ERIC Number: ED212341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Student Services in a Retention Program: Pivot or Periphery?
Hoeber, Daniel R.
A program was developed at Mercy College, Detroit, to reduce attrition among conditionally admitted, full-time (CAFT) students--about one quarter of entering students at this small, urban, four-year college. The very high attrition rate among CAFT students (95%) was found to be unrelated to academic performance or program quality, and solutions to the problem were sought in the provision of student services. A Key Personnel Group, consisting of the directors of 14 non-academic college services, was created to deal with the problem. The groups' first activities were to survey student and faculty perceptions of CAFT students' non-academic needs, to assess the activities of each of the college's student services offices, and to assign responsibilities to avoid overlapping functions and address all identified needs. Then the group adopted four major approaches to student retention. First, a mandatory orientation course, taught by non-academic professionals, was developed to acquaint CAFT students with the college's services and to increase their academic survival skills. Second, an early warning system was created to identify potential dropouts. Third, the exit interview process was revised; and finally, a series of faculty development workshops were conducted to heighten faculty awareness of college services and to increase instructors' skills in dealing with CAFT students. The program's success is attested by a 50% reduction in the attrition rate of CAFT students. (HB)
Descriptors: Ancillary School Services, Counselor Role, Dropout Characteristics, Faculty Development, High Risk Students, Higher Education, Needs Assessment, Program Development, School Holding Power, School Orientation, Small Colleges, Student Attrition, Student Needs, Student Personnel Services, Student Personnel Workers, Supplementary Education, Urban Schools, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A