Annual Report

The Division of Student Affairs Annual Report serves as a snapshot of our student outcomes for the past year. Our staff work tirelessly to deliver a Bearcat-worthy student experience. We are delighted to be on this journey of discovery with our amazing students and we're excited to share the highlights with you. Please contact us at 513-556-4119 to obtain a print copy.

Letter from the Vice President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Division of Student Affairs is pleased to present the 2017-18 annual report. The impact of Student Affairs services and programs is demonstrated by our data and articulated through student voices. 

We serve a talented, motivated, and widely diverse student body. Therefore, our rich array of student organizations, support services, co-curricular programs, and experiential opportunities are designed to help students discover common bonds and develop competencies that will prepare them to design their individual futures.

As the University of Cincinnati celebrates our first 200 years in 2019 and embarks on our future framed by the university’s strategic direction, Next Lives Here, Student Affairs is poised to innovate and collaborate in the delivery of a Bearcats worthy student experience.  Consistent with the Bearcat Promise contained in Next Lives Here, the resourceful and knowledgeable Student Affairs staff are fully invested in learning outcomes that guide our work and help students develop transferable skills outside of the classroom.

The pictures, data points, and student voices highlighted in this Annual Report, provide an overview of a very busy year of student engagement and learning. Programs such as Camp Bearcats, Emerging Ethnic Leaders, the Turner Scholars, and Gen-1 programs increase interpersonal competence. Widely popular programs such as Bearcat Buddies, Racial Awareness Programs, and Spring Break Service Learning trips inspire humanitarianism and civic engagement. Opportunities to serve as peer leaders and residential assistants advance practical competence.

With the goals of positively influencing student success and preparation for the future, Student Affairs is a key contributor in the creation of a supportive and inclusive university-wide learning community in which every student can develop and thrive. 

I want to commend the tireless staff in Student Affairs for their hard work and dedication to meeting students where they are and joining them on their journey of discovery to becoming Boldly Bearcat!

Debra Spotts Merchant, JD
Vice President of Student Affairs 

The Divisional Strategic Plan in Action

The Division of Student Affairs is in the midst of achieving its goals outlined in the Divisional Strategic Plan, which can be found at the end of this document. Within that plan, there are four divisional pillars, which define our priorities to meet the needs of all students. As you read this report, you will see icons that reflect our pillars throughout. These symbols indicate examples of accomplishments related to our Strategic Plan this past academic year.

A ladder climbing to the sky, depicted by a cloud and a graphic representation of the sun

Services and programs are intentionally designed to support and promote a culture of academic success for all students. Students who participate in academic support services will achieve academic success, be retained, and graduate.

  • The Fraternity and Sorority all-community GPA (3.272) remains higher than the all-university GPA (3.188). Many organizations within the Greek community host study sessions in chapter houses or on campus to help members keep academics the focal point of their collegiate career.
  • The Center for Community Engagement partnered with the College of Medicine to instruct three service-learning courses, which included the formalization of a partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s College Hill campus and Center for Educational Services and Research.
  • “To me, the Cincinnati Pride Grant (CPG) is an opportunity to achieve greatness. It has allowed me to follow my wildest dream—attend college. I am a first generation college student from a low socioeconomic background, so one could imagine the barriers in front of me. Being a part of CPG means that I hold a responsibility to myself and to those who have provided the opportunity for me.” –Current Cincinnati Pride Grant student  
A series of arrows suggesting a cycle around a stick figure person

Leadership and educational programs are focused on the holistic development of student participants. Students will discover and define their personal values and goals and identify how those will be realized at UC and beyond.

  • This year, the Club Sports Board implemented the Club Sports Community Service Initiative, which logged over 3,400 hours of service to the community. Engaging in community service provides students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and has a lasting, positive impact on society. Community service enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, including empathy, civic responsibility, and a stronger understanding of diversity and justice.
  • The Campus-Community Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition was developed in Fall 2017 to address high-risk alcohol and drug use among students at the University of Cincinnati. In the first year, the Coalition conducted a campus-wide assessment to determine current programming and policies, as well as to identify gaps. The Coalition created a report with recommendations to guide the future of alcohol and other drug programming and policy development at UC. The recommendations address student behavior on and off campus with the goal of providing resources, education, and policies to help students make low-risk alcohol choices. The recommendations are being prioritized and shared with the University community and will be implemented over the next two years.
Four arrows pointing inward to the center of a circle

Intentional student advocacy programs educate and develop a UC community that is inclusive and affirming. Students experiencing consistent inclusion and respect throughout campus are empowered to fully engage with the UC community.

  • The Division of Student Affairs is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all students. In an effort to be equipped to do this, ROOTEd (Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education), a staff training designed to enhance capacity to create a just community was developed. 60% of the Student Affairs staff has participated and the fourth cohort of the program will begin in Fall 2018.
  • Over 120 students attend the Ohio Latino Student Summit in Fall 2017. The day consisted of workshops that engaged students in skill building around leadership, activism, cultural competency, and civic engagement.
A series of differently sized dots interconnected by lines creating an orb

Programs and experiences will provide students a safe space to engage with members of the UC community who can support their continued development and success. Students will cultivate relationships and have experiences that create bonds and support their retention and success at the University of Cincinnati.

