What is UES?
The Undergraduate Experiences Symposium brings together faculty, staff, and students from across CU Denver to work collectively in a dynamic environment on curriculum, pedagogy, co-curriculum, and services to raise undergraduate learning, engagement, and success. The symposium brings in national speakers to inform us of national trends in higher education and challenges us to adapt or surpass them in application to our unique culture and students. Provost Rod Nairn attends, as do the deans of each school/college Working tables and breakout sessions generate proposals that lead to real actions that serve all undergraduates.
2016 Undergraduate Experiences Symposium
Why focus on "student success"?
Because there's a nationwide crisis in university
graduation rates. Because a regrettably high percentage of CU Denver students do not finish their degrees. Because other universities have tested and proved methods for helping more students graduate without undermining academic quality.
Why "equity"? Because a disproportionate number of students who do not finish their degrees are low-income, first-generation, or students of color. Because student success also is a social justice issue. The UE Symposium is worth your time, because it makes real things happen. Participants last year worked together on growing High-Impact Practices (HIPs). One outcome was grant funding from the provost to support 70 faculty, staff, and students to work on integrating HIPs into courses and programs. As a result, dozens of faculty and hundreds of students are having even more engaged teaching and learning experiences in 2016-2017.
This year, the symposium is pushing no specific reform; rather, attendees will be asked, "What are the way appropriate for CU Denver to serve student equity and improve overall student success?" Together, we will work to generate answers and map next steps. This year's keynote speaker is Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a consortium of ten large public research universities collaborating to improve the success especially of low-income students. She will set the stage of the national context, summarize the goals and accomplishments of the UIA, and give examples of reforms that data demonstrate are improving student success and equity. And there will be good food, good company, and the community of our university working together to make good things happen for our students, our faculty, and CU Denver.