Advising Initiative Essay

942 words - 4 pages

Student retention is an area of concern in higher education. With diminishing resources and the current economy institutions are finding it harder to retain first year students. Retention and graduation rates are used to assess a colleges overall success and it is also used to gauge future funding.
Root problems for retention can be related to any number of issues such as enrolling anyone who wants to attend college, lack of communication plans for faculty, staff, students and the community, lack of retention efforts, and a lack of a comprehensive advising team. Students need to be engaged early and often, academic advising needs to be stressed to students especially at risk students, ...view middle of the document...

To increase retention rates academic and faculty advisors need to give students a clearer idea of the coursework required to earn a degree. A list of specific courses is given to the student that they need to take each semester, this helps keep them in-line with their degree requirements. Some students who are in doubt should be encouraged to meet with an advisor so they stay on track with their classes to meet degree requirements and graduate. Wasted classes and changing majors which leads to extra classes and debt can make acquiring the degree take longer.
Often students arrive on campus underprepared for college level work. Colleges must make sure that students meet the basic minimum requirements in reading, writing, and mathematic skills by offering placement testing. Students who perform poorly on their tests should be placed in the appropriate developmental class so the student can succeed later when enrolled in the general course (Engage community college students to retain them. Enrollment Management, 2006, p7).
Another consideration would be to offer a summer bridge program that will allow students to build peer networks, shadow students in class, and participate in activities prior to the start of the academic year. A summer bridge program allows students to support each other, facilitate student engagement, and navigate the campus while collecting knowledge and skills that can prepare them for their academic year (Student Retention and Persistence in Higher Education).
“Most community college students spend little time on campus, arriving in time for class and leaving right after”. Successful engagement strategies occur in the classroom. Increased student-faculty engagement often can decrease the anxiety felt by a student. Student-faculty engagement can be incorporated in the syllabus as a required assignment in the form of student feedback that can open up a dialog related to the course and a group assignment to encourage peer involvement (Engage community college students to retain them. Enrollment Management,...

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