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What We Know About First Year Student Retention Clayton Smith, Vice-Provost, Students & Registrar.

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Presentation on theme: "What We Know About First Year Student Retention Clayton Smith, Vice-Provost, Students & Registrar."— Presentation transcript:

1 What We Know About First Year Student Retention Clayton Smith, Vice-Provost, Students & Registrar

2 It is time Last fall, we under-enrolled year 2 students by 178 (a 5.6% drop in flow-through rate) Looking at this fall’s registration stats, it looks like we will register even fewer year 2 students this fall …all while enrolling a constant number of year 1 students!

3 What is at stake when students leave Lost revenue:  Tuition revenue  Ancillary fees for student services, books, events  Miscellaneous revenues  Alumni donations and involvement Social cost  for the student  for society Damage to the University of Windsor’s reputation Sunk costs from recruiting and orienting the student

4 The financial impact First year intake3,120 Enrolment at the end of 1st year81.5% Number of students lost in year594 Tuition $4,660/year x 3 years$13,980 Ancillary $560/year x 3 years$1,680 Miscellaneous $1,000/year x 3 years$3,000 Alumni donations and involvement$500 Total revenue / student over 3 years$19,160 Lost revenue from attrition of 594 1st year students$11,381,040

5 The financial impact (cont.) The cost for first year attrition is only part of the total picture.  We lose 594 first year students for a retention rate of 81.5%.  Based on the CUDO-published graduation rate of 71.1% over 7 years, we also lose potential revenue based on attrition of students in years 2, 3 and 4. Using similar assumptions about foregone revenue as for first year students, the potential loss each academic year is $3,793,680 If we could keep 20% of early leavers enrolled, we would gain $758,736 in additional funding each year.

6 Fact #1 Student attrition impacts our financial bottom line.

7 Who are the students who leave during or after 1 st year?

8 By Student Type First-time, full-time: 80.5% continue College transfers: 60.4% continue International students: 62.2% continue Part-time:  1 st Year Entry: 33% continue  2 nd Year Entry: 68% continue We expect to find lower retention levels also for First Generation students, Aboriginal students, and new Canadian immigrants.

9 By Student Type (Cont.) 69% of part-time students who do not graduate in a 7-year period tend to drop out in either the first (38%) or second semesters (31%). This means that only 31% of those students who start as part-time graduate in a 7-year period.

10 By Faculty…Returning to the Same Faculty Business69.2%66.8%65.7%63.2% Engineering76.1%80.5%81.4%80.9% FASS77.4%82.1%83.7%84.9% HK85.8%81.1%81.6%80.3% Inter-Faculty69.0%58.3%52.7%46.4% Nursing89.8%86.4%88.9%89.0% Science78.1%74.0%76.2%76.0% Note: based on full-time entering students who return the subsequent fall as either a part-time or full-time student.

11 By Faculty…Returning to a Different Faculty Business6.3%4.1%3.7%3.0% Engineering7.2%4.4%3.4%3.0% FASS1.9% 2.1%2.3% HK4.7%6.8%7.0%7.1% Inter-Faculty15.5%25.2%28.6%32.6% Nursing1.1%1.2%0.1%0.0% Science7.8%7.3%6.8%6.4 Note: based on full-time entering students who return the subsequent fall as either a part-time or full-time student.

12 By Faculty…Left the University Business24.5%29.1%30.6%33.7% Engineering16.7%15.0%15.2%16.2% FASS20.6%16.0%14.2%12.8% HK9.4%12.1%11.4%12.6% Inter-Faculty15.5%16.5%18.7%20.8% Nursing9.1%12.3%11.0% Science14.1%18.7%17.1%17.6% Note: based on full-time entering students who return the subsequent fall as either a part-time or full-time student.

13 By Program Undeclared: 61.4% (FT), 68.8% (FT/PT) AAUs with lower retention rates…some of these students may also be relatively undecided about their major: Psychology Sociology Economics General Science Being undecided about major is a factor in student attrition! Being undecided about major is a factor in student attrition!

14 By High School GPA There is a moderate positive correlation between high school average and University GPA for full-time students, with about 40% of the variance of FT-GPA explained by high school average. –Business – 34% –Engineering – 46% –FASS – 36% –Human Kinetics– 37% –Inter-Faculty – 45% –Science – 48% 60% of why students are successful is not explained By HS GPA! 60% of why students are successful is not explained By HS GPA!

