Huntsville, Alabama President: Dr. Helen T. McAlpine
Institutional Data A HBCU serving primarily minority students. Significant percentage of first‐generation (56%) and low socioeconomic background students (59%). Significant portion of students take developmental courses before entering their college‐level coursework. Lacking appropriate college preparation and knowledge of the expectations of college academic rigor, many students become readily discouraged and drop out of their programs before they’ve completed their developmental courses. Concerned about student retention, in particular with respect to these students who usually don’t stay enrolled long enough to develop a track record of academic achievement and student success.
Measure Student Success Drake State, as a technical college, measures student success in several categories: year‐to year retention rate, program completion rate, in‐field job placement rate, and licensure examination pass rate. This information is provided annually to the Council on Occupational Education (COE), one of the accrediting bodies for the College. These rates for 2009‐10 year are as follows: 1. Program completion rate: 60.57% 2. Year‐to‐year retention rate: 68.17% 3. In‐field job placement rate: 85.83% 4. Licensure pass rate: 92.54%
Measure Student Success At the present time, Drake State does not track transfer rates, since newly obtaining regional accreditation through: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on College (SACS). Through articulation agreements with three local universities, approximately 10% of the students do transfer into business, engineering, and hospitality programs offered by these universities. The College does a comprehensive review of each program annually. These reviews include evaluation of other factors, most of which are tracked on a five year trend table.
Institutional Change - Drake Retention strategies shift from various departments/divisions to entire campus. Focused more attention internally. Restructured the College’s retention efforts. Looked objectively, reflected on what was well and what needed to be reinforced, such as communication and accountability. Purchased an Early Alert System for the campus. Enhanced communication among administration, faculty, staff, and student. Allowed additional professional developments toward retention efforts (Faculty Learning Communities, Developmental Education, Noel- Levitz Conference). Increased overall academic program planning.
Efforts Towards Retention Refocusing faculty on retention efforts, including early recognition of students who seem to be losing interest or are greatly distracted in class and lab activities. Implementation of the Starfish Early Alert System for tracking and communicating student-by-student retention issues as they occur in real-time. Incorporating more data points into the student tracking system to provide support for deeper analysis of trends, underlying issues, and success of various intervention strategies. Increasing the visibility of program retention rates in annual reviews, hearings, and performance reports.
Student Success Strategies - Drake Starfish Campus-Wide Early Alert System Student Success Achievement Plan (S-SAP) Restructured Orientation Course Student Services Resources/Notifications Accurate Advising Peer tutors Engagement
Best Practices – Drake Being a mentor institution has allowed Drake to see the importance of the following: Student support services Comprehensive retention plan with descriptive initiatives Student tracking modules Continual professional development on retention and advising Open communication with administration about retention strategies Faculty by-ins Community awareness
Community of Best Practices Drake has embraced retention as a whole since beginning this project. The collaboration has led Drake to support all retention initiatives at all levels of the college (top-down). Student services, faculty, staff, and administration have supported Starfish Early Alert System, peer tutoring, developmental education, and other retention strategies deployed by the Retention Committee. The College has also issued a college-wide challenge to include at least one aspect on retention or completion in next year’s unit plans and student learning outcomes. The College has implemented the retention efforts in all parts of the unit and strategic plan for the College.
Community of Best Practices The collaborative relationship with SUNO has led to a very meaningful dialogue on the Drake campus. This dialogue was stimulated by various factors: Focused and reflected upon the impact of retention experiences. Researched retention initiatives at other colleges to get a better perspective on key issues, challenges, and successes of other programs, including four year institutions. Increased and enhanced interactions and collaboration efforts with personnel at another institutions. Energized faculty and staff to explore new ideas, develop a deeper understanding of underlying issues, and gain greater insight into the causes of the failure of students to complete their programs of study. Increased the engagements of faculty and staff by hosting more retention workshops and intra-division retention sessions and collaboration efforts. Engaged personnel of SUNO has led to a better focus on our own issues and stimulated new ideas that we expect to benefit our own efforts to improve student retention.
New Orleans, Louisiana President: Dr. Victor Ukpolo
Relationship of Collaboration Drake State Mentor Institution SUNO Mentee Institution Based on graduation, retention strategies and practices. Chosen to bring a breadth of successful strategies to the project, including early outreach to high school students, summer enrichment programs, student orientation, learning support centers, first year seminars, family nights, developmental education programs, tutorials, and faculty/staff to student mentoring and support. Improve student success rates. Matched with Drake State in order to build a collaboration between the institutions to include: campus visits, meetings, and other support activities over a full academic year.
Implementation of Relationship The collaborative relationship for the project: Identified successful intervention strategies for supporting student success Disseminated and supported implementation of these strategies Built a community of practice among participating schools around student success Assisted participating institutions to increase the number of students completing their academic programs.
The Institutional Model – Phase IV Collaborative Drake and SUNO had an open and genuine dialogue. Recommended that SUNO focus on implementing a more comprehensive approach for providing intervention strategies for student success. Underlying issues were customer services, professional development and disconnect between academic affairs and student services.
Strategies for SUNO Effective Communication Strategies Campus-Wide Early Alert System Utilize Assessments/Results/Analysis Faculty Accountability Textbook purchases Faculty Disconnect Professional Development Activities