Checking in with a Student

I really believe that checking in with a person at least once a week, once they are enrolled, definitely helps the retention rate. Although it's not a hundred percent that the student will remain in school, I always try to make time to talk to them and check in with all of my Students at least once a week.

Agreed. I try to check in personally with each student once a week, even if briefly, to get their feedback and assess for any problems early on. This time, again even if very brief, permits time for a personal connection and shows that I really do care about them as a person as well as a student.

How do you do this check in? Do you set up formal meetings?

Often, because my classes are all lab classes, I will notice when my students' behavior in their production work changes and exhibits frustration or unwarrented impatience. Then I'll approach them at their station and quietly ask what's goint on. Because they are in the middle of a stressful situation they almost invariably open up and go right to the heart of the problem: "My sister is sick and they don't know what's wrong with her and I count on her to look after my kids while I'm at school."

So, they are able to vent immediately, we make an appointment to talk about it further, sometimes with other resources accessed and continue the discussion later. Then, after the problem is not so pressing, when they arrive in class a day or two later I will ask about the sister, son, car problem or whatever the stressor has been and they will know that someone really does care about how their life and difficulties are.

Nicely done, Emily. It's nice to hear that your students are so open with you.

Usually what is done once the new students have been in class atleast 2 weeks the Retention coordinator goes in to the class and introduces herself, lets the student know if there are any kinds of issues they can come see her. I think since the school hired a person mainly for retention the numbers of withdrawls has gone down. She is a big help to the students!

I contact students that miss two consecutive classes to see if there is an issue we may be able to help them with. If they are ill, I can make sure they get the assignments to do at home. If it is a family issue, it helps them to know that someone cares and misses them.

I can see how important it is to check in with students when they miss class. I have called students and let them know how to make up their work and they really appreciate it and they tend to finish the course.