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Student & Enrolment Services Division Findings of a Student Retention Study University of Saskatchewan Overview of Findings Kelly McInnes Tonya Wirchenko.

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Presentation on theme: "Student & Enrolment Services Division Findings of a Student Retention Study University of Saskatchewan Overview of Findings Kelly McInnes Tonya Wirchenko."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student & Enrolment Services Division Findings of a Student Retention Study University of Saskatchewan Overview of Findings Kelly McInnes Tonya Wirchenko

2 Student & Enrolment Services Division Process 2003:University’s Enrolment Plan called for a study of retention patterns, degree completion, and explanations 2004:Planning and consultation 2005 W:Established an Advisory Group that identified questions of interest, seconded a Computer Analyst to project 2005 S:Narrowing of scope of cohort analysis, defining terms, realization of data limitations 2005 S:Based on preliminary results & Identification of student-based studies 2005 F:Hiring Retention Research Coordinator & Presentations of initial findings 2006 W:Conducting student-based studies & Regular consultations/check- ins with Advisory Group 2006 S/S: Final cohort based analysis 2006 F: Interpretation of findings, development of presentations 2007 W: Presentations 2008:Drafting of final report for Fall release

3 Student & Enrolment Services Division Purpose of the Study 1.To conduct a cohort-based study of retention, attrition, and degree completion rates over the past few years 2.To better understand the reasons why students choose (or are required) to leave the University

4 Student & Enrolment Services Division Design Cohort-based longitudinal analysis: –What are the rates and patterns of student retention, attrition and degree completion at the U of S? –Method: Longitudinal cohort-based analysis of data held in the Student Information System Student-based studies: –What are the underlying reasons for student attrition at the U of S and what factors promote student success, persistence and degree completion? –Method: In-depth interviews, focus groups and surveys

5 Student & Enrolment Services Division Cohort-based analysis What are the rates and patterns of student retention, attrition and degree completion at the U of S?

6 Student & Enrolment Services Division Defining our Cohorts Cohorts of Data: –From 1993 to Direct Entry Colleges: –Agriculture and Bioresources –Arts and Science –Edwards School of Business –Engineering –Kinesiology

7 Student & Enrolment Services Division Defining our Outcomes Retention Outcomes: –Degree completion (received degree) –Continued registration (current student) –Internal transfer (transferred to other U of S College) Attrition Outcomes: –Discontinued registration (academically eligible to return) –Withdrawn registration (in midst of term) –Required to discontinue (by the institution)

8 Student & Enrolment Services Division Overall Retention and Attrition

9 Student & Enrolment Services Division Year to Year Retention Rates for Each Cohort

10 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rate for Each Cohort (After 1 Year)

11 Student & Enrolment Services Division Student Outcomes After 1 Year 1 st Year Attrition ~27.5%

12 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rate for Each Cohort (After 2 Years)

13 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rate for Each Cohort (After 3 Years)

14 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rate for Each Cohort (After 4 – 7 Yrs)

15 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rates for Each College

16 Student & Enrolment Services Division Overall Retention by College

17 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rate for Each College (After 1-3Yrs)

18 Student & Enrolment Services Division Retention Rate for Each College (After 4-7 Yrs)

19 Student & Enrolment Services Division Degree Completion

20 Student & Enrolment Services Division Degree Completion Rate for Each Cohort

21 Student & Enrolment Services Division Overall “ Degree Completion ” by College

22 Student & Enrolment Services Division Degree Completion Rate for Each College

23 Student & Enrolment Services Division Adjusted “ Degree Completion ” by College

24 Student & Enrolment Services Division Adjusted “ Degree Completion ” by College

25 Student & Enrolment Services Division Origin of Student (entering point): –High school –Break after high school –Transferred from other post-secondary institution –Transferred from other U of S College Defining our Students

26 Student & Enrolment Services Division Overall Retention by Student Origin

27 Student & Enrolment Services Division Overall “ Degree Completion ” by Student Origin

28 Student & Enrolment Services Division Student-based Studies: What are the underlying reasons for student attrition at the U of S and what factors promote student success, persistence and degree completion?

