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Retention

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Faculty Role in Classroom Retention Strategies Alicia B. Harvey-Smith Dean, Learning Support Systems Retention Goal: To provide students with lively, substantive learning for personal growth. Vehicle: Through improved programs and services in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. Result: Optimum Retention – the more they learn, the more likely they are to stay. Retention Myths • Retention means lowering standards • Retention is the responsibility of student services • Dropouts are flunkouts • Under-prepared students are from lower or disadvantaged groups • Students drop out mostly because of finances, work, or family pressures Retention Fact • 37% of students who leave college reported they did not feel connected to the college • Retention success resides in the work of faculty and in the institution’s capacity to construct educational communities that actively engage students in learning What is Needed for Optimum Retention? • A reshaping of students academic experience with an emphasis on both the academic and social communities • Total involvement of faculty, the primary educators of students • Continued implementation of learning communities collaborative learning programs enabling faculty and students to work together as active participants in the learning process Proven Classroom Retention Strategies The Brodsky Model Classroom Management Teacher- Student Sensitivity Instructional Department ManagementClassroom Management • Set positive tone • Review study skills • Encourage out-of-class group study • Monitor class involvement • Know different learning styles • Be aware of barriers to learning • Be aware of some students’ lack of support systems • Encourage high aspirations Teacher-Student Sensitivity • Encourage all students • Create a nurturing environment • Treat mean and women alike • Be sensitive to other demands students may have Instructional Department Management • Establish good coordination between faculty and counselors • Help students make connections between education, employment or other goals • Maintain a staff-wide commitment to retention • Insist on accurate course descriptions • Call students who are absent (It works!) Examples of Other Proven Classroom Retention Strategies • Clarify policies • Provide outlines of lecture notes and study guides • Incorporate early positive reinforcement • Encourage use of external resources – library, labs, tutoring, and encourage study groups • Incorporate team teaching • Assign midterm grades with plans for improvement Approaches to Classroom Retention Stephanie Carravello-Hibbert • Actively facilitate learning in the self-paced lab • Move beyond traditional lecture • Develop CDs to teach astronomy and science • Frequently call students • Maintain high level of faculty/student interaction Approaches to Classroom Retention Bill Rice • Sets tone for learning by establishing reciprocity and encourage students during initial classes to discuss commitment to learning • Encourage dialogue and heightened faculty-student interaction. Monitors student progress and intervenes at the first sign of trouble • Believe that, “Interaction with students on a personal level is one answer to helping retention.”Approaches to Classroom Retention Paul Glascow • Believes climate is important to attracting and retaining students • Uses inclusionary strategies to make students feel welcome and a part of the educational experience • Maintains high level of faculty-student interaction • Actively involved in the advising of students Sources: Astin, A.W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Beal, P.E. & Noel, L. (1995). What works in student retention. Iowa City, IA: American College Testing program and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. Noel, M. (1999). Successful Retention Strategies, New York: Macmillan. Tinto, V. (1994). Increasing Retention in Challenging Circumstances. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving College: Rethinking the causes and cures of students attrition, 2nd edition. Chicago: University of Chicago


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