About the Office of Student Success and Retention

            The purpose of the Morgan State University Office of Student Success and Retention is to work in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Engineering, the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, the School of Business and Management, the School of Education and Urban Studies, the School Community and Public Health, the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Social Work, the School of Global Journalism and Communication, and the various academic support programs of the University to provide continuous, quality support for undergraduate students from matriculation to graduation.  The goal of this comprehensive program is to increase student retention rates and persistence to graduation with a focus on academic success and achievement through early intervention and systematic tracking of undergraduate students.  Listed below are the Campus-Wide Retention Initiatives:

·       Summer Programs for Freshmen – facilitating the mandatory ACCESS Orientation Program and PACE

·       Early Alert & Response System/Starfish--assisting faculty with intervention for students performing below expectations

·       Placement Testing (Accuplacer) – proctoring, scoring & disseminating 1,200–1,600 tests per academic year

·       Academic Recovery Program – engaging and rehabilitating students who are eligible for dismissal/suspension

·       Alumni Mentoring program pairing freshmen with alumni volunteers to foster networking

·       Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) – participating in the nation-wide longitudinal cohort of institutions

·       Academic Advisement for First-time Freshmen -- (Summer & Fall semesters only of the first year)

·       Mid-term grades of “D” or “F” – monitoring & intervening with students to prevent final grades of “D” or “F”

·       Final grades of “D” or “F” – monitoring & intervening with students to replace grades with “C” grades or better

·       Academic Probation – monitoring & intervening with students to restore Satisfactory Academic Progress

·       Financial Literacy – providing a financial education curriculum designed to enhance students’ financial skills

·       Financial Aid Probation – working to reduce number of students ineligible to receive financial aid

·       FAFSA filing campaign –working to reduce the number students with incomplete or late FAFSA applications

·       Students Dropped for Failure to Make Satisfactory Financial Arrangements – reinstating as many as possible

·       No Longer Enrolled Students -- tracking and follow-up of student registration, withdrawals, and stop-outs

·       Parents’ 411 newsletter – mailing to the permanent address of all undergraduate students each semester

·       University Guide – publishing an annual comprehensive campus resource manual for students and parents

·       Retention Research & Student Surveys – participating in national benchmarking & campus research/surveys

·       Peer Tutoring – coordinating programs in the academic schools/departments

 Last Fall (2015), for a second year in a row, the retention rate for the 2014 freshman cohort was 76%, Morgan’s highest retention rate in 20 years and 2nd highest retention rate ever.  Beginning with the Fall 2010 freshman cohort, Morgan has achieved retention rates above 70% for five consecutive years.  This was achieved through a combination of early intervention strategies, systematic tracking and monitoring, and academic coaching and mentoring.  OSSR staff spend most of their time monitoring and tracking students’ finances and satisfactory academic progress.  The OSSR works to produce graduates of Morgan State University who are well prepared to meet the challenges of internship, graduate school, professional school, and career following their successful matriculation and graduation from the institution.  As part of its ongoing efforts to increase degree completion, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced Middle Tennessee State University, Morgan State University, the University at Buffalo, the University of South Florida, and the University of Texas at El Paso as finalists for its 2015 Project Degree Completion Award.  The annual prize works to identify, recognize, and reward institutions that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion.  In November 2015, Morgan State University’s Office of Student Success and retention (OSSR) accepted the prestigious Project Degree Completion (PDC) Award from the APLU: Morgan is the only HBCU to ever have won the national award.  Winning the $15,000 national APLU Project Degree Completion Award was the result Morgan’s outstanding work with Starfish Retention Solutions along with the undeniable efforts of the Office of Student Success and Retention (OSSR) team, faculty, staff, and administrators.  The $15,000 was used to support the scribing of the 2014 catalog in Degree Works.

Recently, Morgan’s OSSR won a second Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) One Step Away (OSA) Grant in the amount of $75,000 to purchase a new comprehensive degree planning and auditing software, Degree Works by Ellucian.  The benefits of investing in degree auditing software are: 1) enabling Morgan to accelerate degree audit approvals; 2) improving the overall quality of student’s/near completers’ experience through user friendly on-demand features like degree shopping; and, 3) providing a robust, scalable and configurable campus-wide solution that meets all requirements of the degree auditing process.