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Chicago Quarter Mentor and Orientation Leader opportunities extended to students with a 2.0 to 2.49 GPA

RISE Iniative looks to affect student retention

New Student and Family Engagement (NSFE) is piloting a new initiative that invites current freshmen  with a 2.0 to 2.49 GPA to apply to be a Chicago Quarter Mentor (CQM) or Orientation Leader (OL)​. In the past, a 2.5 GPA was required to apply. The shift was made in order to better serve DePaul’s mission and remove barriers to student engagement.

“Students who achieve a 2.0 to a 2.49 GPA are in the ‘murky middle,’” says Toni Fitzpatrick, associate director in New Student and Family Engagement. “DePaul’s retention trends show us that these students need to get on track with at least a 2.5 to increase their chances of staying here at DePaul,” she continues. The RISE Network (which stands for Reflect. Invest. Strategize. Excel.) is designed to guide students in reflecting on their academic experience here and then support them with learning strategies and any relevant campus resources.

The previous GPA requirements were put in place because students who had achieved a 2.5 GPA or higher were thought to be better able to handle the extra responsibility of the CQM or OL role and still do well in school. However, staff in NSFE also know that students who achieve below a 2.5 GPA after their first year are at risk of not returning for their second year at DePaul, and opportunities like this can contribute to retention.

“We know that experiences like (being a CQM or OL) lead to greater engagement, retention and student success,” says Fitzpatrick. “We changed the GPA requirement to remove what could potentially be a barrier to engagement for some of our students, and we hope that the result is helping more students find success at DePaul,” she adds. 

New Student and Family Engagement typically receives about 250 applications for the approximately 75 open OL and CQM positions each year. They are hoping to see the program grow to include 20 to 25 students who have GPAs in the 2.0 to 2.49 range.

The application process for summer and fall of 2018 closed on January 21, with four RISE program applications. Applicants will now participate in group interviews between February 19 and 23, and final offers will be made on Monday, March 12. 

For more information about the RISE Network initiative, contact Toni Fitzpatrick or Ashlee Schrock.