In my campus update on October 1, I provided an overview of several new initiatives that I believe have the potential to positively impact student enrollment through both recruitment and retention efforts.
Several initiatives have been implemented in recent years with the goal of increasing student success, including student retention. While our retention and graduation rates have been trending upward, many of us were frustrated when our most recent results indicated a downward tick in freshmen retention numbers. There are likely multiple factors at play that impacted these results; however, I know that many of you, like me, are determined to take action where possible in order to resume a positive trend in our student retention results.
To that end, our recently appointed Student Retention Task Force has been charged with developing and recommending both short-term and long-term strategies that will positively impact student retention.
Given that we were rapidly approaching mid-term in the fall semester, the Task Force logically seized a critical opportunity and recommended enhanced communication between faculty and freshmen students about mid-term grades as a short-term retention-improvement strategy.
Many of our dedicated faculty and staff are well known for their willingness to go the extra mile in reaching out to students who struggle in the early part of their college experience. I appreciate our deans, department heads, faculty members and advisors who work together to ensure that students have a clear understanding of their progress in courses as well as their opportunities for academic assistance and support.
I am convinced that continued commitment to our institutional core values of caring and excellence will serve us well as we all work to ensure our students have every opportunity to be successful in achieving their academic goals. I look forward to sharing future efforts toward enhanced student success with you as they are implemented/formulated.
John L. Crain