Offered through the U-M Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), SuccessConnects will be designed as a holistic support program focused on enhancing students’ academic, social, cultural and personal development. Through one-on-one professional coaching, peer mentoring and monthly workshops that connect participants to campus resources, the program creates a supportive, inclusive community designed to encourage success at the University of Michigan, including for first-generation students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, underrepresented minorities, U-M partnership program participants, and scholarship recipients.. SuccessConnects will be open to all students.

Year Four Progress

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 636 students registered for SuccessConnects—an 11 percent increase over the prior year. These scholars participated in 1,800 one-on-one coaching sessions as well as a variety of workshops and social/community events aimed at supporting their academic, personal and social success. As a result of the continuing increase in scholar enrollment and lessons learned over the past four years, the program not only grew in scope and impact but was also instrumental in helping students successfully navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a solid infrastructure in place, Year Four created opportunities for supporting student cohort communities through collaborations with sponsoring programs and organizations such as Wolverine Pathways, Detroit Promise, and the MI-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MI-LSAMP) STEM initiatives. The program and its participants also benefited greatly from expanded partnerships with campus offices and programs. Special thanks are due to Michigan Medicine’s OHEI, Rackham, University Library, University Career Center, UROP, the International Center, CGIS, CSP, Wolverine Wellness and LSA Newnan Advising and, most recently, SLC and the Alumni Center—all of whom provided significant support to SuccessConnects participants. Along with increasing the resources available to our scholars, these alliances helped scaffold a unique framework for targeting experiences to the needs of our constituents.

Year Four also saw our tutoring effort expand to include 84 scholars, who received the equivalent of nearly 760 one-on-one tutoring sessions (delivered both in person and, during the COVID-19 lockdown, remotely). Program assessment continued to be shepherded by the ODEI Evaluation and Assessment team. In addition, the ODEI Business Operations unit provided tools and data support, with enhancements that allowed for greater ease and breadth of utilization, access to multifaceted data collection, and visualization for operations and assessment.

Thanks to a strong and flexible infrastructure, SuccessConnects was able to pivot quickly in supporting students during the transition to a remote college experience in the wake of COVID-19. Helped by a strong sense of community and familiarity, we were able to connect, assess, and assist scholars during one of the most disruptive and traumatic experiences of our lifetime. Particular emphasis was given to consistent communications, support, follow-up, and resource sharing as we worked to ensure the holistic wellbeing and success of students during our collective crisis experience.

Responsibility: Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives