Student retention strategies have always been an essential topic in higher education and the academic quality of a school. It is one factor that most potential students of a college consider before applying. As an educational institution, improving your student retention level should be a part of your main priority.
The problem most colleges face is how to go about improving the student retention level, which is why in this article, we would be looking at the 10 Best student retention strategies. But before we go into the full list of student retention strategies, have you asked yourself what exactly student retention means and what causes poor student retention in the colleges? So please stay with us, as it would be an interesting rundown!!!
Table of contents
- What is Student Retention?
- 10 Best Student Retention Strategies
- #1. Instill success habits in your students.
- #2. Create small objectives.
- #3. Gather information and make good use of it.
- #4. Startup Students Intervention Plans
- #5. Student Success
- #6. Combine the Strength of All Resources
- #7. Provide a lot of Opportunities for Student Success
- #8. Student survey
- #10. Boost Academic Advising Resources
What is Student Retention?
According to Study.com, student retention refers to the percentage of students who enroll, continue, and complete their academic courses at the same school is known as student retention. The reason why student retention has always been an essential topic in higher education is that stakeholders, from parents to decision-makers use the school student retention level to assess the school’s performance.
However, you can also look at student retention as the success rate of students in a school and a particular period. It could also be the rate of student academic completion in a specific period.
A study in 2014 appears that most parents in Chicago had the plan of sending their children to a charter school because the previous result indicates that charter schools graduated about 7-11% more students than public schools. In terms of applying to a university or college, potential students would prefer a school with a higher student retention rate to a school with a lower student retention rate. This is because the higher student retention rate indicates the success, completion, and academic support level from the school.
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What Causes Poor Student Retention in Colleges?
We have been able to introduce student retention and what it is about. However, let’s now look at the causes of poor student retention in colleges. Most of the time, poor student retention is a result of students dropping out of college. So when we talk about the causes of poor student retention in colleges we are also referring to why students drop out of school.
According to a study conducted by Oakton Community College, just 20–30% of students drop out of college as a result of academic issues. While the remaining 70–80 percent leave because of the following reasons:
- Cost: The cost of studying in college is often expensive across different colleges. And not all students have financial assistance or external support. This results in students leaving school and thereby affecting the student’s retention level of the school.
- Isolation: In situations where student lack assistance from coursemates concerning assignments or school works, it makes them feel isolated in their studies and can make them decide to leave school.
- Having social issues: Another reason why students might decide to drop out of school could be a result of social difficulties. This means that a student can find it hard to associate with other coursemates when it comes to group work or bonding with friends, thereby leading to poor student retention levels.
- Unclear expectations: Finally, the last reason we would look at is the unclear expectation. Students often claim that their college or university’s academic and personal standards were never clearly stated, and as a result, they fail to graduate.
10 Best Student Retention Strategies
We have been able to look at what student retention is about and what could cause poor student retention in college. However, there are approaches every college should utilize when trying to address the issue of low student retention rate. The colleges must carry out the following student retention strategies:
#1. Instill success habits in your students.
The first on the list of student retention strategies is to instill success habits in students. Most students in school have no clue about what they are to do in school. They also have no idea of the university resources. This is why it is important for colleges through convocations and orientations, to teach the students what is expected of them and also make the university resources available for them.
During the orientation, students should be taught the benefits of GPAs, how to maintain GPAs, and the series of activities and opportunities they can engage in.
#2. Create small objectives.
The second on the list of student retention strategies is to create small goals and objectives. It is fact that schools with goals and objectives have higher student retention rates than schools without goals and objectives. These schools without goals and objectives often find it difficult to ensure the success of their students.
Schools must have clearly stated goals and objectives for obtaining degrees and for a higher student retention level. These goals and objectives must be broken down into programs, courses, and departments.
#3. Gather information and make good use of it.
The third on the list of student retention strategies is to gather student data and put it to good use. In this strategy, universities are to make use of a student management system to gather information about students.
However, the information should base on the program effectiveness, student achievement, and resource allocation. After gathering this information, the college can utilize it in enhancing student retention.
#4. Startup Students Intervention Plans
The fourth on the list of student retention strategies is to develop a student intervention program. This strategy looks at students that are at risk of dropping out of school. These students can be identified from their academic performance, and financial, personal, and social difficulties.
The school tries to reach the student through letters informing them of the availability and effectiveness of college resources and workshops.
#5. Student Success
The fifth on the list of student retention strategies is to define student success. Colleges must define what student success is. This would enable students to identify and work towards the goals and objectives of the institution. Furthermore, this strategy also enables the institution to identify the resources they would need for attaining student success.
#6. Combine the Strength of All Resources
The sixth on the list of student retention strategies is to combine the strength of all resources. A low student retention rate would remain a major problem that colleges will continue to face until all available resources are put to good use. This entails every unit of the university working together towards attaining student success.
#7. Provide a lot of Opportunities for Student Success
The seventh on the list of student retention strategies is to provide a lot of opportunities for student success. Students who believe that education is an indefinite job are more likely to drop out, thus universities must provide adequate options for success. Although, this entails setting lofty but attainable goals for pupils and assisting them in achieving them.
#8. Student survey
The eighth on the list of student retention strategies is to run a student survey. This approach involves setting a student poll regularly. The poll result would indicate the cause of students dropping out. However, the school administration will have to work upon the result of the poll and focus on reducing student dropouts.
#9. Concentrate on Creating Community
The ninth on the list of student retention strategies is to concentrate on creating community. Building a network for kids both within and outside of the classroom is an excellent strategy to alleviate the feeling of being alone. Healthy study habits and strong academic success can also be aided by a sense of community.
#10. Boost Academic Advising Resources
Finally, the last on the list of student retention strategies we would talk about is to boost academic advising resources. Students go through a lot of issues which is why academic advising is an essential factor in student success.
The student advisor is accessible, helpful, and intelligent. The advisor would help students access campus programs, academic resources and thereby reducing the rate of student dropout.
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In the end, we were able to look at what student retention is about, the causes of poor student retention levels, and the 10 student retention strategies. I hope this article is useful enough for whatever information you seek. Good luck!!!
What is Student Retention?
student retention refers to the percentage of students who enroll, continue, and complete their academic courses at the same school is known as student retention.
What Causes Poor Student Retention in Colleges?
Most of the time, poor student retention is a result of students dropping out of college. So when we talk about the causes of poor student retention in colleges we are also referring to why students drop out of school.
Is it true that creating small goals influence student retention?
Yes, it is fact that schools with goals and objectives have higher student retention rates than schools without goals and objectives.