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Student retention effort at UNLV will cease in reclassification step

UNLV is eliminating University College, established four years ago to help increase student retention.

The college serves those who have not picked a specific major and those majoring in university studies, a degree that allows students to design a degree around specific career goals or academic interests.

Officials said the move is not related to the current budget crisis and is more of a reclassification than an elimination.

Current students will be able to finish their degrees, but University College will no longer accept new students, said Neal Smatresk, provost and executive vice president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Current students will be shifted to the College of Liberal Arts.

“We have accepted our last university studies major,” he said.

Smatresk said there are several hundred university studies majors.

The Academic Success Center, planned to open as part of University College, will open as a separate entity, he said. The success center is designed to help struggling students.

Student Body President Adam Cronis said officials have made it clear that students shouldn’t lose any services because of the elimination.

“It’ll basically be the same programs,” he said.

Regina Bailey, a new University College student senator, told UNLV’s student newspaper that those majoring in university studies often had to explain what the degree name meant. A new one, interdisciplinary studies, will be easier to explain, she said.

The changes will require approval from the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents. Smatresk said he expects the board to take up the issue this fall.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307.

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