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Our students come to UCF with the expectation that we will help to prepare them to be successful when they go out into the world. It is our job to help them Unleash Potential and earn success.

Starting in October 2023, UCF will begin the transition to a new advising and coaching model as part of a strategic effort to advance student success and improve retention and graduation rates – key components of the university’s mission to prepare students to join the workforce and our pursuit of preeminence.

Our people are key to this model’s implementation and success. As part of these changes, we will be hiring 14 new positions and investing in our current employees to boost purpose, morale, and retention, and in recognition of their incredible commitment to our students and their outcomes.

The below FAQs address questions about how we will move forward and what these changes may mean for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Improving our four-year and three-year graduation rates (first-time in college and transfer, respectively) is a top priority for university leadership. This is not only our duty and obligation as a university, but a key step in achieving preeminence as a state university (a designation currently held only by the University of Florida, Florida State University and University of South Florida).  

This designation unlocks more performance funding that can be applied to other high priority areas.

Under this new model, advisors and coaches will merge responsibilities under new titles and corresponding pay increases. Academic advisors will be trained as coaches, and student coaches will assume advising responsibilities for a combined, hybrid role. Here’s what that looks like:  

  • Advisor I and II and Student Coach I and II will become an Academic Success Coach 
  • Advisor III and IV and Student Coach III and IV will become a Senior Academic Success Coach
  • Managers and Assistant Directors will become Assistant Directors for Academic Success Coaching 
  • Associate Directors will become Associate Directors for Academic Success Coaching 
  • Directors will become Directors for Academic Success Coaching 

Everyone will continue to serve and work in their current colleges. Our new academic success coaches are experts in their college’s respective programs and uniquely situated to best serve UCF undergraduate students within the college.   

Directors for Academic Success Coaching will report to the Interim Assistant Vice President of Academic Success Coaching within the Division of Student Success and Well-Being. They will also have a dotted line reporting relationship to an Associate or Assistant Dean in their assigned college.

The changes only impact undergraduate student academic advisors and success coaches in UCF Connect.  Graduate advisors and UCF Online coaches are not included in the new model, along with some specialized advisors in the current advising job family. 

This new advising and coaching model is designed to accelerate our drive toward preeminence by improving our performance on several key metrics, most importantly the four-year first-time in college graduation rate.  As such, the new Academic Success Coach model focuses solely on undergraduate student advising.  

There are employees performing some advising roles who are not classified as academic advisors. The roles and responsibilities of those employees will be reviewed carefully, in consultation with the appropriate college representatives, to determine whether they are included in the Academic Success Coaching model.  

Student Success and Well-Being will appoint implementation teams to work through the transition details

In this new structure, university leadership invested in the Academic Success Coaching model to improve our performance on several key undergraduate student metrics. All academic success coaches will provide academic advising and coaching services to undergraduate students in their major field.  We do not anticipate that academic success coaches will be deployed outside of Student Success and Well-Being.  

Yes, these titles are exclusive to the division of Student Success and Well-Being.  

Yes, the university is investing more than $3.5 million of performance funding in our people as part of our move to this new model. These pay adjustments align with a market-informed salary evaluation, and offers competitive salaries that align with state university system peers.  

Pay adjustments will vary, but under the new model, we will move to the following minimum salaries, with possible variations for years of experience, education, performance, and other factors: 

  • Academic Success Coaches: $48,000 
  • Senior Academic Success Coach: $56,000 
  • Assistant Director, Academic Success Coaching: $61,000 
  • Associate Director, Academic Student Success Coaching: $71,000 
  • Director, Academic Student Success Coaching: $88,000

The salary adjustment goes into effect in Dec. 22, 2023, with changes reflected in Jan. 12, 2024 paychecks.

No. Salaries of staff in this new model will not see a decrease.  All staff in this new model will see an increase of at least $1,000. 

Implementation started in Oct. 2023 and will continue through March 2024.   

The salary adjustment goes into effect Dec. 22, 2023, with changes reflected in Jan. 12, 2024  paychecks.     

Reporting lines will change by Jan. 19, 2024, after the drop-add period.  At that point, the current college Directors of Advising, converted to Directors for Academic Success Coaching, will report directly to the Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Success Coaching, Dr. Jenny Sumner.  

All Academic Success Coaching employees will be trained on policies, procedures, essential information, technology use, and accountability metrics through March 2024, with ongoing training and professional development.   

We aim for the new model to be fully implemented by March 2024, in time for Orientation.   

Dr. DeLaine Priest and Dr. Jenny Sumner will lead the implementation of this new model and will work closely with Central HR and the Workday IT team to ensure that all of those affected by the changes are given the appropriate salary adjustment and their reporting line moved to SSWB. 

One of the primary preeminence metrics we are aiming for is a 65% four-year graduation rate for first-time in college students. Currently, UCF is at 54.2%, and that will likely slip down further before we begin to improve. We are also below the 70% three-year graduation rate for transfer students at only 50.9%. The highest levels of university leadership are implementing changes to regain our momentum, including this new model.   

A  deep dive into the high number of advising and coach vacancies at UCF showed us peer institutions offered better salaries. Given the critical role academic success coaches will play in our drive toward preeminence, we needed to set salaries at an appropriate level. 

The development and implementation of this new model represents a strategic initiative to accelerate our movement.   While we recognize everyone plays a role in student success, the structural impediments in these areas, including the salary structure, resulted in chronic staff shortages that weakened our efforts.  We expect these changes to strengthen our efforts in these areas and move us closer to our objectives.   

Recognizing that our progress on preeminence metrics has stalled—indeed a few key metrics have declined — this project acquired greater urgency and importance.  The university acted quickly to address these issues and move us forward. 

We recognize that a major university-wide transformation like this holds widespread impact. A need to implement immediate change and elevate our performance to the level of our peer institutions prompted this swift change. Our objective moving forward is to communicate more effectively and with greater clarity.   


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