Learning Framework - The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

State
Texas
Academic Level
Baccalaureate
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Mentoring

Overview

In 2004, the Learning Framework course began at The University of Texas-Pan American to address first-year retention rates. In 2015 the institution merged and is known as The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The Learning Framework course assists first-year students early on in their college experience to make conscious choices and appropriate decisions about their chosen career to improve semester to semester retention rates.

Program Description

Since Fall 2008, UTRGV requires first-year students with an ACT/SAT score below 19 or a high school class rank below the top 25% to enroll in the Learning Framework course in their first semester. The course helps students understand the principles of learning and motivation, which are then applied to their own university experience, helping them navigate UTRGV systems. Additional instruction, mentoring, academic advising, and social, emotional, and academic support is also provided to students as instructors recognize and respect their students' lived realities. Additionally, first-year students who are not initially in the Learning Framework course are monitored after their first semester to ensure they earn at least 12 semester credit hours and have at least a 2.5 GPA. If students fall below earning 12 credits or a 2.5 GPA, they must take the Learning Frameworks the following semester.

Outcome

  • Increase retention rates and GPA: In 2017-2018, students who were required to take the Learning Framework course had a 30% higher retention rate than students who should have taken the course but did not. Students identified as needing the Learning Framework course, but not required to average a 2.5 GPA, compared to a 1.9 GPA for those identified as needing the course but did not. 
  • Continued increase in retention rates and GPA: In 2018-2019, students who were required to take the Learning Framework course had a 23% higher retention rate than students who should have taken the course but did not. Students identified as needing the Learning Framework course, but not required to average a 2.55 GPA, compared to a 2.19 GPA for those identified as needing the course but did not.