University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Sophomore Year Experience & Retention Initiative

LeeAnn Melin, Student Support Initiatives, Undergraduate Education

Overview of the Project

Building on successful first-year experience programs, many colleges and universities are now looking to identify strategies to better address the needs of students during their sophomore year. The sophomore year is a time for students to develop a sense of purpose and self-efficacy related to their undergraduate degree. This takes the form of declaring a major, finding community, and developmentally exploring their place in the world. All of these issues affect retention, satisfaction, learning and development one way or another. How can we better address the unique needs of sophomore students at the University of Minnesota?

This PEL project will explore the sophomore year on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, to support the development of a shared vision and coordinated initiative around the sophomore experience on this campus. As part of this project we will evaluate the current mindset and existing practices to determine whether there is interest in pursuing a more coordinated and intentional effort for addressing the needs of sophomore students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Project Team

Team Members

Jeremy Casper
Senior Web Specialist
Office of University Relations
Mentor: Henning Schroeder

Aron Khoury
Project Manager
Office for Business and Community Economic Development
Mentor: Beverly Durgan

Kristy Lashbaugh
Education Coordinator
Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
Mentor: Billie Wahlstrom

Alyssa Ruesch
Classroom Support Coordinator
CLA Language Center
Mentor: Laura Coffin Koch