The Office of Undergraduate Education works with stakeholders across campus to enhance the academic experience for all undergraduate students.
Our ongoing initiatives support the University at Buffalo’s strategic goals of providing students with transformative, innovative and research-grounded educational experiences and promoting a university-wide culture of equity and inclusion.
During the 2020-21 academic year, the Office of Undergraduate Education kicked off the Gateway Course Project, a phased process to support student success in critical early courses (often those taken in the first year) required for many undergraduate students. The process engages stakeholders from across the university in an iterative design process to identify needs or gaps related to student success and determine recommendations for course and pedagogy design. During the spring 2021 semester, 22 faculty and staff focused on identifying needs related to first-year calculus courses. Their recommendations will inform the course and pedagogy phase, which is ongoing. A new group has been assembled to examine first-year chemistry courses.
The Office of Undergraduate Education is collaborating with units in academic affairs and Student Life on initiatives that address academic and social challenges incoming students face. UB Thrive provides entering students with a set of shared experiences connecting them to UB, their academic units and each other. The program also provides academic support to select groups. During the inaugural year of UB Thrive, academic-focused elements included summer courses offered to specific student groups with concurrent peer mentoring, an Academic Day during an extended Welcome Week for students, and expanded use of student success coaches paired with the required first-year UB Seminar.
Developing, delivering and maintaining a high-quality undergraduate curriculum is fundamental to providing students with an innovative and transformative academic experience. Our office works with campus partners as they develop new academic opportunities for students. During the 2020-21 academic year, the Office of Undergraduate Education approved 75 new courses and 76 new or revised programs and worked to ensure the Undergraduate Catalog best reflects courses offered regularly. Over the last year, an intensive effort was made to review and identify an appropriate curriculum management software system to streamline and modernize the curriculum management processes.