Trends and Issues in Higher Ed

Student Success From the Start

Husky Experience | February 2016

Each year our diverse community of curious and committed individuals grows as undergraduate, graduate and professional students join us in Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma. It is not a foregone conclusion that each student will experience a smooth and successful transition — so, a concerted effort drawing upon expertise across the University is needed to make this possible.

We continually build, examine and improve programs and initiatives that help our undergraduates, graduate and professional students transition to the University. We provide critical resources and deep and applied learning experiences that open pathways for a student to develop a spirited intellect, an innovative mindset and an enduring dedication to enrich our communities.

Featured in this report is some of our most recent work to bring the Husky Experience to life for new students across our three campuses — guiding and supporting students as they learn how to navigate on their own. These and other endeavors employ a range of best practices in unique ways that can serve as models for peer institutions.

Engaging early and often with faculty is, of course, a key component of a first-rate university experience and many such opportunities are highlighted here. Professional staff also play pivotal roles in the education of UW students. In no small measure, their expertise and wisdom drive the success of the Husky Experience.

A spirit of togetherness is infused throughout the many ways we welcome students. Whether through formal participation in one of our many programs and initiatives or informally as a fellow Husky who offers guidance in passing moments, please consider ways in which you can support the transition of new students.

Together, we can connect students to resources, people and opportunities they might otherwise miss as we inspire them to engage fully in all the UW has to offer.

February 2016 Feature Stories

Continuing the conversation

The goal of the Provost’s Leading Change in Public Higher Education report series is to broaden and connect conversations on the UW’s three campuses, share best practices and provide common reference points to inform our plans for the future. We welcome your participation, feedback and suggestions at

UW resources

Flipping the Classroom – Center for Teaching & Learning
Making Leadership Explicit in the Classroom – Husky Leadership Initiative
First in the Family: Advice About College from First-Generation Students by Kathleen Cushman from Student Tips for Success at UW Tacoma

Further reading

The literature on student engagement and development indicates that students need assistance and support as they adjust to campus life, build networks and connect their learning on both sides of the classroom door to their personal and professional ambitions.

This support can be found in a variety of places on the UW’s three campuses, such as Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Graduate School, Student Life and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity at UW Seattle; Student Affairs at UW Bothell; Student & Enrollment Services at UW Tacoma; and departmental advisers, student life units, and the campus career centers. Additional resources and relevant literature examining the many ways in which faculty and staff can support student development is included below.


Many thanks to the UW faculty, students, alumni and staff who contributed their stories and photos for the features of this report, and to the UW subject matter experts who lent their advice and assistance, including Sara Stubbs of Global Affairs; Dan Zhu of Unite UW; Samantha Powers of Student Veteran Life; John Burkhardt of UW Tacoma Office of Advancement; Eve Riskin,Daniel Feetham and Christopher Crawford of the College of Engineering; FIG Leaders Leah Litwak and Jessie Kresge; Michaelann Jundt of Undergraduate Academic Affairs; and Ali Albrecht, Amanda Anderson, Janice DeCosmo, Carlos Guillen, Julie Larsen, Natalie McKinnis, Martha Tran, LeAnne Jones Wiles and the whole team of First Year Programs.

Thank you to the collaborative brainstorming and implementation teams behind #ThriveUW, including Susan Terry for her leadership, Michaelann Jundt for overseeing implementation, and to all contributing colleagues: Tina Wang Adelstein, Patrick Chidsey and Briana Randall of the Career Center; Erica Barton and Chris Jaehne of Housing & Food Services; Judith Clark, Liz Copland and Gretchen Ludwig of the College of Arts & Sciences; Matt Saavedra of Enrollment Management; David Hotz, Rene Singleton and Leigh Tucker of Student Life; Julie Larsen and LeAnne Jones Wiles of First Year Programs; Marisa Herrera, Robin Neal and Kristian Wiles of the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity; Janice Fournier, Tom Lewis, Phil Reid, Karin Roberts, William Washington and Jill Yetman of UWIT; Amanda Hornby and Linda Whang of the University Libraries; Max Savishinsky of Undergraduate Academic Affairs; Katy DeRosier and Marisa Nickle of Academic and Student Affairs.

Thank you to the planning team behind University 101: Matt McGarrity of the Department of Communication; Carlos Guillen and LeAnne Wiles of First Year Programs; Katy DeRosier, Katie Kirkland and Marisa Nickle of Academic and Student Affairs; Filiz Efe McKinney, video director; and all the students, faculty and staff who generously contributed their ideas and time to help develop U101 content and videos.

Additional contributors to the report series include: Beth Kalikoff and Christine Sugatan of the Center for Teaching and Learning; Candice Douglass and colleagues of the College of Arts & Sciences; Glenna Chang, Sean Ferris, Lincoln Johnson, Leigh Tucker and colleagues of Student Life; Kirsten Atik, Francesca Lo and colleagues of Undergraduate Academic Affairs; Gabriel Gallardo, Marisa Herrera, Robin Neal, Erin Rowley and Kristian Wiles of the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity; Cindy Brown of UW-IT; Grant Kollet, Paul Rucker and colleagues of the UW Alumni Association; Katy DeRosier, Kelly Edwards and Elizabeth Lowry of the Graduate School; Tomitha Blake, Verena Hess and Christy Kessler of Academic and Student Affairs; Elise Perachio and colleagues of University Marketing and Communications; and Alicia Palacio of the Office of the Provost.

Series Editors

Gerald J. Baldasty, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President
Marisa Nickle, Director of Strategy and Academic Initiatives, Office of the Provost

Editorial Advisor

Jason Johnson, Special Assistant to the Provost and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Research, Writing, Design and Photography

Editorial Director and Lead Writer: Jill Reddish, Graduate Student Assistant, Office of the Provost
Web Editor and Lead Designer: Katie Kirkland, Project Manager of Strategy and Initiatives, Office of the Provost
Writer: Siobhan Bauer, Undergraduate Assistant, Office of the Provost

Editing and Proofing

Ignacio Lobos, Communications Manager, UW-IT
Kay Pilcher, Communications Manager, UW-IT
Christy Kessler, Administrative and Special Projects Coordinator, Academic and Student Affairs