Student Success

Student Success in a Changing World

Explore how Oakland University is adapting to ensure students continue to succeed

Student sitting with laptop

Around Campus

icon of a calendarNovember 23, 2020

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Universities are built to educate and ensure the success of their students. But what does it mean to be successful? Oakland University measures success on several levels, from getting students to graduate and finding careers, to connecting with like-minded students and enhancing diversity and inclusion opportunities. That’s why goal one of the Oakland University Strategic Plan is to “foster student success through a robust teaching and learning environment and comprehensive student services.” And with today’s ever-changing environment, it’s pivotal that universities adapt in order to meet the evolving needs of students.

“Defining success is tricky as it's so unique to each person,” says Krista Malley, Ph.D., director for student success. “In the Office of Student Success, success is offering resources that can lead to academic achievement for the students we serve.”

"Faculty also play a very important role in student success at Oakland University,” says C. Michelle Piskulich, Ph.D., interim executive vice president, Academic Affairs, and provost. “You can see their commitment by their participation in professional development through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and eLearning and Instructional Support, where they engage in discussions of best practices in student engagement and learn new tools to enhance course accessibility to students of all abilities and backgrounds. We have seen entire departments embrace these best practices and it is inspiring to see what an impact this has on both faculty and students."

Career Services focuses on ensuring students meet their career goals. This includes providing virtual and in-person appointments, as well as developing innovative virtual programming that connects students to employers and alumni, while educating them on career-oriented topics. 

“Empowering students to make strides toward lifelong success in their careers is paramount at Career Services,” says Wayne Thibodeau, senior director of OU’s Career Services. “These shining milestones appear in landing their first interview, getting an internship offer, securing a full-time job, and being accepted into graduate school, to name a few.”

“We are also placing more focus on Academic Advising, which is a key component of academic success,” says Anne Hitt, Ph.D., associate provost for student success and quality assurance. “Over the past few years OU has hired additional professional advisers allowing us to be closer to the recommended 300:1. student-to-adviser ratio.”

The Office of Student Involvement (OSI) provides experiences that complement what students learn in the classroom through student organizations, sororities and fraternities, service projects and more. “These student groups enhance their professional and personal development, to help them be productive and caring citizens in society after graduating,” explains Jean Ann Miller, senior director, OSI.

From academic, to career, to personal achievements, the way universities define success continues to evolve. Nevertheless, OU is adapting to these changing times. Students and alumni are being equipped with the knowledge they need to become leaders and impact change. “We are making a difference in their lives so they will make a difference in the lives of others — locally, nationally and globally,” Miller says.

Explore more ways that Oakland University is helping students succeed.

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