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Webinar: University of Arizona Increases Retention

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Incremental Gains: How The University of Arizona is Implementing Predictive Analytics to Increase Retention to 90 Percent


Using Illume Students, The University of Arizona (The UA) discovered that a group of 660 female, non-resident students with GPAs between 2.4-3.0 were one of their most at-risk student populations. Because of their higher GPA they were not part of previous alert triggers. See how they dove into the data to find this group of high achieving students and the outreach they are taking to retain them.



Melissa Vito, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives & Student Success, University of Arizona, and Angela Baldasare, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research, University of Arizona, hosted a conversation (May 20, 2015) about the institution’s work using data and analytics to inform decisions around student success.

The UA has been engaged in predictive analytics work for many years to support student success and student engagement initiatives. These constitute one of the primary pillars of the institution’s academic and overall strategic plan. With current retention at 83 percent, the UA has made great strides establishing outstanding programs – from enrollment to graduation – to support students in their success. In 2013, the UA partnered with Civitas Learning to take their work in analytics for student success to the next level. The UA has implemented the Illume® application to uncover subtle nuances in their data that would surface new insights within segments of the student population that may benefit from interventions. The UA’s work with Civitas Learning has also helped the institution integrate data systems and sources in order to make improvements along the margins, which previously had been difficult to identify.

What You’ll Learn from this Webinar:
  • How the UA built capacity for analytics by bringing together disparate data systems, and dedicating staff to make information more accessible and shareable across the institution.
  • How communicating broadly with stakeholders was an early success at the UA in fostering a culture  for the potential of student success analytics.
  • How the university uncovered initial insights through the Illume™ application that informed the institution’s plans to deliver personalized interventions to improve students’ likelihood to stay – and ultimately graduate – from the UA.
About the Speakers
Melissa Vito

Melissa Vito
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives & Student, University of Arizona

Dr. Vito manages a $132 million budget and oversees almost 4,000 employees within the Student Affairs division. In an effort to consistently focus on excellent student support for academic success, Dr. Vito spearheaded a strategic and innovative realignment of the division in 2008-2009. In addition to a savings that exceeded $1,000,000, this transformation increased the division’s contribution to student learning and retention by providing new student support; strengthened partnerships with academic colleagues; increased its focus on access and inclusion through a $2 million Helios Foundation grant to expand retention efforts for students in the Arizona Assurance program; and created innovative partnerships with business and the community.

Angela Baldasare

Angela Baldasare
Assistant Provost for Institutional Research,
University of Arizona

Having earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Arizona, Dr. Baldasare is a proud alumna dedicated to the success of the UA’s students and the institution.  From 2010-2014, Dr. Baldasare served as the Director of Divisional Assessment & Research for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at UA, where she led the charge in advancing the division’s data-driven approach and strategic plan. In 2014, Institutional Research joined with the Enterprise Information & Analytics unit to form University Analytics & Institutional Research (UAIR).  Dr. Baldasare has been a key leading member of this effort, to provide institutional research and analytics support for the University in strategic planning, management decision-making, and policy analysis.

Matthew Milliron

Matthew Milliron
Senior Director, Partner Success, 
Civitas Learning

During the last 15 years, Dr. Millliron has led technology programs and organizations in both education and non-profit associations. Prior to joining Civitas Learning, Milliron served as the Chief Information Officer for EDUCAUSE.In addition to his leadership roles, he has taught courses on eLearning Design and presented on technology and higher education topics.

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