USF College of Behavioral & Community Sciences




CBCS Strategic Initiative Update


January 2018


Happy New Year! In the December Strategic Initiative Update, I presented our progress towards increasing student access to academic programs in online programs and classes. This month I will outline progress in another strategic initiative related to student success.


1.    Our departments and advisors are developing opportunities for FTIC (first time in college) students to connect with their upper division peers and faculty in their major early in their first year. Examples include departmental open houses, upper level class mentors, student organization activities, and faculty presentations.


2.    At the college level we are developing two projects:

a.    A peer mentor program comprised of upper division students with representation from all departments.

b.   Proposal to implement a student ambassador program for two student representatives for each department to serve as mentors for FTIC students.


3.    We continue our fundraising efforts for CBCS student scholarships:

a.    CBCS Study Abroad Scholarships: we received 52 applications and awarded 23 scholarships totaling $28,000 to both undergraduate and graduate students studying abroad in seven different countries.

b.   Mom’s Project Scholarships: 2017-2018 first round scholarships are currently being reviewed for up to four student awards.


4.    We are collaborating with the University to provide case management for FTIC students to enhance retention and graduation.

a.    Advising has fully engaged in the Finish in Four initiative to reach a 60% four year graduation rate. Present work is being done on the FIF 2014 cohort and the college is currently holding over a 70% four year graduation rate.

b.   Three semester graduation plans have been created and are being tracked weekly to ensure students are successful in completing their degrees. Plans are currently being created and outreach is currently being done on the next four year cohort (FIF 2015)

c.    Advising is active with the continued enhancement of the retention rate with the 2016 and 2017 cohorts.

d.   Advisor assignments are being made as cohorts are developed to ensure all students have an assigned advisor in the system.


5.    We are creating student and faculty awareness of academic integrity processes with a goal of preventing academic misconduct, particularly plagiarism and inappropriate collaborations in online classes.

a.    Academic integrity is presented at all CBCS new student orientations where plagiarism and online collaborations are addressed specifically.

b.   New students are sent follow up materials to outline the different aspects of plagiarism.

c.    All new students are required by the university to complete an academic integrity module in order to be able to register for the next term.

d.   Academic integrity is discussed in detail at all new faculty orientations.

e.   The college conducted an academic integrity workshop for all faculty in the Fall 2017 term.

f.    And we are currently developing a module related to plagiarism to be housed permanently on the college canvas site for all majors.


Thank you for your interest in our strategic initiative updates. I am most grateful for all of your hard work towards our goal of providing a first rate education to our students and ensuring their academic success! The February update will highlight our progress in another strategic initiative related to our research.





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