Division of Student Services strategic plan

The work of Student Services focuses on the recruitment, retention and graduation of an increasing number of students through a variety of services, programs and partnerships that contribute to student engagement, development and learning which leads to student success. Our vision is that Student Services aspires to make Nevada the best experience for students on their way to graduating from the University and contributing to their community. In short, we want more students who are academically prepared and motivated and who will persist, learn and graduate as a result of their University of Nevada, Reno experience.

The work of each department in Student Services should add value to that experience in a way that increases the possibility of a student’s success. Five themes characterize the Student Services strategic plan. In addition to recruiting and retaining graduates, they are to foster innovation, build community, provide high-quality customer service and use the transactional and transformational power of technology to move our plan ahead.

  • Recruitment, retention and graduation

    The Division of Student Services is committed to the recruitment, retention, and timely graduation of students. The Division works diligently to identify the diverse needs of incoming and current students, in order to provide the resources necessary for their success. Students recruited to the University will have an excellent educational experience that produces well-prepared global citizens who graduate on time. Faculty and staff within the Division encourage prospective and current Nevada students to become leaders in their field and continue to pursue economic, social, and personal success.

  • Innovation

    The Division of Student Services stays on the cutting edge of innovation in order to provide the most effective services to students. The members of the Division are life-long learners who stay apprised of our students' changing needs in order to succeed. Innovation propels new ways of solving recurrent problems and addressing new challenges. Innovative ideas simplify when possible and practices are implemented and shared. The Division of Student Services embraces creativity and change as a conduit to new and better ways of providing services and as a spring board for rejuvenating tried and true techniques.

  • Community

    Students will receive optimal services from a well-integrated community of Student Services professionals. The Division cultivates a culture of trust, collegiality and familiarity amongst the diverse skills and disciplines of professionals within the Division. In order to provide best practices to our students, all members of the Student Services community will be familiar with the support and opportunities available to students. Every professional will be able to make appropriate student referrals quickly and accurately.

  • Customer service

    The Division of Student Services maintains its focus on providing the highest level of customer service to a diverse community. Professionals within the Division will foster collaborative relationships with academic colleagues and other departments within the Division to ensure students have access to resources. Each department is committed to providing a quality experience to those they serve including students, faculty, staff, and other community members. Students will receive optimal services from a Division of Student Services that models the best of customer service practices. Shared resources, removal of barriers, streamlined processes and convenient business hours will assist the division in this effort.

  • Technology

    The Division of Student Services stays abreast of technological advances that provide the most effective services to students. The use of technology is ever-evolving and the Division of Student Services will remain current, constantly looking for new ways to reach students. Students will receive optimal services from a Division of Student Services that embraces the use of the latest technology. The Division will maximize the use of tools available to us to reach students including mobility, social media, interaction and personalization.

Specific goals and metrics for success

President Johnson has set a goal to have 22,000 students enrolled at the University by 2020.

  • Grow student enrollment
    • Increase undergraduate enrollment from 16,330 (fall 2014) to *18,000 by 2020. *
    • Increase diversity of undergraduates from 33% in fall 2014 to 40% by fall 2020
    • Increase transfer student enrollment from 1,431 in fall 2014 to 2,000 by 2020
    • Increase the number of National Merit Scholars, National Hispanic Recognition and National Achievement Scholars enrolled from 47 in 2014-15 to 60 by 2020
    • Increase international student enrollment from 700 in fall 2014 and to 1,000 by 2020

    18,000 could be lowered if graduate student enrollment increases

  • Improve retention rates

    Increase first year persistence from 82% to 85% by fall 2020

  • Foster a culture of completion

    Increase fall 2014 freshmen 6-year graduation rate from 55% to 60% by 2020.

    Current rate of 55% is based on 2008 cohort

  • Enrollment growth
    1. Move the freshmen application deadline to May 1 for fall 2015 and to April 1 for fall 2016. Move the acceptance and enrollment deadline up for each date proportionally.
    2. Raise eligibility criteria for the Pack Pride scholarship. Funds saved will be reallocated to target populations such as Presidentials and southern Nevadans.
    3. Work with the Enrollment Management Group to consider other actions to craft the size and nature of incoming classes.
    4. Partner with other Divisions in the aggressive recruitment of 15 National Merit finalists each year and increase enrollment of other “26ers” through impressive scholarship offerings (Presidential) as well as active phone calling, home visits by academic faculty and targeted campus visit programs.
    5. Maintain access for low-income students by ensuring at approximately 30% of undergraduate enrollment are from Pell-eligible backgrounds. In fall 2014, 29% (952) of the freshmen class were on Pell.
    6. Build on co-admission programs with TMCC and other Nevada community colleges to ensure more students complete their AA/AS degree and make a smooth transition to the University of Nevada, Reno.
    7. Actively pursue transfer student recruitment and work cooperatively to insure timely course evaluation, articulation and advisement of new transfer students.
    8. Increase the number of students of color in the entering freshmen class from 41% to 45% by 2018.
    9. Analyze the best strategies to recruit and retain full-pay non-residents.
    10. Maximize enrollment growth from Nevada through student information MOU’s with Washoe County, Clark County and other school districts.
    11. Develop a long-term fundraising strategy for scholarships making it a priority for the Capital Campaign.
    12. Expand current efforts to enroll more returning veterans and provide the necessary services to help them succeed.
    13. Move from an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) to a designated HSI. This means at least 25% of the student population must identify as Hispanic/Latino. Currently, 16% (3,283) of our 19,934 students identify as Hispanic/Latino
  • Increase retention

