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

Next for Spring 2020

  • Complete well-being literature review and present to Well-being committee
  • Disseminate Student Employee Best Practice resource throughout Division
  • Complete benchmarking on financial wellness and make recommendations
  • Disseminate Basic Needs folder
  • Create material/resources on Student Affairs and retention for the Division

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


Kathy Fahl, assistant dean of students


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

Staffed by

  • Brittany Barten, member services coordinator, Campus Recreation
  • Kent Scott, associate director of auxiliaries operations, Auxiliaries
  • Jodi Pavol, assistant director, Career and Leadership Development Center
  • Jen Maskiell, associate director, Housing and Residence Life
  • Tim Epley, business manager, Event Services
  • Erin Morgenstern, assistant director for leadership, Career and Leadership Development Center
  • Barb Harrison, assistant director of community engagement programs, Campus Involvement Center
  • Lijing Yang, assistant professor, Counseling and Higher Education
  • Antonique Flood, assistant director, University College
  • Julie Chiki, student success advisor, Allen Student Advising Center
  • Justine Reichley, assistant director for student engagement and summer experiences, Housing and Residence Life
  • Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research & education services, University Libraries
  • Dustin Saunier, business and technology manager, Career and Leadership Development Center
  • Mary Kate Kennedy, associate director, Community Standards and Student Responsibility
  • Nicole Lovins, assistant director of marketing & design, Student Affairs Communication and Marketing 
  • Tammy Babylon, executive office administrator, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • 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.