  • Resident Education & Development, in partnership with a variety of campus partners, launched three new living-learning communities this year: Audre Lorde Social Justice House, Bearcat Leadership, and an Engineering community. Research shows that benefits of living-learning communities include living with others with similar interests, connection to faculty and staff outside the classroom, increased sense of community and connection to the institution, and greater knowledge specific to the community topic.
  • Welcome Week—the six days prior to the first day of fall semester—is intentionally designed to provide a foundation for student persistence through a developmentally purposeful agenda, and to help students develop a sense of institutional identity, connection points, and community. Students who participated in 2017 were surveyed, and reported the following: 80% of students explored campus and its facilities, 77% of students felt more comfortable at UC, 76% of students felt welcomed at UC, and 71% of students met others/made new friends.

Student Affairs Goes Social

The Division of Student Affairs has worked to create a more engaging online presence for students. 

  • Couldn’t make it to Tyehimba, the African American Cultural and Resource Center’s Afro-centric graduation celebration? No problem. 6 276 people were reached through the Facebook Live stream!
  • This year the Office of the University Ombuds communicated their assessment results to students in an effort to educate students on how to utilize and engage the Ombuds.
  • 1,830 family members follow “University of Cincinnati Families” on Facebook. Parent and Family Programs posts frequent updates on campus happenings, events, approaching deadlines, and resources for families and their students. This engages families in the UC experience, enables them to learn about campus resources and events, and provides reminders of upcoming dates and deadlines. Followers become knowledgeable resources who can better help guide their student in navigating UC and the college experience.
  • Student Activities and Leadership Development expanded its promotion of Campus LINK, the institution’s online student engagement portal. As a result, last year there was a 60% increase in events posted and promoted within the system.
  • The Student Wellness Center (SWC) is a leader in using its social media accounts to reach students. This year the center saw an increase in engagement of 66% through all of its social media platforms. In addition, the SWC’s Twitter handle, @UC_Wellness, saw a 31% increase in followers. 

Departmental Updates

Purpose

The Accessibility Resources Office serves students with disabilities by fostering an environment that places independence, inclusion, and success at its core.

By the Numbers

  • Accessibility Resources saw a 9% increase from the prior academic year in students registered for services.
  • 35 students utilized ASL/English interpreting, CART, and/or captioning services from the Communications Access Team (CAT), which resulted in a 30% increase in students served from the prior academic year.
  • 84% of students who registered with Accessibility Resources and utilized accommodation services earned a C- or better in their classes. Services include ASL/English interpreting, CAR, and/or captioning.
  • The Student Accessibility Advocacy Team (SAAT) was created empowers students with disabilities to participate in the broader movement towards accessibility in the UC community.
  • The SAAT met weekly to discuss accessibility barriers on campus, ways of generating accessibility awareness, and met with leaders of the Accessibility Network at UC to explore ways to improve accessibility on campus. The group will become a registered student organization in 2018.
  • Accessibility Resources partnered with Langsam Library to create the Adaptive Technologies lab, which offers students the ability to have full and equal access to all library resources. The equipment available includes the following: screen reading software, Dragon Natural Speaking dictation software, text enlarging software/Zoomtext, large screen monitors.

Purpose

The AACRC’s signature programs and services create well-rounded individuals from all backgrounds who are culturally aware and ready to become leaders in the community and beyond.

By the Numbers

  • Transitions is a first-year student experience that uses a "Rites of Passage" curriculum to increase retention and graduation rates for African American students at the University of Cincinnati. This year, Transitions students participated in 1,418 hours of community service, with Clean Up Cincy being the most popular project.
  • The program assists students with their acclimation to college by providing workshops, mentorship, and other social and academic activities to ensure that all participants successfully transition to college. As a result of participation in the program, 90% of students reported growth in personal development, 93% of students reported growth in social development, 85% of students reported growth in leadership development, 85% of students reported growth in academic development, 75% of students applied for or considered applying for a leadership position in a student organization.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the AACRC partnered on a new program called #WeGotUs. A member of the CAPS team held drop-in services at the Center each week to raise awareness about the services CAPS provides, break stigmas surrounding mental health, and to increase students’ access to CAPS. At the end of the academic year, 82% of the students who participated in #WeGotUs rated their mental health as very stable or stable. 

Purpose

The Bearcat Bands provide educational opportunities, artistic expression, and leadership development programs to students through music.

By the Numbers

  • In addition to performing music, band members reported service to the community and leadership development opportunities as additional purposes of the Bearcat Bands. Students determined the core values of the band to be community, friendships, leadership, fun, and growth.
  • Tau Beta Sigma, the co-ed national honorary band sorority, won awards at the district convention, including a future leadership award for a student and the Outstanding Service Project Award.

Student Voices

“Being in the Bearcat Bands has given me more than just musical skills. I moved from the other side of the state and had nobody. The Bearcat Bands have given me a family and support group that continue to make me improve with each passing day.” – First-year trumpet player

Purpose

The Center for Community Engagement inspires students to make a positive impact on their communities through voluntary service based on mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnerships.

