The university will increase the capacity of U-M Student Life’s First Year Experience curriculum through the course “Making the Most of Michigan” and other programs aimed at equalizing access to resources, removing perceived organizational obstacles to seeking help, and decreasing barriers to academic and social pursuits for all students. These efforts will also enlarge wellness and educational programs that foster identity and cultural enrichment and will expand partnerships with student affairs professionals in schools and colleges.
Year Four Progress
Student Life continued to strengthen the First Year Experience as described in its mission statement. Among our Year Four achievements, we expanded collaborations with academic partners, increased DEI programming in residence halls, and integrated support and education into existing curricular and co-curricular spaces. In alignment with our Thriving in the First Year framework, we strengthened opportunities for students to gain the skills necessary to establish an academic pattern of success, develop sustainable and healthy relationships, and engage and connect with a diverse learning community.
This past year, 6,527 incoming students (up 16 percent over the last two years) attended Relationship Remix, a program focused on the development of healthy relationships. In addition, 5,551 students (up 19 percent in the past two years) participated in Change it Up!, a program focused on interrupting harmful situations such as harassment or unwanted attention. Students taking part in Change it Up! and Relationship Remix who participated in the pre-/post-test assessment continue to exhibit statistically significant gains on a variety of student learning outcomes.
Through the Ginsberg Center, we hired a new staff member to deliver programming that connects first-year students to the broader community and provides new avenues for them to explore civic engagement. Year Four activities included nonpartisan voter registration events, Welcome to Washtenaw programs, and lease signing workshops and consultations. Our signature ALA 171 course, Making the Most of Michigan, engaged 213 students and, for the third year in a row, we conducted two sections with the Comprehensive Studies Program Bridge Scholars Plus students.
During Year Four, we invested in expanding successful models of peer-led DEI programming within our residence halls. Diversity Peer Educators, Multicultural Lounge Community Assistants, and Connector Community Assistants conducted 426 peer-led programs across 18 residences on campus, reaching 6,069 participants. In addition, 92 residents served in leadership roles as a part of our 16 Multicultural Councils.
A new Welcome to Michigan event connected over 500 residents and their families with campus through 14 concurrent programs held during move-in. A total of 191 students participated in our ALA 421 course, which teaches future Housing Resident Assistants skills for high impact interactions in order to create an inclusive residential experience. In addition, we successfully integrated the Intercultural Development Inventory into Engineering’s M-ENGIN program, with 72 students (the entire cohort) completing the IDI along with a group results session in Summer 2019. In July 2020, we integrated the Inventory with both M-STEM programs (M-ENGIN and M-SCI).
In the coming year, we will utilize data collected during Year Four partnership engagement sessions along with data from our biannual partnership inventory (to be conducted/updated in 2021) to refine high-priority partnerships in a COVID-19 environment. We will also continue to increase staff capacity to implement our Partnerships Toolkit, which has been shared across the division and disseminated to 200 staff and faculty beyond Student Life. The Toolkit was also used in Year Four to develop clear and consistent partnership agreements for some of our key DEI initiatives, such as Change it Up!, our mandatory first-year bystander intervention program.
Responsibility: Division of Student Life