#DUG12 Improving Student Retention: A Low-Cost Success

**** REMEMBER – this is my opinion / I am typing as I listen so please ignore typos (autocorrect) / spelling errors / grammar! 

LeAnn Blankenburg – Projects & system Administrator / Western Iowa Tech Community College – Sioux city, IA

    • History & Background
    • Stagnant Enrollments FA/04 – FA/07
    • Declining regional population base
    • aging of regional population
    • Philosophy:
    • “Let’s do a better job of retaining our current students – ROI to “save” current students and keep them coming back for subsequent semesters and graduate! – can be just as effective as continually going out to recruit new students”
  • Retention Liaisons – 2007
    • hired 10 retention liaisons 5-10hrs per week
    • intensive and purposeful calling / contacting strategy and timeline developed
    • built collaboration between student services and faculty
  • Calls made prior to semester start
    • student not graduated but not enrolled for next term
    • student who have applied but haven’t yet registered
    • students who had withdrawn during prior semester
    • 1st time students who hand’t registered for Orientation
  • Calls made after semester start
    • first time students within first couple of weeks to check on their progress
    • students at risk of being disenrolled for non-payment
    • students who are reported as absent or not attending
    • student who drop their classes
  • College Experience Class – 2009
    • Intended for all 1st time degree seeking students
    • curriculum designed to orient new students to college – right info at the right time!
    • key campus leaders as guest speakers
    • Curriculum to meet students needs
    • Scavenger HUNT on the PORTAL
    • (pretty much the same as our own Freshman Seminar)
  • Retention Alert – 2010-11
    • Online Reporting tool for all to use (Datatel Portal)
    • Campus Wide opportunities to support concerns:
    • Faculty can report attendance issues
    • Housing Staff can report behavior concerns
    • Financial Concerns can be reported
  • Mechanism to see patterns emerging with students which allow us to be proactive
  • Keys to successful implementation
    • Process mapping prior to implementation services
    • Beware of temptation with automated cases
  • Retention Alert Activity: 8/22/11 – 3/29/12
    • Student did not respond to outreach – 576
    • Student was contacted: 638
    • Issue was resolved: 59
    • 1,388 cases opened 
  • Plan & Timeline
    • 2007: Retention Liaisons
    • 2009 – College Experience Class
    • 2010 – Retention Alert Reporting System
  • Results – Enrollment & Retention UP
    • Fall Headcount: Fall 07 (5919) v. Fall 11 (6787) – 80% RETENTION
  • Questions
    • ? who is responding to the Retention Alert?  The Retention Staff – Those Retention Leaders are actively CALLING their students and have been helping, sitting down and creating an academic plan WITH Those students
    • ? What happens if they don’t attend the class? 

(I went to this last year and this just backed up some of the information??? I sorta think a nap would have done me more good though!  But she did a good job)

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