The Student Success Work Group (SSWG) both surveyed and conducted focus groups and interviews with students, with the goal of improving the UWM student experience. The group’s May 2019 report resulted from their identification of emerging themes in the data, and it provides numerous concrete recommendations for change. In the upcoming weeks, we will dive deeper into the group’s key themes and recommendations.


  • Students want and need better human connections: An umbrella theme is that students desire and recognize a benefit from connections made with faculty, staff, older students, and peers.
  • Students need help connecting with support opportunities: Students too often noted that even when they knew that a resource was available, they often did not utilize it until they were in trouble or crisis.
  • Students are struggling to navigate substantial personal change. Students during their first year are balancing a desire to become increasingly independent while looking for connection and validation that they belong at UWM.
  • UWM is Milwaukee. Students frequently commented on their love for the city of Milwaukee. The city is viewed as an extension of the campus and is an integral part of their experience as a student.