Retaining students is not what we do - it is the outcome of what we do and everyone is responsible for it. Retention is a deliberate result of faculty and staff connecting with students in ways that create welcoming and supportive environments which fosters their success.
Research indicates that increasing retention rates requires colleges to develop coordinated, highly-structured, integrated and intential plans. The Committee on Retention Effectiveness (CORE) is responsible for coordinating Madison College's Retention Plan strategies.
The current retention rate for first-time, first-year students at Madison College is 55.8% This places us in the 50th percentile in comparison to peer institutions (NCBP, 2011) and it has decreased slightly in recent years. We need to reverse this trend. Our goal is to increase retention to 64% within three years - that's an increase of 8.2%.
Research also suggests the reasons students leave college fall into several broad areas. At Madison College we have made the decision to focus on seven areas, what we call 'Attrition Roots'. These seven areas are:
Cross-functional teams, one for each Attrition Root, will guide the long-term retention efforts and institutional change. In the meantime, the CORE has developed a retention plan that also includes: Just Do Its - items that need immediate action to impact retention this fall; and Immediate Recommendations - designed to further the foundation of the CORE's efforts.
Retaining students at Madison College is everyone's job. This plan aims to coordinate that work and make it central to all operations.
Contact Carlotta V. Calmese, Associate Dean for Retention and Student Development and chair of the Committee on Retention Effectiveness (CORE) for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.