Student retention has become an alarming issue in most of the institutions of higher learning in the United States. Many of these institutions lack departments that should handle programs relating to retention of students. However, even the ones that have created the faculties rarely give them the full authority to implement these retention initiatives that should be carried across all the departments of the institutions. According to a survey carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 64% of all the students who enroll in the four-year degree courses manage to graduate with their respective degrees. This is quite detrimental to the country’s economy and to improve on this, the institutions should embrace the strategies below to ensure that the student retention is at its optimum.
1. Teach success habits to the students
Most of the students who drop out of the universities and colleges are as a result of insufficient understanding of the societal expectations from them. Others fail to understand the resources that are available to them in the institutions. To mitigate this, the institutions of higher learning should ensure that they create awareness among the students about the available resources to them in the institutions. This may be done through first-year seminars, orientations, and convocations. It’s also vital for the colleges to let the students understand the kind of opportunities and activities in which they may engage to enhance their involvement with their institutions.
2. Proper Management of Historical Data
The ultimate way to address any challenge is by analyzing the past trends so that the interested parties can come up with the best improvement strategies. Therefore, these institutions should embark on the collection of data relating to student achievement, program effectiveness, and resource allocation. This data should then be analyzed and the results intelligently geared towards enhancing the efforts of student retention. One of the most effective ways of collecting such data is by the use of Student Management Systems.
3. Creating intervention platforms
Another way that has proved to be very efficient in the improvement of student retention is the use of intervention programs. These programs target the vulnerable students, especially those who are facing either financial, academic, social, or personal challenges. The students are provided with information to guide them on the available institutional resources and workshops that could assist them in handling their challenges. This is normally effective when the programs are implemented early enough before the students drop out of the universities.
However, as much as the challenge of student retention appears to be prevalent, all is not lost. Institutions that will implement the above strategies are likely to have an easy time in the improvement of their future retention rates.