As a faculty or staff member at Utah Valley University, we are all a critical component of "I CHOOSE TO RETAIN," a retention initiative underway at UVU. As the name suggests, each of us has a choice in whether or not we participate in suggested retention activities that can so dramatically impact student success.

To support and strengthen UVU campus personnel in this role, our office provides a variety of retention tools and programs. We strongly encourage you to use them and do your part to promote and support student success at UVU. After all, retention is everyone's job!


Help us, help students

Our tools make it easier for faculty and advisors to quickly and intentionally reach out to students before it’s too late to get back on track to successfully complete and persist.

Early Alert

Allows instructors to identify students who are struggling academically or not attending class regularly.

Learn More

3-Week Project

Activities that faculty can do during the first three weeks of the semester to greatly enhance your student's chances for success.

Learn More

Midterm Grades

Faculty who teach freshman courses (and courses that have a high failure rate) should provide and post a mid-term grade.

Learn More

Student Retention Dashboard

Student data can guide a range of decisions made by both First-Year Experience & Student Retention.

Learn More

Leave of Absence

A program for students who may need to take some time away from their studies for reasons such as serving a religious or humanitarian mission, military service, medical reasons, etc.

Learn More

Faculty Recommendations

A committee comprised of faculty members representing each of UVU's colleges and schools.

Learn More

Student Success Specialists

Help guide students through barriers or questions they have about how to navigate university processes and access resources.

Learn More

Dean's List

Learn about the Dean's List and view students who have been awarded this honor.

Learn More

15 to Finish

A program designed to help make students aware of the benefits of taking 15 credits each semester and making a plan to graduate in four years.

Learn More

Resilience Project

UVU students, alumni, staff and faculty share their stories of persistence and resilience despite hardship during their education journey. The project is a video library of their stories.

Learn More


A confidential referral service that allows First-Year Experience & Student Retention to reach out to struggling students.

Learn More

Completion Grants

UVU completion grants aim to reduce financial barriers and provide additional support to help our near completers and returning students finish strong.

Learn More

Student Advocates

Great awards for great people.

The Student Advocate Award is given annually to one faculty member and one staff member who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to student success.

Portrait of Melinda Barber

Melinda Barber

Outstanding Faculty Advocate

Melinda Barber, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health, is a professional teacher who has brought her skills to the School Health program which has greatly benefited our students. She is a master teacher who understands differentiation, higher order thinking, multiple methods of instruction, objectives, assessment, and overall classroom management. Her years of practical experience in secondary education have greatly influenced our students for the better. Melinda is up to date on her technology usage and willing to learn and teach with the latest technology, which is a great model for students as they learn to be educators. Melinda is an amazing team player. She is extremely thoughtful, kind, empathetic and is very easy to work with. She has been willing to take on extra work that needs to be done, without complaint. She models exceptional care in a way that all faculty could aspire to. Coming from secondary education, Melinda brings a wealth of experience and skill that is not always seen in higher education.

Portrait of Peni Mounga

Peni Mounga

Outstanding Staff Advocate

Peni demonstrates a high degree of intercultural competency and a true understanding of student development theory in his work of supporting the needs of diverse individuals. He is steadfast in serving first-year students interested in Woodbury School of Business programs and managing one of the largest caseloads in the First-year Advising Center. This past year Peni has received a high number of Satisfaction Surveys (50), all rating their appointment with him as "one of the best" or above average. He brings unique experience and passion to his work with, and advocacy for, diverse student populations. Specifically, Peni has a unique ability to connect with Pacific Islanders (one of the most at-risk student populations nationwide). When not working with a student in his office - he can often be found in our center's waiting area: checking in with students, striking up conversations, and confirming students have checked in and are in the right place.