15 By High School GPA (Cont.) There are three programs with a sufficient number of students where more than half of those in the 70-72% high school average group were not in good standing at the end of one term. –Engineering –Biology –Chemistry

16 By Residence Non-residence: 22% on probation Residence: 32% on probation  Varies by residence hall (15% in Alumni; 37% in Laurier/MacDonald)

17 Fact #2 All types of students do not leave at the same rate.

18 Why do students leave?

19 The Factors Prior to implementing web-based registration, the Educational Development Centre interviewed students as they withdrew Recently, the Advising Centre conducted a pilot survey of students the semester following their withdrawal Both surveys resulted in students telling us they left for personal or financial reasons…which has only limited effect on what we might do to enhance student retention

20 Other Possible Factors  Living arrangements  Distance from the university, distance from home  Financial problems  Personal issues  Marital status  Language difficulties  Study interruption  Level of parental support (emotional & financial)  Student source (overseas, private school, CEGEP, high school, other university, workforce, etc.)  Access to study space and other resources  Access to the internet

21 Other Possible Factors (Cont.)  Illness  Poor choice of academic program  Academic difficulties  Poor or non-existent social life  Needs of dependents  Parental or family support

22 The Factors that Relate to Attrition Financial problems Poor marks Personal problems Students who withdraw

23 The CRI (Customer Relationship Index Inc.) Study  Adopts a proactive retention approach that identifies students at risk before they reach the point of departure and proactively intervenes by pushing advising services and university resources to them.  Step 1: An in-depth survey of all 1 st year students in good standing who leave or do not re-register at Windsor over a specific period of time.  Step 2: A parallel survey of students in good standing who continue to be registered.  Step 3: Analysis of the collected data to identify:  Factors that put students at risk of not completing their degree.  The strength of the contribution of each factor in influencing a student to leave or stay to completion.  Build a predictive tool for applying to the next entering class

24 Fact #3 We need to know more about the attrition factors.

25 What does NSSE tell us?

26 NSSE – Key Findings 1 st year students are less engaged than the Ontario Consortium in 4 of the 5 benchmarks of effective educational practice (level of academic challenge, active/collaborative learning, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus)

27 NSSE – Key Findings (Cont.) Areas within the classroom in need of improvement: –Quality of course instruction –Number/variety of course offerings in your major –Better fit between course content, assignments, exams –Reducing class sizes

28 NSSE – Key Findings (Cont.) Areas outside the classroom in need of improvement: –Increasing contact with professors outside of class –Expanding/improving the quality of academic support services –Improving the quality/availability of study spaces –Providing students with opportunities to undertake research with faculty

29 Odette’s 1 st year Advising Pilot Project Noticed that 4 th year faculty-student engagement was increasing Possibly due to higher levels of faculty contact Obtained a small grant through Queens and the Quality Council, –Oversampled 1 st year business students in NSSE –Experimental and control groups –Intervention to include: – 12 full-time faculty members to serve as advisors – 24 student mentors – Academic plan by end of 1 st semester

30 Fact #4 There are a number of things we could do to improve/enhance student engagement

31 Results of Retention Review: Teresa Farnum & Associates March 2007

32 Key Findings – Observed Strengths Respectable retention rates Pockets of excellence in student-centredness FASS/HK retention activities Windsor Welcome Week Inclusion of parents Residential expereience Degree audit Advising Centre

33 Priorities for Action 1.Connections –Advising –Orientation –First year experience 2.Academic Success –Early intervention initiative –Learning contracts for probation students –Learning commons (physical/virtual)

34 Some Other Recommendations Develop a retention dashboard of data Create a retention coordinator position Implement an evening degree completion program for more programs Implement a program for students who want to return the University after a defined number of years (e.g., remove impact of F grades) Renew scholarships based on first year GPA (as opposed to the current semester renewal)

35 Fact #5 We are well-positioned to increase first-year student retention.

36 In Summary 1.Student attrition impacts our financial bottom line. 2.All types of students do not leave at the same rate. 3.We need to know more about the attrition factors. 4.There are a number of things we could do to improve/enhance student engagement 5.We are well-positioned to increase first-year student retention.

37 Questions & Comments


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