In the fall of 2009, the university introduced a new mentoring program, the African American Male Initiative, to improve retention and graduation rates for first-time entering freshmen African American students.
Dr. Charles Donaldson, Dr. Logan Hampton, Dean Darryl McGee, and Harvell Howard established the new program to provide intrusive mentoring and advising to increase academic achievement.
At the conclusion of the fall semester, 44 out of 58 AAMI new student participants ended their first semester at UALR in good academic standing. Fifty-five percent earned a 3.0 GPA or higher, and 91% of AAMI participants returned for the spring semester.
In 2012, the program was expanded to include African American women and Hispanic and Latino men and women. The program was renamed Student Affairs Success Initiatives (SASI) and is housed under the Division for Educational, Student Services, and Student Life and includes the African American Male Initiative (AAMI), African American Female Initiative (AAFI), and the Hispanic/Latino Initiative (HLI) student success programs.