By the Numbers

  • 503 Bearcat Buddies tutors provided 9,6347.5 hours of community service through approximately 6,423 tutoring sessions during the 2017-18 academic year.
  • 3,289 hours of community services were provided by 589 students through four major campus-wide community service projects: Into the Streets, Fall Servant Day, Spring Neighborhood Enhancement Program, and Green-Up Day.
  • 22,398 hours of community service were logged by 1,910 students using the Center for Community Engagement’s volunteer.uc.edu platform.
  • CCE was able to capitalize on $25,000 in grants from local foundations and $10,000 from Undergraduate Student Government to purchase a new van to be used primarily for the Bearcat Buddies program. A new van will increase the capacity of the Center, and will enhance the safety and quality of programming across our portfolio. 

Student Voices

“I joined Bearcat Buddies because I have a passion for tutoring and education. I love teaching and mentoring young children and forming a relationship with them. I also wanted to gain insight into the challenges that lower-income, disadvantaged, or marginalized communities face in terms of their educational system.” – Bearcat Buddies Tutor 

What's Next?

In an effort to expand student leadership opportunities and improve program quality, the decision was made to split the Bearcat Buddies program into two separate programs. One program, which will keep the Bearcat Buddies moniker, will connect UC students to Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) children in grades K–6. A new program, to be named, will connect UC students to CPS children in grades 7–12 with a college access focus. This will support program quality by narrowing the focus of UC student participants with regard to preparation, action, and reflection for each age range of children served. 

Purpose

The Commencement Office recognizes graduating students’ achievements by celebrating those successes at the University of Cincinnati Commencement ceremony.

By the Numbers

  • During the annual New Student Convocation ceremony, four student speakers were selected to talk about their Bearcat experience to over 5,000 first-year students. The students were Ethan Fernandes, Matthew Robleski, and Sheffi Tawari, who talked about topics from taking risks, getting involved, and mental health. 
Fall 2017
  • 2,321 students were eligible to graduate, including 1,254 bachelor’s degree candidates; 976 master’s degree candidates, and 91 doctoral degree candidates.
  • Graduates were from 49 states and 42 countries.
  • STEM degrees were awarded to 39% of graduates, a 10% increase over the prior year.
  • 14% of graduates were first-generation college students.
  • The average age of the graduating class was 28 years old.
Spring 2018
  • 6,340 students were eligible to graduate, including 27 associate degree candidates; 4,647 bachelor degree candidates; 1,404 master’s degree candidates, and 262 doctoral degree candidates.
  • Graduates were from 49 states and 16 countries.
  • STEM degrees were awarded to 50% of graduates, an 11% increase from the prior year.
  • 16% of graduates were first-generation college students.
  • The average age of the graduates was 26, with ages ranging from 18 to 73 years old.

Purpose

CAPS promotes students’ growth psychologically, relationally, and intellectually, as well as support their wellness and academic success within an inclusive environment.

By the Numbers

  • 64% of students who initially present with elevated overall levels of distress no longer report this level after 2 or more sessions
  • By introducing a stepped-care model, which is an evidence-based approach to care that involves matching individuals to the most appropriate level of care based on their specific needs, CAPS saw a 91% increase in students served through group therapy services compared to last academic year, and 97% of these students reported experiencing overall well-being after participating in group therapy
  • In partnership with CAPS, a group of students launched the Bearcat Support Network BSN). BSN is a community of students who fundamentally work to destigmatize mental health while holistically work to create a network that is supportive, loving, and inclusive through peer-to-peer support groups and bi-weekly social events.
  • CAPS served an increased number of students from underrepresented backgrounds this year, including: 67% increase in international students, 21% increase in first-generation students, 23% increase in students who report their gender identity as trans or non-binary, 30% increase in students who identify as LGBTQ or other, 43% increase in students who identify as African American/Black, 58% increase in students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islander.

Student Voices

“CAPS has definitely been a big part of my recover process and growth over the course of the past year. I often wish that I would have found the courage to seek therapy earlier in my college career.” – Client Survey Respondent 

Purpose

The Dean of Students Office serves students and their families as they navigate the collegiate experience through support services and resources committed to students’ advocacy, safety, and well-being.

By the Numbers

  • There was a 75% increase from the previous academic year in the number of people who utilized the Bearcats Pantry.
  • 222 students were referred to the CARE (Crisis, Assessment, Referral, and Evaluation Team), which was a 50% increase from the prior year.
  • 528 Tuition Refund Applications were processed in 2017 – 2018, a 7% increase from the prior academic year.
  • The Dean of Students developed the Safe Apartment Program for students who are in crisis and need of emergency housing. In partnership with Resident Education and Development, UC Police, and the WHW On-Campus Advocates, the Safe Apartment Program offers short-term housing for students who are at risk or perceived risk of harm if they stay in their current housing situation. 
  • This year, the Communication Response Team was developed to communicate and disseminate information across the Division of Student Affairs regarding crisis and incidents affecting students and the campus community. 