    A number of effective retention programs for small cohorts of students exist within Student Services and the University. Increasing the retention of all students in the next six years will only be accomplished in partnership with every other area of the institution. Our work must be to create the conditions that are common to effective educational practices. These include student engagement, structured academic advice and intervention, integrated curricular and co-curricular experiences and clearly marked pathways to student success.

    Program development

    1. Ensure additional staffing and operations to meet the demands of a rapidly growing and changing student population.

    2. Develop and implement an Electronic Information Technology plan that insures accessibility for all users with special attention to ADA compliance.

    3. Align and integrate curricular and co-curricular programs and services into a series of retention initiatives throughout a student’s first year to be coordinated by the Assistant Dean, New Student Initiatives.

    4. Assess current new student orientation programs to evaluate the focus on student success and look for resulting increased retention.

    5. Continue to analyze, redesign and implement a successful transfer student orientation.

    6. Complete the designs and construction of three new residence halls to keep pace with demand, replace aging facilities and complement the nearby Pennington Student Achievement Center.

    7. Collaborate with ASUN to develop a campus-wide civic engagement program for all students and student organizations.

    8. Successfully transition student services functions into the new Pennington Student Achievement Center in spring 2016.

    9. Provide the infrastructure for the expansion of academic boot camps across all majors.

    10. Continue the design and construction of the E.L. Weigand Fitness Center to be completed in January 2017.

    11. Transition Campus Recreation and Wellness into the Division by January 2017.

    12. Continue to develop and improve I-stand campaign promoting student health and safety on campus.

    13. Develop partnerships, through the Associate Dean of Students, with parents to increase student satisfaction and retention.

    14. Create a downtown Welcome Center at the University of Nevada, Reno Innovation Center.

    15. Create a high-quality internship program that is measured for its effectiveness in securing internships for students (especially in science and liberal arts) and in whether the internships lead to jobs.


    16. Encourage students to complete their four-year academic plan in MyNevada. Encourage academic colleges to require students to fill out their academic planner.

    17. Continue the use of MapWorks (a personalized retention tool) and increase intervention by faculty and staff.

    18. Secure enough student access dollars each year to continue to increase financial aid to students proportionate to the increases in tuition and fees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Per Regents directive (Title 4, Chapter 17, Page 3, Section 1.3)…at least 15 percent of the total registration fee will be dedicated to student financial assistance. This must be achieved by 2020.

    19. Continue to promote innovative strategies that effectively retain freshmen through their senior year.

    20. Design, implement and assess effective retention strategies for new freshmen from underrepresented groups particularly those ethnicities which experienced a decline from the prior year.

    21. Develop, implement and assess strategies to accommodate the increasing number of students with all disabilities and secure more resources for the Disability Resource Center.

    22. Expand the Degree Audit Reports to include critical milestones to ensure timely completion of degrees.

    23. Develop an assistive technology plan for electronic information technology compliance.

    24. Promote and educate students on new consent regulations related to sexual assault. Support additional efforts such as bystander training and policy changes to address sexual misconduct.

  • Increase graduation
    1. Create activities in collaboration with ASUN that distinguish class identification/ traditions to establish pride in college completion.
    2. Set an expectation of students that they will make satisfactory academic progress (15 credits a semester/30 credits a year) to graduate in a timely manner from the University of Nevada, Reno. This can be accomplished by advising sessions, speeches, individual conversations, publications and every other opportunity when among students and their families.
    3. Students employed in the division, as well as students receiving certain sources of aid, must be enrolled in 15 credits per semester.
    4. Assess the recently established leave of absence policy for students who “stop out” to determine its effectiveness at graduating students from Nevada.
    5. Align departmental missions, goals, and learning outcomes assessment with divisional goals. Develop key performance indicators for division-wide goals and continue to use institutional data to identify program impacts.
    6. Begin aligning resource allocation with assessment outcomes by 2020.