1 what works in student retention dr. wes habley principal associate educational services act, inc

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  • WHAT WORKS IN STUDENT RETENTIONDr. Wes HableyPrincipal AssociateEducational ServicesACT, Inc.

  • Expected and Justifiedrealized a goal other than a degree/certificateStopping Outnot on our timeframeUnnecessary and subject to institutional intervention

  • The process of holding or keeping in ones possession

  • The process or state of being gradually worn down.Migrant Mother, Dorothea LangeLibrary of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division[ reproduction number LC-USF34-9058-C]ATTRITION

  • To continue to exist or prevail

  • Highest %Lowest %Current %Two-Year Public 53.7(08,09)51.3(04)53.7BA/BS Public70.0(04) 66.4(96,05)67.6MA/MS Public71.6(06)68.1(89)69.8PhD Public78.1(04)72.9(08)74.4Two-year Private72.6(92)55.5(08)55.5BA/BS Private74.0(89)69.6(08)69.9MA/MS Private78.0(85)72.3(08)72.0PhD Private85.0(85)80.4(08)80.6

  • Highest %Lowest %Current %

    BA/BS Public52.8(86)39.6(06)43.0MA/MS Public46.7(86)37.0(00)38.4PhD Public50.6(89,90)45.0(01)48.7

    BA/BS Private57.5(06)53.3(01)55.9MA/MS Private58.4(88)53.5(01)54.8PhD Private68.8(86)63.1(05)65.1NATIONAL54.6(90)50.9(01)52.6

  • Overall responsesMailing: 3360 institutionsUsable returns: 1104 (32.9%)Four-year public college responses:Mailing: 598 institutions 258 usable returns (43.1%)

  • Survey sectionsBackground Retention and degree completion rates Factors affecting attrition Retention practices Highest impact programs

  • 42 factors listedTo what degree does each factor affect attrition at your school5 = Major effect on attrition43 = Moderate effect on attrition21 = Little or no effect on attrition

  • What Works..Disclaimer The data reported in this survey are based on the perspectives of the individuals who responded to the survey. In some cases responses were informed by data collected at the respondents institution. It is inappropriate to suggest that there is an empirical relationship between any factor or intervention and student retention.

  • level of student preparation for college-level work (3.9)adequacy of personal financial resources (3.9)student study skills (3.8)amount of financial aid available to students (3.7)Highest Rated Contributions to Attrition

  • level of student motivation to succeed (3.6)level of student commitment to earning a degree (3.6)level of job demands on students (3.5)student low socio-economic status (3.5)

    Highest Rated Contributions to Attrition

  • student educational aspirations and goals (3.4)student personal coping skills (3.3)student first-generation status (3.3)student family responsibilities (3.2)level of certainty about career goals (3.2)Highest Rated Contributions to Attrition

  • adequacy of personal financial resources (69.2%)level of student preparation for college-level work (66.0%)student study skills (64.5%)amount of financial aid available to students (59.9%)level of student motivation to succeed (57.1%)level of job demands on students (52.4%)level of student commitment to earning a degree (52.2%)student low socio-economic status (50.2%)

  • We have.. a beautiful campus great facilities a rich set of co-curricular experiences excellent academic programs an outstanding faculty

  • WRONG STUDENTS

  • level of intellectual stimulation in the classroom (2.7)quality of interaction between staff and students (2.7)relevancy of curricula (2.6)distance from students' permanent homes (2.6)extracurricular programs (2.5)residence hall facilities (2.5)

  • cultural activities (2.4)programs to support students' transition to residence hall living (2.3)student physical health issues (2.2)rules and regulations governing student behavior (2.1)campus safety and security (1.9)

  • relevancy of curricula (20.9%)residence hall facilities (20.7%)extracurricular programs (16.7%)programs to support students' transition to residence hall living (15.8%)cultural activities (13.0%)student physical health issues (12.7%)rules and regulations governing student behavior (10.2%)campus safety and security (8.5%)

  • It is disturbing to note.that in spite of all we know about student retention that institutions are still inclined to hold students responsible for their retention/attrition while dramatically minimizing the institutional role in student retention.

