Student retention has been a problem since the 2008 recession, and colleges and universities are doing their best to improve that. It’s in their best interest to provide students with the most suitable options to help them navigate their campus lives. And since it is much more expensive to enroll a new student than to retain existing ones, it is crucial to develop good strategies. Here are some of the top ones we recommend.
It is vital to prioritize student retention, and the best way to do that is by investing in it. You do that by collecting data and analytics, relying on digital advising management systems, and depending on faculty personnel to provide insight. These technology-enabled initiatives help students navigate their campus lives more successfully and generate significant returns.
Encourage Students Proactively
Students need to focus on their strengths so they can study more proactively. This is important in the sense that it affects retention rates positively. Meanwhile, institutions step into the picture by introducing proactive programs focusing on academic advising and students’ abilities before anything else.
Build Ongoing Student Engagement
It is necessary to build ongoing student engagement in order to enhance student retention. Some strategies for improving student retention by campusM include having a plan for every student’s journey. Freshmen have a hard time fitting in, and faculty members do their best to help them navigate their early days on campus. However, it is necessary to continue doing the same until the end of their college/university years. Make sure to advise them when they need it and keep an eye on them for as long as they need it.
Motivate Students to Develop Good Habits
Encouraging students to lead a positive lifestyle is a powerful retention strategy. You can rely on a lot of things to motivate or even incentivize students to develop good habits. Sometimes something as small as motivational messages can do wonders, while other times, you can incorporate activities or free gifts as part of an engagement program.
Use Data-Driven Approach
Many colleges and universities claim that data analytics is necessary to make effective strategic retention-related decisions. To do that, higher education institutions must realize what is happening on their campuses, especially in relation to students. Any type of analytics proves helpful in student retention, particularly those related to online platforms. Also, if faculty members can use such analytics, they can get ahead of problems on time.
Don’t Focus on Courses and Grades
There’s been a lot of talk about grading in college, and many people are divided on the topic. If you’re interested in delving a bit deeper, you can read this article. However, we think that courses and grades are not the only things that affect retention rates. What’s more, our experience is that students’ private lives and off-campus experiences play an equally important role in retention. So, providing opportunities independent of courses and grades is crucial.
Establish an Ongoing Student Retention Plan
We have already noted that most freshmen struggle to fit in and that they make up the majority of students that abandon their studies. However, a stunning 10% also leave college or university after completing approximately 90% of their studies. Moreover, 1 in 5 students drops out of school after earning 75% of their credits. As these numbers are rising, it is important to note that students nearing graduation need the same amount of help. Colleges and universities must prioritize retention across all years.
Systematically Promote Student Wellbeing
After identifying critical barriers, higher education establishments need to make sure they’re providing relevant opportunities for students to make good and beneficial choices in terms of community. After all, the community is one of the most vital strategies in student retention. Since this is a pressing issue, colleges and universities must do their best to make it work.