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Discovery Advantage
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Discovery Advantage
Final Report

A new, strategic approach to student success

Higher Education, Reimagined

Discovery Advantage is an initiative of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Academic Master Plan (AMP). It represents a holistic reimagining of the undergraduate student experience for the implementation of the three priorities of the AMP’s Student Success pillar: 

•    Create a welcoming, equitable, and supportive learning environment for all students
•    Prioritize on-time graduation with minimal debt for all students
•    Expand high-impact learning opportunities, such as internships, research, and more, to best prepare students for future success

Please note that “Final” is the title of this report but not the status of the Discovery Advantage initiative. Although Rutgers–New Brunswick has begun the groundwork for implementing some of these recommendations, they remain just that—recommendations—subject to community review and continued feedback, as well as to the review and approval of university leadership. 

Final Report Highlights

  • The student experience is multifaceted, and this report makes recommendations across many components that affect student success. Highlights include recommendations to:

    • Increase access to a Rutgers–New Brunswick degree by remaining test-optional.
    • Attract a diverse and highly qualified student body and increase our numbers of out-of-state and international students by implementing enhanced marketing and recruitment strategies.
    • Help students transition to campus by creating a coordinated student onboarding process.
    • Support student transitions through the first year by establishing Discovery First-Year Neighborhoods on College Avenue, Busch, Livingston, Douglass, and Cook campuses to be places of living, learning, and support for first-year residential and commuter students.
    • Support commuter students by establishing a new office of Commuter Student Services within the Division of Student Affairs.
    • Inspire and guide student learning by adopting campuswide learning goals.
    • Develop critical skills by encouraging all students to participate in one high-impact practice during their first year and at least two others before graduation.
    • Promote equitable access to career preparation and experiential education resources.
    • Help students navigate the many curricular and co-curricular options available to them by:
      • Creating curriculum maps for all academic programs.
      • Adopting a more consciously proactive approach to advising at all levels.
  • Supporting these recommendations are additional recommendations to:

    • Establish the infrastructure to provide coordinated and holistic student support, including the reduction of student-to-advisor ratios to those recommended in the Boyer 2030 report.
    • Advocate for more collaboration, transparency, and communitywide feedback when selecting new software or business practices.
    • Call for the development of a housing master plan and a broader re-evaluation and update of the Rutgers 2030 plan to ensure alignment with the AMP, Discovery Advantage, and the evolving needs of students, faculty, and staff.
    • Create and maintain a responsible and reliable data ecosystem to inform our overall student success efforts.