Larry Abele

Director, Institute for Academic Leadership

State University System of Florida


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at State University System of Florida

Larry Abele

Director, Institute for Academic Leadership

State University System of Florida

Lawrence (Larry) Abele’s experience includes service as a department chair (nine years, biological science), Dean of Arts and Sciences (three years), and Provost (16 years). Since 1994 he has directed and continues to direct the Institute for Academic Leadership providing training for department chairs from throughout the State University System of Florida. He has served on many national boards, such as the Voluntary System of Accountability, APLU, and the Council of Academic Affairs as well as on NSF panels.
He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1986 and in 2009 he received the Pacesetter Award, honoring those who have made a significant contribution to student advising.
While Provost he focused on improving retention and graduation rates and reached these conclusions. Retention and graduation rates can be increased with strong commitment, data-driven actions and focused attention to details built around the Complete College America’s Game Changers. These efforts contributed to an increase in first to second year retention rate of 10% to 92%, the four-year graduation rate increased 17% to 61.2% and the six-year rate increased to 79%. The increase in retention yielded new tuition revenues of over $6 million fully covering the costs of adding new academic advisors and coaching.

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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

Math Pathways

Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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