Student Voices

“Before discovering the Bearcats Pantry, I was always stressed about finances and how to make ends meet when it came to buying food. This was stressful and it affected communication with others, work productivity, and academic performance overall. When I learned about the Pantry as an additional resource, it was like a breath of fresh air.” – Bearcat Pantry user 

Purpose

The Office of Ethnic Programs & Services provides a culturally–inclusive environment by enhancing the growth and development of underrepresented students through intentional programming, academic and community engagement, and access of resources.

By the Numbers

  • 85% of first-year Darwin T. Turner Scholars strongly agreed or agreed that the weekly meetings facilitate personal growth, professional development, and leadership skills. In addition, 85% of these students also agreed that the weekly meetings helped them build a sense of community.
  • EPS conducted 11 DREAMZone Ally trainings this year. These trainings are designed to help students, faculty, and staff understand the unique challenges undocumented immigrant students face while at UC. The training provides not only allows attendees to become an ally for undocumented students, but also provides tools and strategies to support these students throughout their college career.
  • The Darwin T. Turner Scholarship Program continues to lead campus in academic excellence and success: 3.4 average GPA; 4,787 hours of community service; 98% first-year student retention rate; 100% job placement or graduate school acceptance for 24 graduating seniors.

Student Voices

“[WorldFest gave me the opportunity…] to discuss with people from different backgrounds about issues related to race, but also areas where discrimination exists, such as gender, class, sexual identity, etc.  We also discussed what we all can do at our individual and collective levels to make things better.” – WorldFest participant

 “Before I even set foot on UC’s campus, I already had a family waiting for me. This family served as one my biggest support systems and the Darwin T. Turner program provided me with countless opportunities that I would not have gotten anywhere else. Even though Turner fosters diversity, we all share the values of scholarship, service, and success, which are our uniting principles.” – Graduating Turner Scholar 

Purpose

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life engages students and chapters through intellectual development, philanthropy and service, social responsibility and citizenship, leadership development, and values integration and personal growth.

By the Numbers

  • This year, the community participated in the Fraternity and Sorority Experience Survey, which provides an overview of perceptions about and satisfaction with the fraternity/sorority experience. The survey is organized into five constructs:  learning, values, alcohol/social issues, operations, and community.
  • 94% of respondents stated that their fraternity and sorority experience has positively impacted their sense of campus community.
  • 84% of respondents stated that their fraternity and sorority experience has positively impacted their commitment to social justice.
  • 91% of respondents stated that they have the skills to intervene in a chapter situation that may be a harmful experience.
  • Friendship was the most common reason Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council members joined their organizations.
  • Leadership and Service were the most common reasons for National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council members joined their organizations.
  • This year, the FSL staff introduced the Chapter Coaching Model, which allows chapter presidents, risk managers, membership education officers, and advisors the opportunity to meet with an assigned staff member at least once per month. Chapter assignments rotate on an annual basis based on need to allow chapters to utilize the multitude of resources within the office team.

Student Voices

  • “Joining a fraternity was far and away the best decision I made in college. Greek life opened doors for me socially, academically, and professionally—I could not have had a more positive experience. I’m a senior with a GPA I’m proud of, a plethora of campus involvement, and have several job offers. The past four years were also the most fun and positive years of my life.” – Graduating fraternity member 

What's Next?

In Fall 2018, the Student Wellness Center and the FSL teams will implement the inaugural Greek Wellness Summit, a one day event that provides skills-based workshops around the prevention of gender-based violence, mental health, men and masculinities, and alcohol and drug prevention. 

Purpose

The Gen-1 Living-Learning Community supports Pell-eligible, first generation college students through high intensity advising, academic courses, and co-curricular experiences to ensure their academic success.

By the Numbers

  • This academic year boasted the highest number of Gen-1 Theme House graduates, at 23 receiving a bachelor's degree.
  • 73% of Cohort 5 graduated, which is almost 7 times higher than the national graduation rate of Pell-eligible students at 11%.
  • The program received funding to underwrite the cost of students who accept internships in a nonprofit organization for a semester. These internships provide career-related experiences for students who are often interested in fields that only offered unpaid internships, which are not feasible for Gen-1 students. 

Student Voices

“Would I be here without Gen-1? I don’t see how. This program gave me the community I needed to make it. One more year until I graduate!” – Current Gen-1 Theme House student

“Gen-1 gives me a UC home to use as a foundation for everything—academics, leadership experiences, and career exploration.” – Current Gen-1 Theme House student 

What's Next?

The new 1MPACT House will launch in Fall 2019. The house is a living-learning community built on the ten years of success of the Gen-1 Theme House. The 1MPACT House supports students’ transition to college and introduces them to programs and services that enhance their success. Over 125 students will participate in the program. 

Purpose

The LGBTQ Center enhances the campus community for LGBTQ students and their allies through intentional advocacy, providing a safe space, intersectional programming, and access to culturally-relevant resources.

By the Numbers

  • The University of Cincinnati rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index. The Index is a vital tool for campuses to determine how to improve their LGBTQ campus life and assists campus leaders in shaping the educational experience to be inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.
  • Seventeen students were selected to serve as Pride Ambassadors for the upcoming academic year. The ambassadors receive training on leadership development and social justice. The ambassadors will serve as the outreach arm for the Center and assist with developing community within and outside to the Center.
  • The Center established an Advisory Board, comprised of 22 faculty, staff, and students. The group meets monthly to advocate for and provide direction to the LGBTQ Center. 

