Led by:

Keith Miller, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director, University Honors Program

Lili Rodriguez, Vice Chancellor for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

As they move through a university, students should not experience a great divide between the classroom, laboratory, athletic or extracurricular experience. Education is the best place for our undergraduates—and many graduate and professional students—to develop the whole self intellectually, emotionally, physically and interpersonally. At DU, students will acquire the skills they need to navigate their lives and careers by focusing on their strengths and taking charge of their educational journeys.  The University will provide a series of knowledge base and skill-building workshops to better prepare students to meet the demands of a 21st century personal and professional life.

Working Groups

Navigating DU, Navigating Life

The Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence division is undergoing a restructuring of departments and developed a new framework to more effectively support our students. Part of that work involves to new pilots, collaborations between the division and multiple professional schools:

Compass Curriculum:

Our primary goal is to decrease tensions on campus by providing students with opportunities to engage in honest conversations around differences and improve the campus climate for optimal learning. This will be a non-threatening way to teach them basic skills in civility and respect.

Our secondary goal is to provide our students with the dialogue skills needed to facilitate difficult conversations, skills that will serve them well in leadership positions across industries. The content of the dialogues will focus on the skill development and self-awareness goals.

Case Management: Caring for the Whole Student

The goal is to create case management positions that will provide preventative and long term care support for students living with complex social and personal issues and that struggle to navigate all available resources. We have hired graduate students to support this work long-term.

Academic Development Pilot Program: 

During the winter of 2017, the academic advising staff piloted an academic development pilot program as a reactive support to students on some flavor of Academic Standards*; however, this could also be used for proactive skill-building.

The students first complete a Needs Assessment to help their Academic Advisor frame their first meeting. The Academic Advisor then engages in academic coaching with the student as they work together to develop their individual plan. The modules are both in person and online through Canvas. Each advisor is an instructor in Canvas and have enrolled their students into one of the modules based on the coaching session.  The students had “homework” assigned on Canvas that was discussed in their next meeting with their advisor. In the first pilot, there were 48 students who actively participated in the full Academic Coaching & Empowerment (ACE) Module. These students also used aspects of the Growth-mindset, Resilience, Initiative and Transition (G.R.I.T) module as well as Strengths Quest. The goal is to continue to use this program both reactively and proactively to support our students in developing necessary skills to meet their goals. The advisors take a strength-based, asset-based approach to their coaching and this development program.

Top needs per the assessment are:

  1. Time Management
  2. Organization
  3. Understanding who they are as a learner and learning how to study based on this identity.
  4. Managing Emotions (Emotional Intelligence)
  5. Resilience

*Academic Standards: 

  • Precipitous Decline: Student is in good standing, however, had a quarter G.P.A. of a 1.5 or lower
  • Academic Warning: Student is in good standing, however, has a cumulative G.P.A. of a 2.0-2.2
  • Academic Probation: Student has a cumulative G.P.A. below a 2.0

Last Updated: 8/4/17

Jennifer Karas

Associate Provost, Academic Programs

Keith Miller

Director, University Honors Program and Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lili Rodriguez

Vice Chancellor, Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

Mike Kerwin

Associate Professor, Geography

Niki Latino

Executive Director, Academic Resources

Tracey Adams-Peters

Director, Student Success

Academic Advising

Building upon the strengths of the current partnership between Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Career & Professional Development, this faculty and staff working group will engage the campus community as we explore strategies to best advise undergraduate students.  The primary goal of this group will be to provide a framework to evolve our current advising model into an integrative approach to student advising for undergraduates. We will explore how the university might build on our partnerships in academic coaching, mentoring, and career & professional development advising to develop this student-centered approach. We will also continue to educate the campus community on the importance of the student’s overall health and wellness and the impact on their academic experience.

This group will first evaluate the multiple types of advising available to undergraduate students.  This evaluation will include input from multiple community members.  Expected outcomes of the group are:

  1. To develop an informed integrated advising framework that includes academic, personal and career advising, including planning internships;
  2. To further develop collaboration and streamlined communication between these advising areas;
  3. To pilot the proposed framework with a small number of academic units on campus.

Working with members of the committee and university partners, the group is gathering information over the summer and will continue to develop our implementation goals next academic year. While this DU IMPACT 2025 academic advising working group was recently formalized, DU staff and faculty have been working diligently and creatively in this area for much longer.

Last Updated: 7/6/17

Heidi Perman

Executive Director of Career & Professional Development, Career Services

Ingrid Tague

Associate Dean, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor, History

Jennifer Karas

Associate Provost, Academic Programs

Keith Miller

Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director, University Honors Program

Mike Kerwin

Associate Professor, Geography

Nancy Lorenzon

Director, Undergraduate Research Center, Director, Pre-Professional Allied Health and Professor, Biological Sciences

Nancy Sasaki

Associate Dean, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Teaching Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Niki Latino

Executive Director, Academic Resources

Tonnett Luedtke

Director of Advising/Orientation, Academic Resources

Learning, Living and Leading in Community

The Denver Advantage: 

In 2016, we selected Brailsford & Dunlavey to help study our strengths and needs in the residential experience. Brailsford & Dunlavey led workshops with over 200 community members and put out a survey to all students to better understand the needs and desires of our student population. Incorporating feedback from their final report, we are building a new residence hall for first-year, first-time students that will provide space designed in a “cluster” model to support robust programming and help students launch a successful college career. This will also increase our ability to house more juniors and seniors, who are increasingly asking to live on campus to be better connected to the campus community and because rising Denver rents are becoming less tenable. We have hired an Architect of Record and are hosting open forums to incorporate the DU community’s feedback as we build the buildings. This major initiative is being pursued under the Denver Advantage.

You can learn more and engage with the process by registering for the October Open Forums here:

Be ONE of 12 students who will contribute to shaping DU’s future campus skyline. 

We are looking for enthusiastic students to share their insight and perspective along the way. We are now in the early stages of the design-process, and are forming a Student Advisory Group (SAB) to inform the design-directions of both the Community Commons and Residence Hall.

YOUR voices and insights are critical to the success of these two projects.

If you are interested in contributing your energy to this important process, please complete the short application below. Details regarding the function and responsibilities of the SAB are contained within the application.

Denver Advantage | Student Advisory Group Application

The deadline to apply is this Friday, September 29.

Last Updated: 9/28/17

Lili Rodriguez

Vice Chancellor, Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

Carrie Ponikvar

Director, Residential Education