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Student Success Definition

Below is our definition of student success that has been collaboratively developed. This definition unites us behind a common purpose. Click here for the printable version of the definition.

Student Success at UC Merced

Successful students at UC Merced develop a passion and capacity for lifelong learning and for creating and sharing knowledge, consistent with our distinctive context as a public research university. We celebrate our location in California’s San Joaquin Valley, which provides unique opportunities to shape our communities and enable students to become engaged citizens. We believe every student possesses a unique and valuable perspective that enriches and transforms our community.
At UC Merced, student success results from a collaboration and shared responsibility among students, faculty, staff, and administration. Because student success is at the heart of our planning and decision-making, we use robust and meaningful evidence to inform decisions about programs, policies and practices. Providing support, guidance, and resources that equip students to pursue their educational journey creates the foundation for student success. Students achieve success by actively engaging in opportunities for growth in and out of the classroom. These experiences ensure that students have the tools to complete their academic, career, and personal goals.

This definition is intended to enable students, faculty, staff, and administrators see how they contribute to the support of both graduate and undergraduate students in and outside the classroom. This definition was designed to be brief, while clearly communicating high expectations for students and the institution. The definition is intended to stand alone, be aspirational, be realistic, and hold the campus community accountable. It was also important the definition include the following components: individual and institutional conditions that support student success, actions students should take to be successful, and outcomes used to measure students’ success. The definition is intentionally broad, as an overly specific definition would also be exclusionary and so could limit the extent to which students, faculty, staff, and administrators were able to see themselves and their work in the statement.


This definition was primarily informed by the following: