Office of Undergraduate Education
O'Dowd Hall, Rooms 340-342
386 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(248) 370-4955
first year advising center
focus on the finish line


The Office of Undergraduate Education is dedicated to enhancing the quality of undergraduate programs, instruction, and advising in ways that lead to student success and retention. Therefore we are continuously searching for, and supporting, innovative ideas that improve the educational experiences of our students.
Foundations of Excellence
The Foundations of Excellence (FOE) is a national project designed to encourage colleges and universities to engage in a comprehensive self-study focused on improving the design and implementation of the first year experience to ensure that students get the right start in college. It is a collaborative undertaking of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, researchers at Penn State University, Campus Compact, and more than 200 four-year colleges and universities. 
The FOE model is comprised of nine standards of institutional excellence (Foundational Dimensions) for the first year of college including: first year philosophy, organizational structure, faculty, the roles of higher education, student learning, student transitions, diversity, serving all students, and assessment/improvement. 
Read the full self-study and learn more about see related OU initiatives in action like the First Year Advising Center and Focus on the Finish Line

The Oakland University Retention committee invites proposals from students, faculty, and staff for projects during the 2015-2016 school year. We are especially interested in funding proposals that engage students and promote success and retention. See also the conference on retention that Oakland University is hosting in February 11-12, 2016.

Deadline for proposal:

  • To be announced

Type of projects available for funding:

  • Direct Impact: up to $1,000 for a single event or action aimed at increasing retention
  • Development: up to $5,000 for developing an on-going retention strategy
  • Demonstration: up to $10,000 for execution of an innovative approach

Please include the following in your proposal:

  • Name of project
  • Name and contact information for project leader
  • List of collaborating students, faculty, and staff
  • Type of project and amount requested
  • Project description and timeline
  • Project budget
  • Retention impact evaluation plan
  • Target student population and number of student involved
  • Plan for sustainability

Guidelines for Submission:

  • Please submit a completed copy of the proposal to Susan Awbrey, Senior Associate Provost
  • Proposals are reviewed by the Oakland University Retention Committee
  • Upon project completion an impact report must be submitted to the retention committee

Illustrative examples of funded projects:

High Impact Strategies

High Impact Practices include various practices such as learner-centered teaching environments, common experiences, learning communities and study groups, writing-intensive coursework, collaborative projects, undergraduate research, diversity and global awareness, service and community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses. 

The Office of Undergraduate Education has sponsored several proposals that support course development and redesigns aimed at improving the impact of various educational experiences. The redesign of WRT 102 is an example of how programs are using innovative pedagogy and improving student experiences in the classroom.