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Input needed

The Council on Academic Excellence and Student Success invites all faculty members to participate in retention focus groups Sept. 25 and 27.

By Lindsey Coulter

September 12, 2019

Two students sitting in chairs studying on laptops.The President’s Advisory Council on Academic Excellence and Student Success is exploring the multifaceted issue of increasing student-retention rates. The council is considering a number of retention supports, including advising, financial aid and student services, as well as the role of faculty members.

As faculty on all levels play a crucial role in ensuring that students progress toward their degrees, the CAESS sought faculty input on retention strategies via a spring survey. Approximately 70% of the 414 respondents viewed faculty as having a responsibility to support retention efforts, generally through providing personalized attention and assistance. Notably, this view was more likely to be endorsed by affiliate faculty than tenured/tenure-track faculty.

“The survey gave us an initial glimpse into faculty’s perspective on this issue, but we think there is a lot more valuable information that can be shared through dialogues about retention,” said co-lead Kristy Lyons, Ph.D., associate professor, Psychological Sciences. “Because faculty are ‘on the ground’ interacting with students, we want to hear their thoughts about retention — including the challenges they see and what they think should be done.”

“We also­­ found that many faculty don’t know the retention rate for their department or the University,” added co-lead Matt Forcella, professional academic advisor, Psychological Sciences. “This suggests there may be an important knowledge gap, whereby faculty are interested in supporting retention efforts but may not be fully informed about the scope of the issue.”

To gather these insights, the CAESS invites faculty members to attend one of two student-retention focus groups this month.

Sept. 25, noon-1 p.m., AES 300H

Sept. 27, 10-11 a.m., Plaza 220A

Please RSVP to Kristy Lyons, Faculty who are not available to attend can share their input via email.

To learn more about retention, check out reports compiled by the University’s Enterprise Data Warehouse and stay tuned to the Early Bird for focus-group findings.

Topics: Advisory Council, Events, Retention

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