One Change That Increases Student Persistence, Retention, and Satisfaction
The president and the provost were talking about their biggest challenge: retention. Between students’ freshman and sophomore years, the college was losing almost 40 percent of its students. For many students, the causes were well documented: time and money. The college’s “average student” was no longer an eighteen-year-old white male coming straight from high school and taking a full load of five courses while living on campus. These days, the typical student was a 32-year-old Latina mother of two with a job at a big-box retail store taking one or two courses at a time. That described most students at the college: nontraditional learners had become the majority, a group not tied to the campus or able to focus on study full time: both danger signs for retention problems. If work or family demands became too pressing, adult learners dropped out of college temporarily or permanently.