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Committee Reports on Progress Towards
Improved Student Experience on Campus

By Paul Mueller | May 26, 2006

Students asked for more student-faculty connections. The “Dine with a Prof” program, which attracted 63 faculty and 130 students in its first month, is part of the campus’ response, as is Revelle College’s “Next Step” faculty-mentor program (which was student-initiated).

Students noted the importance of successful research in boosting their learning and aspirations. In partial response, the Academic Enrichment Program launched the Web-based Undergraduate Research Center, which has attracted more than 660 students and 109 faculty members to date.

In addition, groups large and small, involving faculty, students, staff and administrators, are now taking steps to address all the recommendations offered in the 2005 Undergraduate Student Experience and Satisfaction (USES) survey.

These are among the positive actions that the USES Steering Committee describes in its just-released progress report. And the committee is confident that their progress can “sustain broad campus engagement with the efforts to improve student life at UC San Diego.”

Led by Joseph Watson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the committee was formed to respond to the findings of the 2005 USES report, in which students called for a wider sense of community, more student-faculty connections, and a stronger sense of school identity. As the popular “Dine with a Prof” program shows, some initiatives began addressing those issues quickly; other steps are just getting under way, or are still being planned.

The steering committee, staffed by representatives from Associated Students, undergraduate education, student affairs, academic planning, the Academic Senate, university communications, campus planning and alumni relations, reports that they have:

  • Organized and conducted extensive campus-wide discussions and group meetings to evaluate each suggestion of the report, and to identify possible solutions.
  • Worked collaboratively on a response that includes specific action items, some completed, some under way, some still being planned.
  • Analyzed the recommendations to distinguish short-term from long-term solutions.

In a message to the campus community announcing the progress report, Watson said, “We fully concur with the USES committee that, in order to make progress toward enhancing the quality of the student experience and satisfaction, all segments of the campus community must be engaged in actions ranging from small steps to major shifts in campus culture. Our goal is to establish a process and a vision for working on and implementing changes that will ultimately increase the quality of student life at UC San Diego.”

Details of the committee’s work for 2005-2006, contained in the full report, are available at http://studentresearch.ucsd.edu/satisfaction/ProgressReport.pdf. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to send comments and suggestions to: USESSteeringCommittee@ucsd.edu

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