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The University of Houston is committed to creating an educational environment in which student success can be ensured. In support of this goal, we strive to provide students with tools and resources needed to facilitate degree completion. The graduation plan outlined within UH in 4 has been developed as a mechanism to help students identify and pursue clear paths for completing their undergraduate degree in a timely manner. Graduation within four years of initial fall enrollment at the University of Houston is ensured, and participating students can sign a fixed tuition agreement which guarantees that their tuition will not rise in four years if they meet the requirements of the program.
The University of Houston was selected by the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education to participate in a national higher education project known as "Foundations of Excellence®."
Throughout 2013-2014 academic year, University of Houston faculty, staff and students will collaborate with the Gardner Institute using a model of excellence for the first college year to develop and refine the University's overall approach to educating first-year students.
Research has long indicated that the successful integration of new students into college greatly increases the likelihood of their academic success. As a result, institutions of higher education place particular emphasis on creating a first-year experience that establishes a solid foundation supportive of success in college and beyond degree attainment.
Since February 2003, the Foundations of Excellence project has involved more than 300 two- and four-year colleges and universities across the country in developing the standards ("Foundational Dimensions®") that constitute a model first year.
The Provost Summer Read Program is built around a common book that will be read over the summer and discussed in a faculty-led seminar setting by all first year students after they arrive on campus to begin their fall semester classes. The goals of the program are:
- To engender a sense of community among first year students through participation in a shared activity
- To provide first year students with an opportunity to engage with other first year students and faculty at an early stage in their academic career.
- To introduce first year students to the intellectual climate of the university
- To learn to appreciate the role that dialogue and reasoned exchange of ideas plays in student success
- To promote reading and writing as a way of developing analytical skills and the ability to think critically