Ohio University

Breakthrough Objective: Retention and Graduation


The OHIO Division of Student Affairs will work to engage all students in meaningful programs, services and activities to increase retention and graduation rates.

Key Results

  • 3A: DOSA will identify and enhance programs and services that help students build community.
  • 3B: Engagement between DOSA staff and at-risk students will increase.
  • 3C: DOSA will expand the OHIO Basic Needs Initiative.

Year one updates Year Two updates

Accomplished in Fall 2019

  • Completed and distributed Sense of Belonging assessment question bank
  • Begin literature review of retention and well-being
  • Developed student employee sense of belonging survey 
  • Created Student Employment Best Practice resource for the Division 
  • Created Basic Needs folder for campus community

Accomplished in Spring 2020

  • Completed well-being literature review and presented it to the Well-being committee
  • Disseminated Student Employee Best Practice resource throughout Division
  • Completed benchmarking on financial wellness and made recommendations
  • Disseminated Basic Needs folder
  • Created material/resources on Student Affairs and retention for the Division

Next for Summer 2020

  • Collaborating with IRE to analyze DOSA student employees’ leader’s academic persistence and retention comparative to other student employees and non-student employees

Grad and Retention Sub-Committee


  • Ohio University has defined sense of belonging as feeling welcomed, safe, connected, and integrated into a community, cared for and supported by its members, and valued for personal identities and attributes at Ohio University.
  • OHIO programs, services and events should utilize the Sense of Belonging Question Bank [Word] to assess impact on sense of belonging.
  • The First 40 Days are an integral part to creating student sense of belonging to Ohio University
  • Ohio University’s Well-being model supports sense of belonging through four elements: Purpose, Resilience, Relationships, Achievement.

Supporting Documents

Sense of Belonging Best Practices [Word]

Well-Being Lit Review [Word]


Financial Wellness Sub-Committee


Supporting Documents

Addressing College Students’ Basic Needs [PDF]

Housing and Homeless Students – Benchmarking [Word]

Financial Wellness Recommendation [Word]

Financial Literacy Programs [Word]


Student Employment Sub-Committee


The Student Employment Sub-Committee researched, created and developed a student employment best practices resource guide. Included in the guide are recommendations for student employee performance evaluations, integrating learning goals in supervision discussions, mentoring, onboarding, offer letters, and exit interviews.

Supporting Documents

Student Employment Best Practices [Word]


Sense of Belonging Question Bank

Our committee has developed a question bank to better assist you in understanding the impact your program, service, event or student group has on developing participants’ sense of belonging.

You may remember sense of belonging as defined by feeling welcomed, safe, connected, and integrated into a community, cared for and supported by its members, and valued for personal identities and attributes at Ohio University. In order to determine if our programs are helping students’ sense of belonging, we have created a question bank for you to use on assessments/evaluations to gather data on our impact. When it makes sense to include one or more of these questions on your assessment forms, please do so.

Download the Sense of Belonging Question Bank [Word]

Committee for Retention and Graduation


Imants Jaunarajs, assistant vice president & executive director, Career and Leadership Development Center


Pete Trentacoste, executive director, Housing and Residence Life

Staffed by

  • Dottie Brown, Coordinator of Business Operations, Campus Recreation
  • Joey Goldblum, Graduate Resident Director, Housing and Residence Life
  • Dustin Saunier, business and technology manager, Career and Leadership Development Center
  • Kristin “KC” Waltz, Survivor Advocate, Survivor Advocate Program
  • Cynthia Cogswell, director of strategic planning and assessment, Division of Student Affairs


If you are interested in joining the committee, attending meetings, or viewing meeting minutes, please contact Dustin Saunier at saunierd@ohio.edu.