  • 94 identified retention practices2 wild cardsTwo sub-sections:Is this intervention offered? (yes or no)If it is offered, rate the contribution to retentionFive-point Rating Scale5 = Major Contribution to Retention43 = Moderate Contribution to Retention21 = Little or no contribution to Retention

  • Intervention clustersFirst-year transition programs (8 items)Academic advising (15)Assessment (9)Career Planning and Placement (6)Learning Assistance/Academic Support (19)Mentoring (4)Faculty Development (7)Financial Aid (3)Co-curricular Services/Programs for specific sub-populations (10)Other activities/programs (10)

  • academic advising center (4.0)increased number of academic advisors (4.0)advising interventions with selected student populations (4.0)comprehensive learning assistance center/lab (3.9)

  • supplemental instruction (3.9)first-generation students (3.9)required on-campus housing for freshmen (3.9)reading center/lab (3.9)tutoring (3.8)

  • summer bridge program (3.8)extended freshman orientation (credit) (3.8)honors student program (3.8)integration of advising with first-year transition programs (3.8)

  • library orientation, workshop, and/or course (2.9)degree guarantee program (2.9)learning styles assessment (2.9)vocational aptitude assessment (2.9)recognition/rewards for non-faculty academic advisors (2.9)values assessment (2.8)recognition/rewards for faculty academic advisors (2.8)personality assessment (2.6)

  • Combining Percentage of Use with Item Means Percentage of Institutions offering a specific intervention (INCIDENCE)

    Top one-thirdMiddle one-thirdLowest one-thirdHighest rateditemsLowest rateditems

  • advising interventions with selected student populations (3.9)tutoring (3.8)honor students (3.8)mathematics center/lab (3.8)freshman seminar/university 101 (credit) (3.7)study skills course, program, or center (3.7)writing center/lab (3.7)mandated placement of students in courses based on test scores (3.7)

    GOOD BET: High ratings and high incidence

  • academic advising center (4.0)comprehensive learning assistance center/lab (3.9)supplemental instruction (3.9)required on-campus housing for freshmen (3.9)summer bridge program (3.8)integration of advising with first-year transition programs (3.8)

    CONSIDER: High ratings and moderate incidence

  • SLEEPERS: High ratings and low incidenceincreased number of academic advisors (4.0)first-generation students (3.9)reading center/lab (3.9)extended freshman orientation (credit) (3.8)staff mentoring (3.6)extended freshman orientation (non-credit) (3.6)center that integrates academic advising with career/life planning (3.6)

  • BORING!

  • freshman seminar/university 101 (credit) (24%)supplemental instruction (16%)tutoring (15%)advising interventions with selected student populations (14%)living/learning communities (residential) (14%)mandated placement of students in courses based on test scores (13%)

  • academic advising center (12%)summer orientation (11%)early warning system (10%)

    43 interventions between 1% and 9% of the institutions42 interventions not mentioned at all

  • Learning Assistance/Academic Support

    Academic Advising

    First-year Transition ProgramsHighest Rated Clusters

  • Comparing Attrition FactorsTop quartile first to second year retention rate (high performers) v. bottom quartile first to second year retention rates (low performers)High = 66 institutionsLow = 67 institutionsAll contributions to attrition rated 3.5 or higherDifferential between high and low performers of .2 or greater

  • High/Low Attrition DifferencesITEMlevel of student preparation for college-level workadequacy of personal financial resourcesstudent study skillsamount of financial aid available to students

    HIGH LOW 3.32 4.21 3.52 4.33 3.38 4.10 3.40 3.86

  • High/Low Attrition DifferencesITEMlevel of student motivation to succeedlevel of student commitment to earning a degreelevel of job demands on studentsstudent low socio-economic status

    HIGH LOW 3.32 3.80

    3.15 3.83

    3.00 4.06

    3.03 4.03

  • Comparing Intervention PracticesTop quartile first to second year retention rate (high performers) v. bottom quartile first to second year retention rate (low performers)High = 66 institutionsLow = 67 institutionsIncluded only items with a mean > 3.6 for all four-year public collegesHigh performer incidence rate > 10% above low performer incidence rate

  • High/Low Intervention Differencesincreased number of academic advisors (43% - 30%)advising interventions with selected student populations (96% - 82%)supplemental instruction(75% - 64%)summer bridge program(75% - 49%)honor students(91% - 73%)

  • High/Low Intervention Differencesintegration of advising with first-year transition programs (72% - 48%)training for non-faculty academic advisors(84% - 67%)faculty mentoring(74% - 45%)living/learning communities (residential) (84% - 42%)international students(87% - 60%)staff mentoring(57% - 31%)

  • WHAT WORKS IN STUDENT RETENTIONDr. Wes HableyPrincipal AssociateEducational