The Kentucky State University Board of Regents approved the establishment of University College at Kentucky State during the regular meeting Dec. 7.

The University College’s mission is to provide a series of programs, services and curriculum to promote and support the academic success of the university’s first-year students, according to the proposal submitted by Dr. Thomas Calhoun, vice president for student engagement and campus life at Kentucky State.

“University College is an interdisciplinary, collaborative unit that houses a group of closely related offices offering student-centered programs and services that enhance students’ exploration, engagement and success,” according to the proposal. “With its outcomes-oriented philosophy, University College will provide seamless, robust, focused and comprehensive educational support.”

The primary objective of University College is to increase the first- to second-year retention rate by 3 to 5 percent overall every year.

The University College structure would include areas of academic advising, academic support, first-year experience and learning communities and first-year curriculum.

A planning and design committee has been formed, comprised of eight faculty, 10 staff and four students. According to the proposal, the timeline for approval is spring 2018.

“Soon thereafter, we would like to see the founding faculty and leadership appointed, with the first students entering the college in fall 2018,” according to the proposal.

Effectiveness would be measured by tracking first- and second-year retention rates, first-semester academic standing, second-semester academic standing, second- and third-year persistence, persistence and academic standing amongst students in accelerated courses, persistence and academic standing of special populations, six-year graduation rate and attainment of dean’s list in the first college semester.