The University of Texas at Tyler is one of five UT System academic institutions that received about $800,000 to fund an innovative campus-based project designed to enhance student success, Dr. Michael Tidwell, president of The University of Texas at Tyler, announced.
The University of Texas at Tyler’s $803,234 grant will support OnCourse, a suite of course-level provisions to increase first-year GPA and retention of first-time, full-time freshmen.
The grant is part of the $8.2 million allocated by the UT System Board of Regents to fund projects that support the System’s student success initiative, “Make a Quantum Leap in Student Success: Finances, Advising and Belonging.”
“We are dedicated to giving our students every opportunity to succeed,” Tidwell said. “By creating an environment where we can bring academic support to students at any time and location, we can provide them with resources to master course material and connect with faculty in new ways. We are excited about this program and grateful to The University of Texas System for supporting this initiative.”
Through a competitive process, UT’s academic institutions prepared grant proposals, and grants were evaluated by higher education experts outside of Texas as well as UT System reviewers. Proposals were evaluated based on the case they made for “quantum leap-worthy” change, that is, projects that would take bold, outcomes-focused, data-driven and sustainable approaches to student success with new or scaled-up initiatives with proven track records. Additionally, all proposals addressed one or more of three research-identified pillars – finances, advising, and belonging – that form the foundation of the System’s initiative.
The student success effort is aligned with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 60X30 Plan, which calls for at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 to have a certificate or degree by 2030.

As part of the $10 million allocated by the Board of Regents in February, each of UT’s eight academic institutions will also receive funding to support Graduation Help Desks, which are one-stop shops, virtual or brick and mortar, for students who encounter barriers in the path to timely graduation.
“We designated Student Success as a Quantum Leap effort because it should be clear to everyone that putting our students on the road to success is, and always will be, job one,” Chancellor William H. McRaven said. “Providing institutions with the resources to create and expand innovative programs that support and motivate students to earn their degree and make the most of their time in college is exactly the type of investment we should be making, and I’m grateful to the regents for their support.”
A total of almost $1.7 million will provide dedicated staff and infrastructure to help students graduate on time by connecting them to the right people and resources across campus. Modeled after a successful program at UT Austin, these centralized help desks allow institutions to identify barriers to graduation that might not otherwise be recognized by individual departments or colleges.
The goal of System’s Student Success initiative is to ensure that every UT student is prepared and positioned to succeed in high-quality learning environments.
One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at The University of Texas at Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 10,000 high-ability students. The University of Texas at Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.