Strategic Native American Retention Initiative

Meet Michelle Villegas-Frazier

Michelle Villegas-Frazier

Michelle Villegas-Frazier, who previously worked for a decade in outreach programs on campus, returned to become the first director of Strategic Native American Retention Initiative in Student Affairs. She brings with her more than 20 years of experience in Native American outreach and retention services and programs.

Michelle will provide strategic leadership to identify opportunities for enhancing the persistence, achievement and graduation rates for Native American students. She will lead efforts to develop partnerships across the university and develop and implement a plan to serve students from orientation through graduation.

The Strategic Native American Retention Initiative (NARI) is a multifaceted academic success program at UC Davis focused on increasing the retention, persistence and graduation rates of Native American students, in a culturally appropriate way. The goal is building connection and strengthening community, and programming is focused on academic success and resiliency. NARI will:

  • Create a space to explore identity and to create a sense of belonging for our Native American students: Native American Academic Student Success Center is open at the University House on campus.
  • Create cultural legitimacy.
  • Promote academic resiliency for our students.
  • Foster students' transition to higher education and beyond.

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