Giving Compass’ Take:
· According to a new analysis from from Civitas Learning, 40 percent of student success initiatives are not helping with retention rates. In order to increase impact, colleges should focus on the effect of each program for students to make the most of limited resources.
· What resources should colleges provide for struggling students? What types of programs can schools provide to help boost retention rates and student success?
Looming enrollment declines and persistent equity gaps are prompting colleges to do more to help the students they have complete college. Those pressures have resulted in many institutions ramping up their student services, but it can be difficult to determine which initiatives are working and which aren’t.
Several strategies have emerged to help colleges do just that. For example, Civitas offers a tool to help colleges to see the effects that specific initiatives have on persistence. And other groups have provided strategies for determining which programs colleges should invest in and what metrics they should look for when reviewing big initiatives.
Civitas’ analysis pointed to several services that lift persistence rates between three and six percentage points, including advisor meetings, supplemental instruction, scholarships and tutoring.
Moreover, the analysis found some initiatives had a greater impact on certain student populations. For example, advisor meetings resulted in a nearly seven percentage point bump in persistence rates for Hispanic students, compared to a 5.8 percentage point lift for students overall.
Beyond the report, Utah State University has found that volunteering in student leadership opportunities had a greater effect on freshmen’s retention rates than other students.
Read the full article about student success and retention by Natalie Schwartz at Education Dive.
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