The 2019-2020 academic school year marks the Office for Student Success’ fourth year in operation. What began as a program with 90 students has, in the past three years, grown to include over 350 student participants, plus numerous programmatic resources and support networks which endeavor to create an equitable and inclusive campus for every students regardless of their background. Please continue reading to learn more about our office’s founding and the work done, across the University, which paved the way for our current program structure.

The Office for Student Success was established under the leadership of Assistant Provost Anthony Tillman in July 2016, as the result of many interrelated conversations, which took place in the years leading up to the Office’s creation.

Only a few years ago, Washington University held the title of least socioeconomically diverse school among our peer institutions. This changed in January 2015, when the University announced that it would increase the percentage of Pell-grant eligible undergraduate students from 6% to 13% of the student body by the 2019-2020 school year.

This announcement was followed by the publishing of a report on socioeconomic diversity, spearheaded by Assistant Dean for Student Success, Dr. Harvey R. Fields, Jr and presented to the Provost Holden Thorp in July 2015.

Student activism also contributed to the creation of the Office for Student Success, including organizing by Washington University Students for Economic Diversity (WUFUSED) and the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Representatives to the Board of Trustees, Shyam Akula and Scotty Jacobs.  About one year after Dr. Fields’ report, Shyam and Scotty presented a set of recommendations to the Board of Trustees, outlining various recommendations which would support low-income students on campus.

These various projects served as a foundation for the arrival of Assistant Provost Anthony Tillman, who began in July 2016 and was tasked with assessing and implementing programs aimed at ensuring the success of low-income and first-generation students at Washington University.

Since his arrival, the Office for Student Success has expanded to serve as a the central hub for low-income and first-generation undergraduate students at Washington University. The Deneb STARS program began in the Fall of 2016…