Fredonia receives award from SUNY Transformation Fund
The State University of New York has awarded SUNY Fredonia nearly $1 million to replicate and implement the Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) strategy, which has proven to be an effective model to increase retention and completion of degree-seeking students.
President Stephen H. Kolison Jr. noted, “We anticipate that by adopting the ACE program model, we will be able to champion, more aggressively, the success of many of our students, especially our students who come from financially challenged backgrounds.”
Monies are from the SUNY Transformation Fund, which was designed to support specific evidence-based strategies to, “support innovation, help meet the workforce needs of the future, enhance student support services, improve academic programs, increase enrollment, and modernize campus operations.”
“We anticipate that by adopting the ACE program model, we will be able to champion, more aggressively, the success of many of our students, especially our students who come from financially challenged backgrounds.” - President Stephen H. Kolison Jr.
Shortly after the call for proposals, President Kolison formed a Transformation Fund Planning Team to review options, consult with relevant stakeholders, and prepare a proposal that would best position the campus to benefit from the use of the funds.
The team was chaired by Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Tracy Stenger and included Director of Budget Ann Aldrich, Interim Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the President Naomi Baldwin, Vice Provost Judy Horowitz, Vice President for Finance and Administration Michael Kelly, Chief Information Officer Michel Kouadio and Executive Vice President and Provost David Starrett. With input from University Senate Executive Committee members, chairs of other University Senate standing committees, and many other campus stakeholders, President Kolison noted that the team worked tirelessly with a very short deadline and with rigorous standards for the proposal.
Interim Associate Vice President for Retention and Academic Success Erin Mroczka also contributed significantly to the final proposal. In the announcement of the award by President Kolison, it was noted that under Ms. Mroczka’s leadership, several efforts have been underway in the past academic year such as improved resources for using the Starfish Early Alert system, an updated Academic Probation Contract with “to do” reminders, an intake survey for new first-year and transfer students, and the use of SLATE to develop targeted text messaging about campus events and important academic deadlines throughout a student’s first year. It was reported that the efforts have already resulted in modest gains such as increased utilization of tutoring services (more than 1,000 visits during the Spring 2023 semester) and a decrease in academic dismissals (down nearly 60 students in 2023 compared to Spring 2022).
The award will be distributed based on Fredonia’s performance and effective implementation of the strategy over the next three years.
President Kolison added that while these efforts have had a positive impact, the newly-acquired funds will provide SUNY Fredonia with resources and a robust model that is necessary to scale up efforts that will make a significant impact upon cohorted student groups such as the Full Opportunity Program, FRED 101 Summer Bridge program and the Hybrid Lectureship Model (part of the Equal Opportunity Program). The Office of Retention and Academic Success will facilitate the implementation of the ACE strategy at SUNY Fredonia.
President Kolison also added, “Many thanks to Chancellor John B. King, Jr., Dr. Donna Linderman, Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Success, and members of their team for this opportunity and partnership.”