.


“The success of our students is the top priority at USF,” said Paul Dosal, director of USF’s Office of Student Success. “Everything we do – the work of administrators, faculty and staff – should help them achieve their academic goals and facilitate their success.”


Recent statistics indicate that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education or training and that America will be short 3 million college graduates if graduation rates remain at current levels.


According to Dosal, that research, cited in a recent Conference of State Legislatures report, “clearly, shows that increasing student success rates is a national imperative and provides even more evidence that our priority on student success at USF is perfectly aligned with the national focus.”


Media interested in attending the Student Success Conference can contact Lara Wade, USF News Director, 813-974-9060.