Purpose

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program prepares global scholars for graduate education.

By the Numbers

  • 70% of the McNair Scholars were accepted into graduate school.
  • 53% of the McNair Scholars and McNair Prep Scholars made the Dean’s List.
  • 35% of the McNair Scholars and McNair Prep Scholars participated in a study abroad experience this academic year.
  • In partnership with the School of Social Work, the McNair Scholars Program supported a research project that allowed students to understand proposed intervention models and research concepts. The partnership aimed to provide underrepresented students access to high-level research and provide a foundation for graduate education.

Student Voices

“Through the McNair Scholars Program, I have a foundation to build my career which sets me up for graduate education. I have gained a passion for research through my undergraduate research placement in the College of Allied Health. Lastly, the McNair program has helped me develop as an individual, a scholar, and a leader through the many opportunities such as the McNair Abroad in Ecuador.” – McNair Scholars graduate  

Purpose

The Ombuds Office provides neutral, informal, and confidential (except in cases of Title IX) conflict resolution for the UC community, and a space to talk about campus concerns, disputes, or problems to generate realistic options.

By the Numbers

  • 98% of participants who completed the Ombuds Office conflict resolution workshop agree or strongly agree that they better understand what conflict is after completing the workshop.
  • The office saw a 47% increase in cases from the prior academic year. 
  • The Office of the University Ombuds provided training to the Undergraduate Student Government Elections Facilitation Committee. The training equipped the students with the skills to administer the election grievance processes neutrally and fairly. 
  • The Ombuds hosted dialogue sessions during the fall semester around challenging topics including national politics, race relations, and local policing. Two of these dialogues were in collaboration with the Gen-1 Theme House. The sessions were designed to model civil dialogue can be had pertaining to varied opinions within difficult topics.

 

Student Voices

“I have no words to thank you for your help in communicating to my program for me. I don’t think I would have my degree if it weren’t for [the Office of the University Ombuds].” – Undergraduate student in need of facilitation 

“I was finally able to have an open and honest conversation with multiple people, which was a huge step.” - Undergraduate student who participated in conflict coaching 

What's Next?

Next year, look for the hashtag #OmbudsOffersOptions, which will educate students, faculty, and staff about addressing conflict and conflict resolution techniques. 

Purpose

Parent and Family Programs provides families with information about student services and resources, campus engagement opportunities, and a dedicated place to receive support in helping their students successfully navigate the UC experience. 

By the Numbers

  • The average number of calls PFP receives per month has increased 250% since the launch of the inclusive, free one-stop support for families. The total incoming contacts from families (phone and email) has increased 224% from the prior year.
  • 354 students and family members attended Family Weekend, which represents a 49% increase from the prior year. This weekend gives families the opportunity to explore campus, engage in activities with their students and their peers, and experience life at UC.
  • PFP hired two student workers to serve as inaugural Parent and Family Ambassadors allowing the team to maintain a larger presence at Bearcats Bound Orientation, Family Weekend, and other events throughout the upcoming year. 
  • Parent and Family Programs conducted a survey to gather input from families regarding desired services, preferred methods of communication, and campus engagement opportunities prior to launching a restructured program. They learned that most families are interested in Family Weekend, athletics, and Commencement as engagement opportunities. Additionally, 65% of respondents were receiving The Bearcat Family Beat, the monthly newsletter. 73% of those respondents found it helpful. 

Purpose

Resident Education and Development creates a residential program for our students that is focused on learning, leadership, inclusion, and community.

By the Numbers

  • 6,300 living spaces for students; this is an increase in 200 spaces from the previous academic year.
  • 350 new applicants for the Resident Advisor (RA) position, which is almost 100 more applications from the previous year, and the highest recruitment yield ever!
  • The average GPA for the 142 Resident Advisors was a 3.74, and increase of .32 from the prior academic year. 
  • This year, RED conducted a residential survey, where 30% of student residents responded. Students reported highest rates of satisfaction in a sense of community due to living in the residence halls, feelings of safety and security in the residence halls, effective residence hall student staff, and a positive community environment.

Student Voices

“Being a part of RED has definitely given me a home and community of peers. I’ve learned so much about myself and about community through this Resident Assistant (RA) role.” – Current Resident Advisor

“One of the most impactful experiences of being an RA has been the relationship I’ve developed with  my supervisor. He has been a source of support for me during a difficult year and has also helped guide me throughout my professional journey. I feel really lucky being a part of this team and it has made my UC experience even better.” – Current Resident Advisor

What's Next?

In 2018-2019, RED will publicize its 3-year strategic plan, which will focus on communication, marketing and branding, development of its staff, and much more. 

Purpose

SALD supports a vibrant Bearcat community through advocacy, engagement, education, and inclusion.

