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Student Retention Pieces of the Puzzle: Improving Student Retention and Graduation Rates.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Retention Pieces of the Puzzle: Improving Student Retention and Graduation Rates."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Retention Pieces of the Puzzle: Improving Student Retention and Graduation Rates

2 Student Retention Overview Who Are Todays College Students? Who Stays? Who Leaves? Why? What can we do about it?

3 Student Retention By traditional standards, students are brighter and better prepared today than ever before. BUT, they suffer from low expectations and high grade inflation in the secondary school system. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 1

4 Student Retention





9 % Who said there was a very good chance they would... 1%Fail a course < 1%Drop out temporarily 3%Transfer to another college

10 Student Retention Time Spent in High School... 56% studied 5 hrs or less per week 33% watched TV more than 5 hrs/week 11% read for pleasure more than 5 hrs/week

11 Student Retention 75% Academic reputation 57% Grads get good jobs 42% Low tuition 42% Grads go to top grad schools Why Students Chose UT-Austin

12 Student Retention We know what works in student retention. Nearly ALL of our retention programs are successful. They improve the academic performance and increase the retention rate of students who participate. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 2

13 Student Retention We know why students leave UT Austin: Students report multiple causes. –65% reported PERSONAL reasons such as: lack of motivation, burn out, poor high school preparation,family problems and health –58% reported FINANCIAL or work-school conflicts –33% reported ACADEMIC problems Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 3

14 Student Retention People Reasons Policy Reasons Resource Reasons Teaching/Curriculum Reasons Student Attrition

15 Student Retention Are students not well prepared for college? Are students not motivated? Are students here for the wrong reasons? Can students afford to attend UT? People Reasons - Students

16 Student Retention Why should faculty worry about the graduation rate? How can we improve graduation rates without lowering academic standards? Why should we spend more time teaching? Why should we teach differently? People Reasons - Faculty

17 Student Retention Would a failing grade replacement policy improve retention rates? What happens to the students in majors with a grade point requirement who have greater than a 2.0 gpa but less than the requirement? Policy Reasons

18 Student Retention If enrollment increases, will students have more difficulty obtaining courses that meet their interests and degree requirements? If more students are successful at the freshmen and sophomore level, will we have the faculty resources to teach upper division level courses? Resource Reasons

19 Student Retention What are the risks/rewards of changing HOW we teach? Is our curriculum too diverse; does it give students too many choices? How can we better motivate students to attend class? How do we reward teachers for promoting retention? Curriculum / Teaching Reasons

20 Student Retention Who Leaves?

21 Student Retention 1st Year Attrition Rate SAT Qtr%HS Rank% Top Qtr09Top 10%09 2nd Qtr13Next 15%16 3rd Qtr172nd Qtr25 4th Qtr26Bottom Half50

22 Student Retention






28 Historically, retention programs at UT- Austin re-shuffle the deck and change the faces of those who succeed, but do not improve the university-wide graduation rate. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 4

29 Student Retention The graduation rate at UT Austin has not changed in over 30 years. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 5

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33 Academic Darwinism has been the dominant retention philosophy on this campus. UT-Austins academic reputation depends on letting only the fittest survive! Student failure rates in the freshmen/sophomore year restrict graduation rates. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 6

34 Student Retention



37 Educational policy traps when combined with student failure result in high levels of wheel spinning by students attempting to improve their grades and enter upper division majors. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 7

38 Student Retention CompletedNo UT Degree & UT Degree 121+ Total Hrs % dropped a course47%56% If dropped, avg. hrs dropped5.36.7 % failed a course27%51% If failed, avg. hrs failed8.012.6

39 Student Retention UT Austin can not afford high levels of student success. If al the freshmen who entered this fall were academically successful, we would not have the resources to educate them in their junior and senior year. Pieces of the Puzzle Fact No. 8

40 Student Retention The will to change the status quo. Broaden our focus from just fixing students to looking at our total system. Put more time, effort and money into the academic classroom. Re-evaluate educational policy that limits or restricts student success. What will it take to change the graduation rates?

41 Student Retention Had Enough?

42 Student Retention Academic Performance Retention Rates Graduation Rates

43 Student Retention Student preparation level improves every year Most retention programs improve academic performance and reduce the attrition rate The graduation rate has not changed in 30 years The Graduation Rate Paradox

44 Student Retention

45 86%Get a bachelors degree 71%Make a B average 29%Graduate with honors % Who said there was a very good chance they would...

46 Student Retention Who comes to UT-Austin? Demographics Preparation Attitudes

47 Student Retention

48 Student Attitudes

49 Student Retention How well prepared are UT Students?

50 Student Retention Why Do Students Leave?

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