IU Study Suggests Schools Are Not Working Towards Retention

Don Hossler says many schools talk about retention rates but few devote enough resources to the issue. He suggests having a retention "coordinator."

An Indiana University education professor says many schools identify student retention and graduation as a priority, but devote few resources to achieving that objective. Don Hossler is conducting a study for the College Board, evaluating college and university efforts to optimize graduation rates. Hossler, who directs IU’s “Project on Academic Success,” says although most schools talk a good game, very few devote substantial time, money, or personnel to retention and graduation.

Hossler says the situation on most campuses could be improved simply by having a retention “coordinator,” monitoring the schools’ efforts in the area of advising, financial aid, and enrollment practices. Hossler says once the pilot study is done, the College Board intends to compile a manual of “best practices” for higher education student retention and graduation.

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