ERIC Number: ED200158
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Retention: Tactic for the Eighties [and] Retention Improvement: Selected Case Studies. Policy Briefs.
Jackley, Janet P.; Henderson, Cathy
The need to examine college student attrition as an approach to the expected demographic decline in the 1980s, and case studies that demonstrate retention improvement and successful techniques are considered. Information is presented on the progress of typical freshmen (graduates, transfers, and dropouts) and patterns of interrupting studies. Institutional responses to attrition include counseling programs, improvement of academic advising, special orientation activities, and exit interviews. It is suggested that although tracking the progress of students from entry to degree completion is still applicable to many students, many students are interrupting their studies or combining them with employment or leisure pursuits. Institutional studies of retention rates can serve as important tools in developing an enrollment strategy. Successful retention tactics include the following: thoughtful initial placements of freshmen roommates through the use of student preference questionnaires and leniency in permitting roommate changes; a program to encourage students who are considering leaving temporarily to develop a structured leave of absence, combining their immediate goal with possibly receiving academic credit for an independent off-campus project; early involvement in campus activities during the freshman year; cooperative education programs; easy access to and clear descriptions of sources of financial aid; honors classes for the top 10 percent of the freshman class; analysis of attrition rates by departmental level; and marketing tactics. Case studies of retention studies are described, and resource persons are listed. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Case Studies, College Attendance, College Freshmen, College Graduates, College Students, Declining Enrollment, Dropout Prevention, Dropouts, Educational Counseling, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Potential Dropouts, School Holding Power, School Orientation, Student Attrition, Student College Relationship, Student Needs, Student Recruitment, Transfer Students
American Council on Education, One Dupont Circle, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Two policy briefs on retention, one on selected case studies (dated December 1980), the second on tactics for the eighties (dated December 1979).