By the Numbers

  • More than 35 students participated in Emerging Ethnic Leaders (EEL) retreat. The program supports students of color through increasing intercultural competence, community building, and identifying and articulating their voice as a leader. 94% of participants strongly agreed or agreed that EEL was a positive leadership development experience. 88% of participants strongly agreed or agreed that they are more comfortable speaking out against social injustice as a result of participating.
  • SALD created the Campus Involvement Ambassadors (CIAs), who guide their peers through a number of developmental opportunities by hosting Learn & Leads. Learn & Leads are developmental workshops that help support the leadership growth and potential of all students on campus. The CIAs will also assist in leading the Student Leadership Conference, Emerging Ethnic Leaders, and other office leadership initiatives. Nine students served as CIAs in the inaugural year.
  • The University Funding Board (UFB) and the Student Activities Board (SAB) create vibrant co-curricular experiences through supporting and funding student organizations. During the 2017 – 2018 academic year, UFB allocated more than $490,000 to student organizations for events and programs, conferences, and retreats. SAB approved 54 new student organizations, bringing the total number of student organizations to over 650. UFB and SAB logged over 1,000 office hours to supports student leaders in reaching their organizational goals.
  • SALD hosted Gratitude Week during WorldFest to demonstrate the power of gratitude as a leadership tool. The office posted six writing prompts on social media and asked students, faculty, and staff to write and reflect to the prompts each day. The week culminated with a gratitude celebration where over 100 students participated. 

Student Champions

This year, we had two club sports team achieve extraordinary success! The men’s and women’s Rugby club both finished in the top 5 in the nation in D2 USA Rugby Standings. 

The Ice Hockey club finished in the top 10 of the American Club Hockey Association standings. 

What's Next?

SALD is working on enhancing CampusLINK to include tracking student learning in a variety of co-curricular programs.

Purpose

Student Conduct and Community Standards promotes a safe and scholarly community by protecting student rights, providing students and organizations providing opportunities for growth and reflection when they act in a manner inconsistent with community standards, and fostering a happy and healthy community through education on the Student Code of Conduct and the Bearcat Bond.

By the Numbers

  • 91% of students do not have another conduct case after being found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This demonstrates that the vast majority of students learn the skills needed to make better choices after meeting with a conduct officer.
  • 19 cases were resolved with amnesty. This is a 73% increase in amnesty cases from the prior academic year.
  • SCCS hired three student facilitators to manage low-level conduct cases. Student facilitators were extensively trained on the Student Code of Conduct processes and violations, campus resources and services, types of evidence and weighing evidence, among other topics, prior to hearing cases. 
  • Modifications were made to sanction requirements for substance abuse education, which includes offering fee waivers to students who were struggling to pay for substance abuse education. 

Student Voices

“… I’ve completed [Decision Making Seminar] classes and have taken away many key aspects I feel like I didn’t have in my life…I will always think about the decisions I make differently before I do them, because I have learned to genuinely reflect on all my decisions to see the cause and effect. This has allowed me to make smarter and wiser decisions for me and my future.” – Student respondent who participated in a Decision Making Seminar

Purpose

The Student Wellness Center empowers students to make informed decisions regarding their health and wellness by providing evidence-based education, inclusive resources, and non-judgmental support.

By the Numbers

  • The SWC received a grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education for $10,000 to implement the Creating a Safer UC campaign. The campaign highlights data from students who participated in the online Sexual Assault Prevention module. Highlights included that 90% of UC students respect people who ask for consent in sexual situations. 93% of students reported they expressed concern when they witnessed someone exhibiting abusive behavior to their partner. 79% of students were aware of on-campus support resources at related to sexual assault and relationship violence.
  • The SWC partnered with the President’s Office to create a new program during Stress Less Fest: Pancakes with the Pintos! Over 500 students came to the inaugural event in the Campus Recreation Center, where President Pinto and Dr. Pinto made and served pancakes and talked with students about life as a Bearcat.
  • Students who are found responsible for alcohol violations participate in an alcohol sanctions course in an effort to help students make better decision regarding alcohol. Utilizing pre- and post-test, students reported a 95% increase in score after the class, demonstrating increased knowledge about low-risk alcohol use and behaviors. 

Student Voices

“Being a Peer Educator (PE) for two years of my undergraduate time at UC was a completely invaluable experience. As a PE in the Student Wellness Center, I was able to develop my leadership and speaking skills, interact with diverse groups of students on campus in a positive way, and establish great relationships with coworkers and staff. I know I will carry the skills I have developed in this role throughout my next step in medical school and into my role as a physician.” – Graduating Peer Educator

Purpose

Testing Services provides the UC and greater Cincinnati community access to convenient, secure, and professional testing services, contributing to the pursuit of educational and professional goals.

By the Numbers

  • This year, Testing Services collaborated with the Title IX Office to ensure students utilizing Title IX services had additional resources on campus so they could successfully complete course work.
  • Testing Services opened a new Accommodated Testing office dedicated solely to serving students with disabilities. This space in Langasm Library includes 13 rooms and over 20 computers. This year, the office saw an increase of 6% in accommodated testing from the prior academic year. INSERT NEW SPACE PICTURE HERE.
  • Testing Services held a week-long open house for students and faculty at the beginning of each semester. This helped build relationships and showcase services offered through the center.

What's Next?

Testing Services will begin providing services for the Christ College of Nursing and Good Samaritan Nursing School.    

