For a long time we have known that the student experience is a key factor in graduation and retention rates and for a long time this fact has been ignored by most institutions.
Be it Tinto’s study that showed while SAT and high school grades were good indicators of academic success, they were poor indicators of graduation and retention. Non-academic factors; such as the successful integration of the student into the academic and social life of a campus were much better indicators. Academic Map’s analysis shows that upwards of 75% of drop-out or transfers are related to some aspect of poor service.
Yet, we see few programs being adopted to address this issue; despite the huge impact to the institution, students, their family, and taxpayers.
Currently, data mining is the hot button with institutions investing heavily into identifying those students most at risk. However, few institutions are making the modest investment in prevention by creating a culture of service excellence, the long-term and permanent solution.