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Many ways to measure student success at RIT

Mary-Beth Cooper
Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President for Student Affairs

Greetings from RIT!

A new academic year is ready to begin, and the Student Affairs staff is prepared to meet new students who are excited to start a new chapter in their life at RIT. They’re also worried, as most RIT students are, about succeeding in a demanding college environment. RIT is tough, there’s no question about it, but there are many people here to help students overcome obstacles and find success on their own terms.

It’s up to each student to define those terms. Success is measured in many ways – personal, professional, academic, athletic, and more. Some students are just born to thrive in the classroom, while others have to work harder to maintain that important GPA. But we encourage you, as parents, to explain to your children that success goes beyond the grades on the end-of-quarter report. To be sure, those are important, but there is so much learning that can’t be reflected in a final course grade, and so much learning that happens outside the parameters of a syllabus.

When we opened the Gordon Field House and Activities Center last year, RIT Trustee Bob Gordon – by all measures a very successful person – said “Education is one of the most important things in our life. But education isn’t worth a nickel unless you know what to do with it. You don’t learn that in a classroom alone, you learn it in extra-curricular activities.” Wise words from a man who has reached the pinnacle of career and personal success.

Co-curricular activities at RIT mean much more than just a chance to let off some steam. RIT’s 160 clubs and activities, 28 Greek organizations, 24 intercollegiate athletic teams, and numerous volunteer opportunities provide a chance for the university’s 15,000 students to identify with a smaller group of their peers, share their joys and frustrations, find support as they continue their demanding studies, and create lifelong friendships.

There’s another benefit: Students in those groups tend to enjoy greater academic success during their college careers. For example, RIT athletes have a higher overall grade point average (3.17) than the RIT student body in general, and last winter quarter, 123 out of 500 athletes made the President’s List with GPAs of 3.75 or above.

In addition to better grades, students engaged in co-curricular activities have a higher overall graduation rate (more than 80 percent).

So please encourage your student to find their place at this great university. It may seem overwhelming at first. Assure them that they will grow into it, and if they seek out the things that excite them and bring them together with like-minded peers, they may just find their true passion in life.
Now that’s what I call success.

Mary-Beth Cooper

Vice President for Student Affairs


Who you gonna’ call?
Below is a listing of contact names and numbers to use in an emergency, or if you simply need more information about what’s going on at RIT.

Parents can also find many links to resources and information on the RIT Web site (www.rit.edu) by clicking on the “For Parents” tab in the top navigation bar. As always, feel free to contact the Student Affairs office with your questions or concerns, and always call Campus Safety any time there is an emergency.

Campus Safety: V/TTY: 585-475-3333
Center for Residence Life (for students living in
residence halls, campus-owned apartments, or fraternity/sorority housing): (V/TTY) 585-475-6022
Student Health Center: 585-475-2255;
(TTY) 585- 475-5515
Student Problem Resolution Office (Ombudsperson Lee Twyman): 585- 475-7200;
(TTY) 585-475-7595; (e-mail) parents@rit.edu
Bursar: 585-475-6186
Registrar: (V/TTY) 585-475-2821
Financial Aid Office: 585-475-2186;
(TTY) 585-475-6909
Center for Campus Life: (V/TTY) 585-475-6991
RIT Athletics: 585-475-2614
RIT Inn & Conference Center: 585-359-1800
Office of Student Affairs: (V/TTY) 585-475-2853