Purpose

VPS provides educational benefit certifications and outreach programs designed to provide student support services for military veterans, service members, dependents, and survivors. 

By the Numbers

  • There are 2,034 student veterans at UC.
  • 300 people participated in the annual UC Veterans Day Ceremony, which attracts students, alumni, and veterans from the region.
  • More than 500 people participated in the 9/11 Stadium Stair Run, which honors the 3,500 people who died on September 11, 2001. Participants climb 2,017 steps in 56 minutes, symbolic of the 110 floors of each World Trade Center towers. 
  • A new veteran’s space was created in Tangeman University Center. The space has allowed student veterans to build community and engage with resources specifically identified for student veterans.
  • VPS collaborated with Veterans Affairs to provide a weekly opportunity for a VA enrollment representative to enroll student veterans for their VA medical benefits. 

What's Next?

VPS and the College of Engineering and Applied Science is working with the Office of Admissions to create admissions standards to attract more student veterans into the college. In addition, the two entities are also developing a Veterans First Year Experience course to help successfully transition student veterans into the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Purpose

The UC Women’s Center is committed to the personal, political, professional, and intellectual growth of women students by facilitating action, promoting intersectional justice, and fostering connections for all students.

By the Numbers

  • Over 2,000 students visited the Women’s Center this year, where they felt affirmed, connected, and supported by the staff.
  • 16 UC students participated in 1Girl, a mentorship program for high school girls in the local community. UC students who participated reported growth in public speaking, mentorship, and a commitment to supporting other women and girls. This program is a collaboration with the Center for Community Engagement. 
  • Because of participating in Center programs, students self-reported development of the following skills:  communicating across differences, resolving conflicts, public speaking, goal setting, critical thinking, problem solving, and salary negotiation. 

Student Voices

[RE: My internship] “My time spent in the Women’s Center was wonderful…filled with kind people and new experiences. My main goal going into this internship was to be able to put my leadership skills to the test and actually challenge myself by taking on a new responsibility. I think this goal was achieved through my hosting of the Maternal Mortality event. I am grateful for this opportunity and I will definitely be using it at my next interview as an example of an experience I have had that has tested my leadership.”

What's Next?

This year, the Women’s Center conducted a needs assessment. The staff learned that women-identified students in the STEM fields report a confidence gap in leadership capabilities.  As a result, the Women’s Center is working with STEM faculty and advisors to develop a best practice model for programming that increases the holistic development of women in these fields.  

Strategic Plan Update: 2018 Annual Report

Our Purpose

Student Affairs advocates for and meets students' diverse needs by providing innovative co-curricular experiences that enhance well-being, foster life and academic skill development, engender responsibility, and grow leadership capacity.

Strategic Plan Update

In spring semester of 2017, the Division of Student Affairs unveiled its Strategic Plan, our roadmap for increasing the capacity of our division to meet the diverse needs of all Bearcats. This plan was initiated by an external review of the division, student survey feedback, divisional goals and objectives from the Student Affairs leadership team, and feedback from Student Affairs directors. This academic year saw several major steps toward achieving the goals contained in that plan.

  • Objective 1.1: Develop and executive a Student Affairs communications and marketing strategy will improve both internal and external communications.
  • Objective 1.2: Develop the Student Affairs Communications Committee.
  • Objective 1.3: Increase use of technology and virtual engagement to access Student Affairs services, programs, and events.
Goal 1 Outcomes
  • A marketing and communication director was hired in August of 2017 and the Student Affairs Communication Committee was reestablished with that position as a Chair.
  • All Student Affairs offices replaced individual mission and vision statements with “purpose statements”, which support our efforts to communicate the roles that each office plays in supporting the mission of UC in concise and meaningful ways.
What's Next?

Student Affairs will enhance its virtual presence in two big ways: first, with a more robust online student engagement platform, and second, with a complete refresh of our divisional and office websites that that will provide accessible, streamlined and easy-to-find information that is most relevant to students.

  • Objective 2.1: Increase campus-wide partnerships toward a true, inclusive integration of the co-curricular student experience.
  • Objective 2.2: Define the divisional strategies and roles for creating a campus climate that is built on multiculturalism, inclusion, and the Just Community Principles.
  • Objective 2.3: Establish Student Affairs staff as leaders in advancing the student voice on campus.
Goal 2 Outcomes
  • Student Affairs staff participated in targeted training to more effectively map Student Affairs learning outcomes with campus-wide learning outcomes and priorities.
  • University-wide student and peer leaders, such as Resident Advisors and Peer Leaders in SA offices, received mandatory training on diversity, equity, and inclusion through the Student Affairs developed Peer Educational Modules.
  • RootED, a comprehensive training program created by and provided to staff in the Division of Student Affairs, received the Dr. Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award, for exemplary contributions to the values of equity and inclusion.
  • The fastest growing population in Fraternity & Sorority Life at UC comes from our multicultural organizations.
  • The division celebrated the LGBTQ Center for its work in UC being recognized as a "Top LGBTQ-Friendly College" by Affordable Colleges Online and for receiving a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Campus Pride’s Index of National Listing of LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities.
What's Next?

