SEMM Forum 2010 Notes 3

By | December 2, 2010

A Framework for Retention – Dr Jim Black

Integrated Retention – use a matrix – student risk vs experience risk (factors can be controlled or influenced but not both)

  1. Address institutional risk factor – high exp/low student
  2. institutional & individual action required – high exp/high student
  3. no intervention required – low exp/low student
  4. individual intervention required – low exp/high student

Emerging Trends

  1. diminishing retention rates
  2. retention in a down economy
  3. diversification of education
  4. diversification of students
  5. pervasive student issues
  6. recruitment despite retention

How do we recruit graduates?  – this is a mind shift for recruitment – need to look at what is the profile of successful students. Excellent information from HEOQC – Higher Ed Ontario Quality Council on retention.

High Risk Factors

  • insufficient section or seat capacity
  • delayed time to degree
  • poor quality instruction
  • lack of student/faculty interaction
  • program atrophy
  • not challenging students
  • poor classroom management
  • absence of an academic plan for the student
  • protracted development education – academic upgrading
  • enrolment in high risk courses
  • class attendance
  • late academic feedback
  • underutilized academic support services
  • brutal academic policies

An Institutional Framework – centred on student success – using a multi-pronged approach

  • student success culture – learner centred success ethos
  • culture of evidence – research questions, metrics, program evaluation
  • conditions for success – engagement, integration, belonging, connections
  • strategic resource allocations – expand, morph, eliminate
  • campus wide engagement – formal and informal

Ten Conditions for Student Success

  1. create a learning environment that praises individual effort rather than performance
  2. require students to show up
  3. manage classroom behaviour
  4. provide early academic feedback
  5. engage students with opportunities to practice
  6. surround students with mentors
  7. connect students with others in academic and social settings
  8. ignite their passions
  9. foster a sense of belonging
  10. deliver on institutional promises

Strategic Allocation of Resources – 15% will fail regardless, 5% will succeed regardless, 80% can be influenced spread you resources in this proportion – huge wins for institutions

Managing Relationships and Information

  • missed opportunities -> increase human bandwidth (unlikely in this economic climate)
  • inaccurate information -> leverage technology
  • poor service -> utilize knowledge management systems
  • diminished loyalty -> outsource – call centres for transactional processing not relational processes, executive coaching (insidetrack)
  • negative word of mouth

Avoid the tyranny of retention myths … too many to put here!

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