Glossary of Terms - University of Houston
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Glossary of Terms

Advocates are those at UH and in the community, who actively educate and empower others through knowledge of the opportunities and services that DSA provides in support of student success.

Assessment and Evaluation are iterative processes, requiring continual review as modifications are made and time passes. These are used to keep us focused on the continual improvement of the processes, programs, or services of DSA.

Campus Partners are individuals, organizations, or departments at UH that create meaningful experiences, opportunities, or initiatives in partnership with DSA.

Common Goals are agreed on objectives that support institutional commitments. People, units, or departments can work together in either short- or long-term periods towards these goals.

Communication (strategies) includes acts or processes to express or exchange information. DSA staff must be informed to be productive and serve in our designated roles at UH.

Communities (Greater and Neighboring) include places and spaces that impact or have the potential to impact UH. They are both close to our campuses and teaching locations (e.g. the 3rd Ward, UH at Sugar Land, UH Katy, etc.) and far (e.g. online). DSA recognizes that communities exist in a wide definition and are supportive of those communities.

Connection, Belonging, and UH Identity are defined by the student. DSA is dedicated to students being connected to the campus community in a way that establishes their own sense of belonging and embraces UH as a part of who they are.

Division Cohesion is where all departments and staff in DSA work collectively toward common goals. The action of becoming cohesive will create a stronger and unified division.

Divisional processes are those ways in which DSA interacts to achieve the work we do. Processes can be within a single area or across areas.

Holistic well-being of students includes, but is not limited to, all the wellness dimensions; Social, Financial, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, Cultural, Occupational, Environmental and Physical.

Identity, Culture, and Community are the ways that we exist as a division. These terms are used to describe the way DSA is and will be in the future. Identity is central to who we are and what we do. Culture encompasses the attitudes and behaviors that are characteristic of the division. Community results from shared interests and goals and is seen in our ethic of care.

Partnerships are relationships formed with two or more people or departments in the interest of a common goal or purpose.

Programs, Services, and Processes all refer to programmatic, process and/or service components of the work within DSA. These are inclusive terms to allow staff to meaningfully engage students in the work they do. Being exceptional in our work is defined broadly to include the functional areas within DSA and comes from demonstrated results and/or improvements.

Resources include human, fiscal, technological, facilities, data, collaborations, etc. DSA will be attentive to the evaluation, use, and development of resources while looking at limited or under-resourced areas, creating collaborations to best use resources, and being good stewards of the resources that are available.

Services encompass the many ways that DSA staff, departments, and units interact. Services can be directly or indirectly impacting students through the departmental mission.

Students as a term are written to represent all students on the UH campus and other teaching locations (e.g. UH at Sugar Land, UH Katy, online). UH students are diverse in their identities, needs, experiences, backgrounds, cultures, etc. and DSA works to include all students in our opportunities and services.

Student Success can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The overarching principle is to address the student and their definition of being successful. Departments can measure GPA’s, persistence from year to year, and graduating in 4 years for the students that they serve to understand the impact on success.

University of Houston Experience encompasses all that we are as an institution. As a student-centric division, students are core to all that we do. Included in the experience is also the UH community which can include staff, faculty, parents and families, visitors, etc.