29 Student & Enrolment Services Division Three Student-based Studies Phone survey of early leavers Focus groups with current students Interviews with RTD students who have returned and are succeeding

30 Student & Enrolment Services Division Phone Survey of Voluntary Leavers

31 Student & Enrolment Services Division Definition of Voluntary Leavers Discontinued registration –Students who completed a term(s) and were academically eligible to return but did not register Withdrawn registration –Students who withdrew registration in the midst of a term

32 Student & Enrolment Services Division Characteristics of Voluntary Leavers Withdrawn Registration: Female 55%: Male 45% Discontinued Registration: Female 64%: Male 36% years of age School of matriculation –Urban = 53% –Rural = 31% –Out of Province = 12% Admission average = 77-78% GPA is about 61-64%

33 Student & Enrolment Services Division Main reason for attending university: 1. Prepare for a specific job/career36.0% 2. General education24.5% 3. Get a ‘good job’18.9% Main reason for choosing the U of S: 1. Close to family76.0% 2. Program availability8.6% 3. Reputation6.2% Reasons for attending university and choosing the U of S

34 Student & Enrolment Services Division Majority of early leavers intended to pursue a degree at the U of S. Did early leavers intend to pursue a degree?

35 Student & Enrolment Services Division 70.4% of early leavers were ‘not at all sure’ or only ‘somewhat sure’ of what area/major they wanted to pursue at the U of S. How sure were early leavers about what area/major they wanted to pursue?

36 Student & Enrolment Services Division How prepared did early leavers feel when they enrolled at the U of S? 71% felt unprepared for at least one of the following:

37 Student & Enrolment Services Division What influenced early leavers ’ decision to leave?

38 Student & Enrolment Services Division 48% have attended or are now attending another post-secondary institution Majority of early leavers stay in SK (67%) Majority attend college (63%) Where do early leavers go?

39 Student & Enrolment Services Division SIAST31.3% University of Regina16.6% A University in Alberta 6.1% –U of Alberta –U of Calgary –U of Lethbridge University of Manitoba 1.8% What institutions do they attend?

40 Student & Enrolment Services Division Majority of early leavers are ‘not at all likely’ to return to the U of S in the next year. Likelihood of Returning to the U of S in the Next Year

41 Student & Enrolment Services Division Focus Groups With Current U of S Students

42 Student & Enrolment Services Division What are the key challenges you have faced in your studies at the U of S? All Students: 1.Challenges involving professors 2.Adjustment from high school to university (expectations) 3.Academic skill development Aboriginal Students: 1.Feeling marginalized 2.Financial issues 3.Balancing school with other responsibilities

43 Student & Enrolment Services Division Interviews RTD students who have returned and are succeeding

44 Student & Enrolment Services Division RTD students reported a common path to attrition Began in first year Lack of a goal  low investment in time/effort  poor study habits  poor performance  academic failure

45 Student & Enrolment Services Division RTD students reported a common path to a successful return Identifying an “academic/career” goal Making a conscious commitment to getting a degree

46 Student & Enrolment Services Division Benchmark data exists for comparison purposes ‘Proceduralization’ of the collection of retention and attrition data within the University Follow up studies may be pursued Strategic development of structures, services, and programs that foster and promote retention Next Steps

47 Student & Enrolment Services Division Understand retention as a vital component of effective enrollment management, setting targets for improved retention as well as for attracting voluntary leavers back Take an intentional, comprehensive, and institution-wide approach to enhancing the first year experience Recommendations

48 Student & Enrolment Services Division Create spaces, services and systems that allow students to connect with other students and that allow students to interact with faculty Adopt proven models (e.g., Learning Communities) and develop our own models (e.g., University Life 101) to better engage students and assist in transition Recommendations

49 Student & Enrolment Services Division The quality of teaching is of prime importance to students. The recommendations of the forthcoming Teaching and Learning Foundational document should be implemented. Increase the availability and quality of integrated academic-career advising services on our campus. Advising for students who are undecided or interested in changing colleges should be made available to a greater degree. Recommendations

50 Student & Enrolment Services Division Change structures and systems to facilitate decision-making and intentionality among students Identify students who are at greater risk for attrition early and improve and develop services to meet their needs Conduct future research that uses these findings as benchmark data. Recommendations

51 Student & Enrolment Services Division Questions?? Thanks for coming!


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