Student success strategy presentation to the Board of Trustees


More "college ready" students will attend UA this fall than last fall, Provost Mike Sherman told the University's Trustees today during the Board's regular meeting.

The improvement is a direct result of the University's new "Inclusive Pathways" model for admissions.

The model has been designed to help more students succeed at UA and as post-graduates.
Under the model, each prospective student has a pathway into the University.

  • "College ready" students, who have an ACT of 21 or more, are admitted directly to their majors.
  • "Emergent" students, with ACT scores of 17 to 20, are admitted as pre-majors and will receive intentional and intensive support to enhance their readiness.
  • "Preparatory" students have ACT scores of 16 and below, and increasingly, they are being guided to Wayne College or other partner community colleges for the initial stage in their pathways to the University.

The percentage of incoming college-ready students is estimated to be 58 percent of the class this year, up from 53 percent last year. The percentage of preparatory students is expected to be 11 percent this year, down from 15 percent last year. Learn more about the pathways.

New appointments

The Strategic Engagement Division has been redesigned to support student success. Jim Tressel, the vice president for strategic engagement, told the Trustees about four appointments:

MooreDr. Stacey Moore has been named associate vice president for student success. Moore will manage the division's strategic projects, including the new university-wide retention initiative, The Akron Experience. She will also oversee the Office of Accessibility, Off-Campus Student Services, the Counseling Center and the Career Center.

Moore is originally from New York and grew up in South Florida. Her No. 1 goal is to ensure that all UA students have an exceptional campus experience that leads to personal and professional excellence. 

Moore is a counseling psychologist, and prior to her current position, she served as assistant vice president for student development in student engagement and success and director of the Office of Accessibility, both at the University of Akron.

Recently, Moore was accepted to and attended the American Council for Education’s women’s regional leadership forum.

Moore has received numerous awards including an inaugural one named after her for engaged leadership as an advisor to the student organization, the National Society for Leadership and Success. 

As director of the Office of Accessibility, Moore and her staff received several awards for excellence in educational programming on disability issues.  Before joining UA, she served as the Outreach, Career Services, and Safe Zone Coordinator at the Texas Tech University Student Counseling Center.  There, she was awarded one of TTU's Quality Service Awards and a Student Affairs awards for exceptional service to students. 

Moore presents nationally every year on topics such as: effective assessment, intervening with at-risk students, campus safety, campus and community engagement, exceptional awareness programming, and student retention. 

Moore holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from The University of Akron and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Eckerd College. 

Moore and her husband, Scott, have two children -- Caitlin Jeanne, 14, a freshman at Jackson High School, and Margaret Catherine, 10, at Strausser Elementary.

Strategic Engagement Division

Adam Smith, Fedearia A. Nicholson and Nancy Roadruck have been named assistant vice presidents for student success, taking on additional significant responsibilities.

Smith will oversee the advising, academic support and wrap-around services for emergent students, with the goal of speeding their entry into their degree programs. He will continue to design and manage programs that increase the graduation rates of historically underrepresented students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Prior to this position, Smith was the special assistant to the Office of Academic Affairs and director of STEM student initiatives in the Office of Academic Affairs, where he has designed and implemented institutional and state models of student inclusion and retention.

Prior to moving to Ohio, Smith served as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Education and Life-Long Learning in Rockford, Ill.  Prior to his position with the City of Rockford, Smith worked at Rock Valley College in Illinois as the college’s dean of students and community outreach.

Smith also has an extensive background in community advocacy, empowerment and development through positions at Comprehensive Community Solutions, a major community development corporation and while serving as the executive director of the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Center in Madison, Wisc. He served as associate head football coach at Rock Valley College for six years and was a professor at Judson University in Illinois, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in human services, human resources and organizational leadership.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree in theology and pastoral ministry from Concordia University, a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from National-Louis University and is pursuing his doctorate in higher education administration at UA. 

Smith and his wife Linda are proud parents to daughter Alecia, a sixth-grade teacher in Louisville, Ky., son Jeffery, a freshmen at UA, and daughter Shanice, a student-athlete at the University of Cincinnati. 

 NicholsonNicholson will oversee such student success areas as Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, the Student Services Center as well as the academic components of the Office of Multicultural Development and UA’s Learning Communities Program. 

Prior to assuming her new role, Fedearia served as the director of the Office of Multicultural Development, where she directed first-year programs related to the retention of multicultural students including three learning communities, a supplemental advising program, as well as peer-mentoring services. She led the national award-winning Black Male Summit, which has brought together hundreds of students, educators and policy makers from around the country to discuss African-American males and their success in college.

In addition, she has had responsible for diverse programming, targeting the campus and community, which include the Annual Women Trailblazers Panel Discussion and Rethinking Race:  Black, White and Beyond. 

She began her professional career in higher education administration more than a decade ago at Cuyahoga Community College, Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, Ohio.  Moving on to Ursuline College, she established the Office of Multicultural Affairs and served as the college’s first director for five years.  During her tenure, she increased awareness and understanding of diversity by working with senior level administrators and faculty and enhanced retention efforts among underrepresented students. 

In addition, she co-developed the institution’s first African American Studies minor which resulted in an enhanced and multicultural core curriculum for all students. 

Nicholson believes strongly in professional mentoring and she has spoken nationally and locally on the benefits of mentoring.

Nicholson has been recognized by Kaleidoscope magazine as one of 40 emerging diverse professional leaders under the age of 40; has received the American Council on Education Ohio Women’s Network Professional Development Scholarship Award; and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce named her as one of its "30 for the Future" recipients for 2009. 

Most recently, she has been inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the honorary leadership society.  In addition, she serves as co-state chair for the ACE Ohio Women’s Network, a statewide board comprised of higher education leaders. 

In her pastime, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and attending movies and live theater.

RoadruckRoadruck will oversee programs and services that help college-ready students persist and graduate in greater numbers. She had been director of the Academic Advisement Center in University College, and in her new role, she will strive to further improve the consistency and quality of advising services across campus.

During her time as director, Roadruck has collaborated with the advising offices in the degree-granting colleges, branch campuses and satellite advising offices to share information, develop best practices and help improve advising for students.

Roadruck also serves as secretary for the University Council Steering Committee and is a CPAC representative for the council.

Roadruck is active in the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and serves as national chair for the Advising Administrators' Commission.  NACADA has over 11,000 members worldwide and the Advising Administrators' Commission is the largest commission in the organization.

This past April, Roadruck served as co-chair for NACADA's Great Lakes V Regional Conference which was held at Quaker Square.  University of Akron served as host to more than 400 advisors, administrators, and faculty advisors from Illinios, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Ontario.

Roadruck has presented at NACADA national and regional conferences as well as the annual UA/KSU joint advising conference which provides an outstanding local professional development opportunity for advisors in northeast Ohio.

Roadruck was born in Aiken, South Carolina and attended over 14 different schools growing up.  Roadruck and her husband Gary, both UA alumni, have been married for 37 years. They have one son, Ben who attended UA, studied emergency management, and now works for the Fairfax County Virginia Fire Department.  Ben's wife Stephanie is a UA graduate, working in the banking industry and is the mother of 20-month-old son Ryan.

Oelschlager gift helping UA seniors

The Trustees expressed their gratitude to James and Vanita Oelschlager, who donated $60,000 to enable about 100 UA seniors to enroll this fall. Specifically, the seniors would have been unable to continue their education because they were on financial hold, unable to pay for their courses.

The Board will reconvene on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in the Board offices on the third floor of the Student Union. The session will begin no sooner than 10 a.m.