Annual Report 2016-17

The Student Affairs Success Initiatives program is designed to empower, support, and assist African American and Hispanic/Latino students and increase their retention and graduation rates.

  • Diversity
  • Access
  • Student Development
  • Student Success
  • Retention

The Student Affairs Success Initiatives department will empower all students within its programs to achieve their full potential and to graduate in four years through an environment of inclusion, collaboration, and access.

Promotes student development through intentional services, programming and structures

  • Power Luncheon allowed students to share a meal with and visit with administrators at the university and discuss leadership skills.
  • Freshmen retreat focused on networking, social skills, positive communication, money management, scholarships, time and stress management, and campus resources. They also completed goal posters.
  • Engaged students in an energetic debate between males and females during the Battle of the Sexes.

Encourages a healthy university community

  • Collaborated with Sigma Lambda Gamma to host Latin Fest, a dance instructional with a Latin themed potluck.
  • Held a series of sessions called Woman to Woman and Man to Man that allowed students a safe space to talk with peers about different topics such as intersectionality, empowerment and self-identity.

Advocates for the excluded

  • SASI Social/ Mentor Mall gave freshmen students the opportunity to meet the staff and mentors of the Initiatives. They were able to speak with each of the mentors on an individual basis and select the mentor that they wanted for the school year.
  • Worked with underrepresented populations in order to ensure their interests are represented on committees, boards, and student organizations. Many of the students that participate in the leadership development provided by SASI have gone on to serve in leadership roles in other organizations like SGA, Greek organizations, and the Student Engagement Team.
  • Collaborated with Chancellor's Leadership Corps through Leadership Institute for the Reach 13,000 effort to see over 16,000 non-perishables raised for the Food Bank and 12th Street Clinic. SASI collected 1,269 non-perishable items.

Provides an environment in which students can pursue their educational goals

  • Collaborated with the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. on Headlines, an event that involved social justice figures from the community and focused on law enforcement and politics in the African American community
  • Held the Fall 2016 graduation ceremony that recognized 19 graduates
  • Fifteen students successfully completed and graduated from the Leadership Institute in Fall 2016



  • Recognized by the UA Little Rock Alumni Association's Campus Campaign for being at 100%.


Mentorship Program & Diversity Initiatives

Before Ms. Sills’ departure she assessed mentees regarding their mentors. She also met with the mentors and provided recommendations related to the redesign. Her recommendations included the a more extensive training with mentors that was designed as a retreat, similar to how it was when she entered the program. She felt like the relationships between leadership and mentors needed to be enhanced through more intentional connections, which would thereby improve the mentors’ understanding of their expectations and how to effectively guide mentees. More enhanced leadership training opportunities have been made available, and a partnership with SEC and Admissions will expand mentorship to all students entering the campus.

Also, she recommended that the program work more collaboratively with the Student Experience Center, noting that much of the diversity programs spawned from SASI. Minimizing duplicity and maximizing resources occurs when these units work together. To this end, students  have been trained to serve on committees, program boards, and other projects to enhance diversity in a more organic way. This will be implemented in Fall 2017.

This year, leadership programs will be assessed through written responses related to specific learning outcomes. In addition, students will be able to gain constructive feedback related to their leadership skills and make improvements. The mentorship program will be assessed through mentee feedback on Survey Monkey as the expansion is a new one that will have to be continually improved.

Summer Bridge Academy (SBA)

The 2016 Summer Bridge Academy successfully transitioned 20 students to UA Little Rock. The goal is to help students bypass remediation. It ran concurrently with CWDSA’s Senior Summer Bridge Academy. The results are as follows:

20 total students (Percentages tested out of remediation)

  • Reading - 80% (8 / 10)
  • Math - 90% (18 / 20)
  • Writing - 83% (10 / 12)

Currently, the program is being refined in order to determine a way to do it for less money due to the ending of the Winthrop Rockefeller grant. CWDSA explored a blended model that was effective and data from that program suggests that a similar bridge program could be implemented with SBA, so assessment data from the sister program is helping inform the redesign for next year. Funding in the amount of $20,000 from Bank of America has been secured and additional funding will be sought after.

  • Create financial stability through increased revenue
  • Maintain fiscal responsibility
  • Increase knowledge of discipline and student affairs
  • Create engaging and innovative programming that supports retention
  • Adjust office space so that it becomes more student friendly and accessible
  • Ensure customer satisfaction
  • Train all staff on the functions and operations of the area

The African American Male Initiative (AAMI) began in 2009 with the goal of increasing minority retention and graduation rates.

Since its inception, the programs have expanded to include the African American Female Initiative (AAFI) and the Hispanic/ Latino Initiative (HLI).

Grants from Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation helped establish the Charles W. Donaldson Summer Bridge Academy in 2013. Its success lead to a 10 million dollar scholarship program designed around the SBA model.