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The Fall 2020 Campus Experience

Dear colleagues,

The campus experience will look different for our students this fall as we work to keep each other healthy and safe. For our first-year students, whose success and persistence are often influenced by their involvement on campus, it means we must work extra hard to help them forge meaningful connections.

The Division of Student Success and academic colleges are rolling out three new initiatives to help new students transition to life at UT. Vol Success Teams will provide each new student with an academic advisor, academic coach, and One Stop team member to develop a personalized academic plan. The New V.O.L. Experience, our three-phase orientation program, has already launched with virtual advising and online pre-orientation. It will continue through Welcome Week with in-person events. Finally, the Vol First-Year Experience will enroll incoming students in two courses—a college-specific first-year seminar and an academic course—that will help ease their college transition.

Some of these initiatives were in the works well before the COVID-19 pandemic upended our expectations for the fall semester. They will all be valuable in connecting students to the resources and support they need and helping them build relationships with faculty, staff, and classmates.

We all have a role to play in helping our students succeed, and I appreciate the work you do to help achieve that goal.

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Donde Plowman