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Retention Strategies

By constant training in the area of retention, faculty members should become familiar with most retention strategies.

Hi Russell,
Student retention really rests with the faculty member. Not only will training about methods of retention be helpful, but bringing in the "human factor" will be helpful as well. The "human factor" is when the instructor works at understanding the needs of the students and how their needs can be met throughout the course. Encouraging words, motivation techniques, and respect all go a long way to help retain students.

I find that many instructors don't want to take ownership of the retention problem. They just want to teach their subject and go home. Perhaps being made aware of their role in the retention process will help to get them more intrested in and involved with the students as individuals.

Hi Joseph,
I would hope that the instructors can see that they are essential to the retention process. I know this is always a challenge, but they need to be vested in the process of keeping students engaged, and involved in the total course sequence. If they see how they contribute to keeping to students in school, they often have a more positive approach to they teaching duties.

how do we get the instructors to be more convinced that they are important to retention when all they see is a "good" or "poor" student who either should or shouldn't be there?

how do we get the instructors to be more convinced that they are important to retention when all they see is a "good" or "poor" student who either should or shouldn't be there?

Hi Joseph,
No easy answer to this one. Experience has shown that you have to get the instructors to “invest” in the students in order to retain them. The instructors have to feel that the effort and investment they make in the troublesome student will be worth it. In working with instructors I try to challenge them to see if they can help students succeed where normally they wouldn't since they fit into the “poor” student category.
If you can get them to set personal goals in terms of opening the window of opportunity for learning for the poor student and they succeed then the job is much easier for them the next time. They need to be given strategies they can use with poor readers, or math challenged students that will help learning occur. These tools in their teaching tool box will help the instructors to become more involved in the process rather than just weeding out the poor ones. Example, through the use of structured outline forms where the students fill in the needed information from lectures students that don't know how to take notes are guided to the critical content throughout the class. The great part is that this method works for everyone, doesn't take any time away from class, and keeps the students focused.

One way we've found to aid both students and faculty is to provide a Student Success/Career Development class for all incoming students. This not only assists students but also makes faculty aware of the needs and concerns of incoming students.

Hi Cindy,
Good idea! What are some of the topics your college cover in this class? We have a similar course here and I am always looking for additional topics that will help the students.

I agree with Dr. Meers. In teaching I've found that you need to be human to make yourself more approachable by your students, and makes the whole experience more enjoyable because of the rapport you attain with them.


Yes, Dr. Meers, I do agree. Students enjoy coming to class when they know that their instructor keeps the "human factor" in the experience. Many times, just listening with an understanding heart can go along way.

Hi Frances,
The opportunity to share with students in relation to the "human factor" is why I keep coming back to the classroom. That is the job of what we do isn't it.

I believe that comes with experience in the classroom. It is an amazing thing to watch a student that you first believed would be a dismal failure come out in the top of the class. After a couple of those experiences, you stop judging your students and putting them into categories. Give every student the same chance and attention, then wait to get surprised.

Retention is a responsibility of all employees of the university. Making that connection with a student can mean the difference between them completing the program and dropping out. The instructor is one of the key factors that determine the students overall positive experience within the educational organization.

Retention has a strong friend called the analogy. When trying to make a good point use an anology that students can relate to or remember.

I think we sometimes forget that adult learners have lives beyond the classroom walls. I find that sometimes they just need a little understanding and encouragement to help keep them going. Many times the support at home is lacking and we're the ones that can motivate them to keep working.

you have to relate to the students i tell them that i am like thay are just an older version

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