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Retention: Striving for Student Success

Recently I attended a day-and-a-half retreat focused on student retention at our university. During this retreat, we not only looked at our retention numbers, but we examined our student affairs plan for retention, talked with students about their good (and bad) customer service experiences on campus, and got to hear the retention plan from most of major academic units. Yes, at times it was every bit as exciting as it sounds, but I did hear a few things that I found either interesting in a good way, or sometimes even interesting in a not-so-good way.

Our campus leaders began the retreat with a look at the numbers, as well as a look at strong retention strategies. Among successful strategies, living on campus and living-learning communities were mentioned. I have to admit, I cringed a bit on seeing LLCs on the big screen at the front of the room, knowing that we have had little success with them on our campus (and knowing that this was going to be one more project I now needed to fit into my already over-full plate). But fortunately, this was quickly followed with an emphatic statement that LLCs MUST have faculty involvement to be successful – it can’t just be our res life staff trying to initiate and maintain these. So maybe I won’t have to add that project to my plate just yet. Read more