Sonoran University Student Engagement

2024 Student Engagement Survey Update  

In December of 2023, the Office of Student Success and Retention partnered with the VP of Student Affairs to administer the Student Engagement Survey for all Sonoran students. The survey was completed by 108 students between all programs, which is about a 20% completion rate.

Survey Purpose

The purpose of the survey is to measure student engagement, participation, connection and belonging at Sonoran University and examine the connections between engagement, student persistence and graduation.  Ultimately our goal is to enhance the student experience and support your success.

Use of Data

The Office of Student Success and Retention is working with the Office of Academic Assessment to review both the qualitative and quantitative data from the survey and will prepare to share the data with students during the Spring quarter.

The survey results will be used to

  1. Measure student engagement, participation, connection and belonging at Sonoran University.
  2. Examine the connections between retention and engagement.
  3. Identify perceptions of the University environment that affect the student’s experience.
  4. Identify the engagement themes that support students completing their degree.
  5. Develop retention initiatives to improve the student experience at Sonoran University
  6. Develop new programs and modify current ones to increase student success

Please look out for communication regarding survey results during the Spring quarter. if you have any questions, you may reach out to the Student Success and Retention Manager at



Sonoran University Student Success and Retention Plan

The Retention Planning Process
Every 5-7 years Sonoran University refreshes its Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. Retention planning, an integral and cyclical part of enrollment management planning for all higher education institutions, helps us proactively map out strategies to help our students feel like VIPs and facilitate their success and development as future healthcare professionals.  It is also integral to Sonoran's financial wellbeing. Best practices in retention planning engage multiple university constituencies, faculty, students, and staff.  Universities are measured by the success of its students, including graduation rates, student loan repayment, and alumni satisfaction. Graduation rates rise or fall gradually (over 4 to 6-year intervals) as the outcome of year-to-year retention. Retention itself depends on adopting best practices that give each student the best chance to succeed (and ultimately graduate). 
The planning process is following a series of seven steps. 
Step 1: Generate and analyze aggregate and disaggregate enrollment, retention, and graduation data.
Step 2: Interview leadership on the state of student retention, past retention initiatives and considerations for increasing retention at Sonoran (Academic Program Deans, President, V.P. of Academic Affairs, V.P. of Student Affairs).
Step 3:  Conduct virtual focus groups with key Sonoran constituents (faculty, students, and staff) on student retention.  
Step 4:  Hold a cross functional retention planning meeting where retention initiatives are identified and prioritized based on the feedback/results of steps 1-3.
Step 5:  Document retention goals and milestones, findings, and recommendations in the form of a Student Success and Retention Plan. Prioritize final initiatives by rating each on potential impact, resources (including budget and people), and ease of implementation. 
Step 6: Implementation.
Step 7: Assessment.

2024-2028 Sonoran University Student Success and Retention Plan

Planning for the 2024-2028 Sonoran University Student Success and Retention Plan began in Fall Quarter 2023.  University leadership identified eleven high impact retention initiatives to pursue. 

High Impact Initiatives
These initiatives are designed to enhance our support systems and represent a significant step forward in our commitment to supporting the holistic success of our students.  Each initiative is assigned a coordinator(s), tasked with developing a proposal and timeline for implementation. Ultimately, they will also outline goals and methods for assessing effectiveness and impact.  The retention coordinator may also reach out to the original retention planning group for assistance or feedback.

Initiatives are designed to address one of two themes identified in the December 2023 retention planning workshop:  
1.    Developing an improved transition process, considering data from the current state analysis. How can we prepare students for an experience they’ve never had before, and what can we do to shape the first quarter experience to get our students on the road to success?
2.    Create retention initiatives/action plans with a focus on Identifying ways we are currently providing feedback and how feedback can be enhanced to provide more engaging and successful experiences.

Initiatives to improve/enhance communications:

Initiative Coordinator(s)

C1.1: Document/Enhance Feedback Process to improve communication between students, faculty, and leadership.

Executive Asst. to the VP of Student Affairs

C1.4: Integrate classroom assessment techniques through faculty academy for frequent and effective feedback.

VP of Academic Affairs

C2.1: SGA Class Presidents to schedule meetings with course faculty each quarter to foster relationships and share class feedback for enhancement.

Program Deans/DOS

C2.2: Increase student course evaluation participation to 35% (e.g.  dedicated class time for evaluation).

Faculty Senate Pres./

Dir. Academic Assessment

C3.4: Create an organizational chart or directory accessible for students, faculty, and staff with defined roles and responsibilities and contact information.

Academic Services Manager/

Executive Asst. to the VP of Student Affairs


Initiatives to improve/enhance transitions:


Initiative Coordinator(s)

T1.1: Enhance MS clinical transition by introducing a clinical pinning ceremony.

Dean, College of Nutrition/Student Success and Retention Manager

T1.3: Engage and support students who join new cohorts and create student office hours for open study groups.

Student Success and Retention Manager

T2.1: Implement additional Orientation sessions throughout POS (at key points of transition).

Academic Program Deans

T4.1: Reimagine the Student Mentor Program.

Learning Specialist

T4.2: Identify at-risk determinants upon matriculation and pinpoint first-year pinch-point courses.

VP of Student Affairs/VP of Academic Affairs

T4.3: Enhance the Student Success First Year/First Quarter Experience through the use of CARE intervention forms and early assessment in key courses.

Faculty (TBD)


Acknowledgement and Background

Student Participants

Sonoran University’s Executive Council, Academic Program Deans, and Dean of Students wish to acknowledge the student volunteers who participated in meetings, discussions, and planning during the December retention workshops.  We are very grateful for their time, energy, and contributions to these important discussions.

  • David James (ND student)
  • Troy Okpagu (ND student)
  • Athena Trevino (ND student)
  • Tabitha Kelly (MSCN student)
  • Renee Subramanian (MSCN student)


if you have any questions, you may reach out to the Vice President of Student Affairs