The University of West Florida recently launched University College to enhance the effectiveness of student support services by streamlining programs into one comprehensive unit. The college consists of academic programs, including the Kugelman Honors Program and General Studies Program, as well as the First Year Advising Center and professional readiness programs.
“We created University College to further ensure our students’ success, before and after graduation,” said Provost Martha Saunders. “With a centerpiece focus on professional readiness, our graduates will benefit from transformative experiences that will set them apart in their future careers. This is a game changer for UWF.”
As part of its professional readiness initiatives, University College will oversee the “Communication for Professional Success” program, which will improve the communication skills of graduating UWF students to better prepare them to enter the workforce. Utilizing immersive learning methods specific to each of the majors offered at UWF, the program will empower students to communicate in ways that are appropriate and tailored for their desired career field.
Additionally, University College will enhance the learning experience for UWF students by developing and implementing a wide range of high-impact practices that have been proven to deepen student learning and engagement, as well as increase retention and better prepare students to enter the workforce as qualified professionals. The college will provide new learning opportunities, such as first-year experience courses, living and learning communities, collaborative assignments and projects, global and diverse learning, service- and community-based learning and internships.
Provost Martha Saunders appointed Dr. Gregory Lanier as the first dean of the newly formed University College.
“I am excited to be given the chance to build a college from scratch,” Lanier said. “University College will allow us to strategically align the University’s student support services in a way that will enhance the way we attract students to the University, retain them, and better prepare them to enter the workforce after graduation.”
Previously, Lanier served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, director for the Kugelman Honors Program and professor of honors, theater and English at UWF. Over the past 15 years, he has established an international reputation as a leading expert in the areas of honors curriculum development and honors assessment practices. His work has been published in “A Practical Handbook for the Review of Honors Programs and Colleges” and “The Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council,” among others. Under his leadership, the Kugelman Honors Program has emerged as a national model for active learning, student success and student retention techniques.
In addition to Lanier, Kathy Parker was appointed associate dean for University College, and will oversee all advising across the University. Previously, Parker was the director of the First-Year Advising Center for UWF.