We will continue to work with key partners on campus to ensure that increasing student-centric spaces, especially for underrepresented students, is a priority in the Campus Master Plan. The division will also be rolling out new internal guidelines and expectations around recruiting and hiring processes to ensure a diverse, equitable, and highly qualified candidate pool. 

  • Objective 3.1: Incorporate assessment work, program outcomes, student body growth and benchmarking into divisional budget creation and fund allocation request process.
  • Objective 3.2: Utilize outcome data and purpose statements for each unit, office and program to eliminate redundancies in the division and at the university.
  • Objective 3.3: Invest in professional development for Student Affairs staff to increase engagement, leadership capabilities, and retention.
Goal 3 Outcomes
  • As a result of our new budget model, and increased collaboration with the Student Advisory Committee on the University Budget (SACUB), we were able to appropriately increase and drive allocation of funds to programs and services under-resourced and serving underrepresented student populations, including new staffing in Accessibility Resources, African American Cultural and Resource Center, and Center for Community Engagement; and designated space on campus for Veterans in the Veteran Student Lounge.
  • The division provided year-long leadership development and coaching to members of the Student Affairs Leadership team and the Student Affairs Director team.
  • The entire division participated in the first Student Affairs Conference and Retreat, which provided conference-style breakout sessions and intentional time for divisional planning.
  • Student Affairs staff were given the opportunity to complete the first Student Affairs Equity and Inclusion Certification.
  • Monthly Dialogue by Design sessions provided professional development to the division around topics of communication, assessment, professional development, and equity and inclusion. 
What's Next?

This year, the Division will focus on making innovative changes to our programs and services to increase collaboration, eliminate redundancies, and better serve the needs of all UC students, a model we will then work to expand across the university. Finally, the division will finalize the completion of an Accessibility Program Guide, which will allow us to ensure that our programs and services are inclusively and universally designed for students with disabilities. 

  • Objective 4.1: Student Affairs will be a key contributor to the creation and communication of consistent, student-centered decision-making specific to program creation or changes that impact the student experience at UC.
  • Objective 4.2: Student Affairs leadership will ensure that all students remain the focus of real-time decisions and communications around responses to emergency or critical issues. 
Goal 4 Outcomes
  • The UC Women’s Center conducted a needs assessment and climate survey about the experience of women on campus, and will be using those results to enhance programming and collaboration across campus.
  • Student Affairs created the Communication Response Team, whose purpose is communicating and disseminating information across the Division of Student Affairs regarding crisis and incidents affecting students and the campus community.
  • The Division of Student Affairs is involved in a variety of campus-wide committees including the Strategic Enrollment Management committee and a divisional Public Safety Task Force.
  • The division has been a key partner with Campus Services in developing the next iteration of the Campus Master Plan. 
What's Next?

Student Affairs will be developing a consistent internal model for gathering student input toward changes to program, policies, or other decisions that impact the student experience. We will continue our collaboration with UCPD to expand the university’s capacity to serve students with a range of abilities and identities.   

The Assessment Council provides a forum for council members and divisional staff to discuss assessment projects, assessment needs, capacity-building, and data-driven decision-making. The council identifies common needs in the division and offers professional development for staff; serves as an advisory board for offices around specific assessment projects; and serves as an advisory board to divisional leadership around issues of assessment and program evaluation. 

2017-2018 Highlights

  • Led and completed divisional purpose statement review process.
  • Integrated financial planning process into the annual report.
  • Conducted a Council on the Advancement of Standards Review for the Student Wellness Center.
  • Provided consultation to a variety of different divisional departments and programs.

The Communciations Committee ensures regular and timely communication within the Division of Student Affairs and with external stakeholders through relevant channels, including print, web, social media, and emerging platforms aligned with division priorities. The committee acts as an advisory board to SA offices and divisional leadership around communication needs.

2017-2018 Highlights

  • Implemented final committee structure with division-wide representation.
  • Developed and implemented the Communications Response Team (CRT).
  • Developed web guidelines to streamline and enhance division websites.
  • Coordinated and completed phase 1 of the Web Refresh Project for Student Affairs.

The Equity and Inclusion Council works to create a thriving community where all students and staff are provided with programs and services that reflect and encourage the greatest degree of learning opportunities and life-enriching experiences free of any limitations based on difference. 

2017-2018 Highlights

  • Led cultural competence training through the Equity Dialogues presented in council meetings.
  • Improved communication regarding equity and inclusion issues by utilizing CampusLINK.
  • Sponsored the Symposium on Racial Diversity in Higher Education, a livestream experience in January 2018.

The Professional Development Committee enhances divisional relationships, promotes intellectual dialogue, stimulates professional growth, and creates cross-departmental and institutional collaboration.

2017-2018 Highlights

  • Developed a divisional employee onboarding process.
  • Offered divisional social activities for team development.
  • Created monthly "Dialogue by Design" professional development activities.
  • Transformed annual assessment conference into divisional retreat experience.
  • Developed a stronger relationship with Emerging Leaders in Student Affairs (ELSA) through board representation.

Our Organization

The Division of Student Affairs is led by Vice President Debra Merchant and the Student Affairs Leadership Team. We invite you to learn more about our leadership and the units that make up our dynamic division.