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Meeting a Higher Standard in Student Success and Retention Dr. Gino Pasquariello TRACS Annual Conference November 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting a Higher Standard in Student Success and Retention Dr. Gino Pasquariello TRACS Annual Conference November 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting a Higher Standard in Student Success and Retention Dr. Gino Pasquariello TRACS Annual Conference November 2012

2 Defining Retention and Persistence Retention The ability of an institution to retain a student from initial enrollment through graduation (Unique student, annually – typically Fall-to-Fall) Persistence The desire and action of a student to remain enrolled in the program from beginning through degree completion (term to term) Progression Support strategies that provide students with progression check points that are program and year specific. Completion The rate that indicates the percentage of students that complete their degree program (100%, 150%, and Over !50% of total degree length)


4 Models of Retention Interactionalist Model –Student Entry Characteristics, Initial commitment, and Academic and social integration affect subsequent commitments to the institution and the goal of graduation. Institutional Experience Model –A students persistence behavior is shaped by their beliefs, and their beliefs are affected by their experiences (Institutional Environment). Student Involvement –Higher levels of interaction and involvement produce greater levels of institutional commitment. Student-Environment Fit Theory (Student Satisfaction) –Congruence between student expectations and institutional experiences, increasing student satisfaction,

5 Theoretical Variables Major Factors and Revisions –Variation according to Institutional Type, Student Entry Characteristics, Academic and Social Integration –The Impact of Environmental Factors on Adult Student departure decisions Major Psychological Dimensions –Student Motivation (Internal and External), Persistence (ability to face challenges and overcome obstacles), and Self-Efficacy (individuals perception of ability to succeed) Economic Influences on Persistence –Cost/Benefit Analysis, Ability to Pay and Financial Aid

6 Six Primary Intersecting Persistence and Retention Factors Entering Student Characteristics Initial Commitment Student Expectations Academic and Social Integration Institutional Experiences Student Satisfaction and Success

7 Exemplary Retention Initiatives Systematic and on-going assessment, evaluation and implementation of retention interventions –Annual cycles of data collection, analysis, and reporting –Identifying key areas for improvement –Dedicated retention leadership, oversight and management –Ongoing, timely and effective response (Best Practices, Data-Driven) Primary Institutional Commitments –Emphasis on Core Distinctives and Student Expectations –Constant promotion of student success (Early Identification and Intensive and Continuous Intervention) –Campus wide Involvement (Faculty involvement)

8 A Contextualized Approach While the goal of increasing student retention may sound singular, the reality of the task is quite multi-dimensional requiring us to ask contextually specific questions

9 The Flow of Persistence Student Entering Characteristics Currents of Resistance Experiences Currents of Persistence Experiences Expectations Academic Ability Initial Commitment (Goal Orientation) Personal Relationships Ministry Commitments Work Commitments Tuition Costs Curriculum (Academics) Administration Relevance Connectedness Advising/Mentoring Purpose/Goal Alignment Degree Program Fit Motivation/Engagement Student Assessment and Institutional Fit Initial Orientation, Advisement, and First Year Programs Ongoing Program Specific Goals, Support & Development, Student Satisfaction

10 Core Institutional Assessment Instruments Entering Student Inventory (ESI) Seminary Experience Inventory (SEI) Graduating Student Inventory (GSI) Alumni Inventory (AI) Faculty Satisfaction Inventory (FSI)

11 Assessment Findings Student Engagement –Active Learning Techniques –Class Structure –Emphasize Practical Application and Personal Relevance in the course work –Meaningful, Guided Interaction –Building Community and Connectedness

12 Assessment Findings Entering Student Inventory (ESI) –60% of new entering students are fulltime students –There is a mix of age range and work commitment –Students are active to very active in church ministry –The schools doctrinal position is a strong indicator of enrollment –Desire to serve and explore calling are high priorities –Theological position was a key enrollment factor –Most learned about SCS through a friend or the website

13 Assessment Findings Decision to Attend (ESI) –Comfort with the Schools Doctrinal Position –Quality of the Faculty –Academic Reputation of the School –Quality of the Admissions Staff –Close to Home/Work

14 Assessment Findings Pursuit of Theological Education (ESI) –Desire to Serve God –To Discern Gods Will –Experienced a call from God –Opportunity for study and Spiritual Growth –Intellectual Interest in Theological Education

15 Assessment Findings Importance Items (SEI) –Instructors demonstrate expert knowledge and depth of insight –Instructors exemplify a deep faith commitment –I am developing a deeper spiritual life and faith commitment –I am learning valuable principles that apply to my chosen field –The education that I am receiving is a valuable investment of my time –The financial cost of my education is a good investment –My educational experiences are relevant to my current ministry –Instructors exemplify professionalism in the classroom –Instructors provide timely and valuable feedback on assignments

16 Strategic Actions and Recommendations: Increasing the Flow of Persistence Retention Initiatives –Improved Academic Advising –Simplified the administration of the Internship Programs and increased value –Provided Faculty Development on Instructor Feedback and Active Learning techniques –Improved Academic Support: Research and Writing Skills and Study Skills/Time Management –Increased Sense of Community (Communication and Connectedness)

17 Strategic Actions and Recommendations: Increasing the Flow of Persistence Institutional Practices –Employ Authentically Engaged Personnel –Establish institutional persistence, progression and retention goals and tracking –Develop program specific progress checkpoints –Implement First Year co-curricular support programs –Develop a documented system for timed-out student follow-up

18 Contact Information Blessings and Thanks! Dr. Gino Pasquariello Dean of Student Services and Institutional Research Southern California Seminary El Cajon, CA Office: Cell:

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