Southeastern posts strong retention growth
Friday, October 2, 2020
by: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University has marked its fifth year of consistent
growth in retention of new freshmen, the university announced today. Year-over-year
growth in first-year retention has increased by 5.9 percent, and the five-year increase
is 15 percent.
Chief Enrollment Management Officer Kay Maurin said initiatives developed in multiple disciplines to enhance retention have borne fruit. Programs offered through each academic college, the Center for Student Excellence, and the Division for Student Affairs, along with scholarship and financial opportunities and enhanced communications from Enrollment Management, are all part of the strategy to increase retention.
“Retention and progression of students is a key focus of the university. This increase in retention is the result of our focus on quality advising in the first year and beyond and an emphasis on faculty/student interaction in the classroom, through research opportunities, and experiential learning,” she explained. “Outside of the classroom, we’ve created high quality, relevant programming that engages students and allows them to put what they are learning inside the classroom into practice outside of it.”
The Honors program at Southeastern has seen significant growth in recent years and has shown a positive outcome in retention as well. Year-over-year growth in retention has been 8.7 percent.
Southeastern’s large dual enrollment program has helped prepare students for college. Students starting with dual enrollment credit have seen a 5.6 percent year-over-year growth in retention and a 12 percent growth in retention in the past four years.
Efforts have also focused on increasing overall African-American student retention. The one-year rate of increase has been 7.5 percent and the five-year rate 13.2 percent.
Additionally, Southeastern has spent considerable effort in upgrading both its capacity for on-campus housing and the residence halls themselves.
Nationally, students who live on campus show better academic results, Maurin said. As in other categories, on-campus residential students consistently show higher retention and progression rates. Those rates have risen even more in recent years. The year-over-year rate of increase is 6.1 percent and the five-year rate is 12.2 percent.
“Southeastern’s commitment to the success of our students reflects our institutional core values of caring and excellence, and the rate at which our new freshmen are retained is a fundamental indication of their success,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “Every department and every faculty and staff member plays an important part in student success and retention.”