Strategic University Initiatives

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university dedicated to extending and strengthening its impact and becoming a more effective partner in the rebirth of southeast Michigan through educational, research and engagement activities.

A great region needs a great university that is committed to its progress. The creation of approximately 2000 talented new graduates annually, the retention of approximately 80 percent of our alumni in the region, and the large number of UM-Dearborn alumni leaders in industry, non-profit, and government organizations are testaments to the impact of a UM-Dearborn education.

UM-Dearborn achieves metropolitan impact by its commitment to making a Michigan degree accessible to students of varying means, strengthening student-learning experiences through research and internship opportunities in our region, and aligning teaching models and programs with community and industry needs. This commitment is carried out in a racially and ethnically diverse setting, reflective of today’s work and living environments. The university nurtures a wide range of collaborations with effective community-based organizations throughout the region and encourages active involvement in solving the problems of the region by students, faculty and staff.  

For UM-Dearborn to continue to realize its mission the following university priorities have been established: 

  • The university aspires to grow enrollment to 12,000 students. Because more than 80 percent of the university’s general fund is derived from student tuition, enrollment growth provides necessary resources for extending and strengthening our teaching and learning environments. Enrollment currently stands at a record 9,131 students.

    The following strategies are under way for growing enrollment:

    • Develop a campus-wide strategic enrollment management plan
    • Collaborate with U-M Ann Arbor on enrollment initiatives  
    • Create high-demand academic programs and opportunities to increase the yield of admitted students
    • Enhance partnerships with community colleges
    • Focus additional attention on student retention efforts
  • UM-Dearborn offers the academic excellence of the University of Michigan in a learning environment that emphasizes hands-on, practical learning experiences. The university places student success at the center of its efforts.

    The following data speak to the quality of the academic environment of the university:

    • UM-Dearborn admits the region’s best students. The Class of 2019’s average incoming GPA is 3.63 and average ACT score is 24.6
    • UM-Dearborn is ranked as the sixth best public regional university in the Midwest according to U.S. News and World Report
    • The College of Business and the College of Engineering and Computer Science rank highly in many national publications
    • The College of Education, Health, and Human Services teacher preparation program has earned the state’s top rating
    • The university attracts highly qualified faculty from around the globe
  • Graduating well-prepared, career-ready students is the number one focus of the university. The university’s six-year graduation rate currently stands at 53% percent. This is the official IPEDS graduation rate number that is reported to the federal government. This number only tells part of the story, however. It takes into account only traditional students who begin at UM-Dearborn immediately after high school and who graduate from the campus. However, this rate increases to 86 percent when including students who have transferred into UM-Dearborn from a community college or other university and students who have left UM-Dearborn to graduate from another institution or are still enrolled in a university.

    The following student retention and success initiatives have been created:

    • Student Success Alliance
      Co-chaired by the Office of the Provost and Enrollment Management and Student Life, the Student Success Alliance serves as a monitoring body for all student success initiatives. This group works toward improving areas across campus related to student success and identifying new opportunities to best support students.
    • START (Student Advising Resource Team)
      This new campus-wide advising office is designed to advise all first-year and transfer students before they register for classes. This team will help students map the best route to graduation, inform students of various support programs available to maximize success and outline financial benefits to graduating in less than six years.
    • Educational Advisory Board’s Student Success Collaborative
      Staff and faculty are using a new advising software resource that provides tools to identify, advise and monitor student academic success in real-time and review predictive modeling to better identify early student issues for intervention and support.
    • FastFOURward campaign 
      This campaign promotes graduation in fewer than six years by highlighting tuition cost savings, earlier career earnings and improved academic success.
    • Talent Gateway
      Launched to develop student abilities related to innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, the Talent Gateway also serves as a campus-wide hub for internships, co-op opportunities, career services and job placement. 
  • UM-Dearborn provides an inclusive and diverse learning environment for all students. The university is able to maintain and nurture this environment because of a genuine commitment to learning from each other in an environment of mutual respect. The senior counsel to the chancellor for inclusion and special projects works with the chancellor to continue to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment.

    The campus’s undergraduate student population includes 26% students of color. Undergraduate students hail from 31 different birth countries.

    The university provides many opportunities for the campus community to learn from each other including:

  • UM-Dearborn focuses its mission and vision on opportunities and challenges that have a positive impact on the region it serves. UM-Dearborn achieves metropolitan impact by its commitment to making a Michigan degree accessible to students of varying means, strengthening student-learning experiences through research and internship opportunities in our region and aligning teaching models and programs with community and industry needs. The university nurtures a wide range of collaborations with effective community-based organizations throughout the region and encourages active involvement in solving the problems of the region by students, faculty and staff.

    The university’s undergraduate student population is 43% PELL eligible, and almost 50% of our students are first-generation in college. The university provides many financial aid resources to assist the region’s best students in obtaining a Michigan degree. Our research and student engagement activities in the community are focused on local and state issues that have a meaningful impact on the lives of southeast Michigan residents. We also provide a well-prepared talent pipeline for local businesses, industries and non-profit organizations.

    In 2015 UM-Dearborn earned the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification​ one of only 361 campuses with this designation, and Michigan College Campus’s Engaged Campus of the Year award.

    Examples of UM-Dearborn’s impact in the community include: