Our Philosophy for Student Retention

Student Retention: Holistic, proven, and measured

At Starfish, we believe that your students can succeed when they are engaged with an informed, connected campus community. Our philosophy for student success and retention is grounded in the leading research and balanced by the following principles:the-starfish-philosophy

1. Success is a moving target

Because life happens every day, students need different kinds of encouragement at different times. It isn’t enough to survey students and base your intervention efforts on their feelings at that moment. It is also presumptuous to redirect a student away from a lifelong dream because of one poor performance at mid-terms.
Students run into trouble for a variety of reasons, including academic challenges, financial concerns, home life struggles, and schedule conflicts – issues that can arise at any time. Your people can help students overcome these obstacles… if they know about them.

2. Success entails academic achievement

Ultimately, a student’s classroom performance will determine if he or she persists to the next academic milestone. Gauging this performance is important. Instructors know when a student is struggling but need an efficient, secure way to register their concern with the right person. Some instructors automatically capture performance data in the LMS, online homework systems, and student response systems.

Even your busiest instructors will contribute to your student success efforts if the process is easy, reliable, and effective – and if they have confidence that someone on the other end will pick it up.

3. Success requires engagement

Students are busier than ever, as are the people who want to help them. It has to be easy for everyone to connect and stay engaged.

Students need to know who is available and when. Advisors need to know which students are struggling, and with what issues, so they can prioritize their outreach. And everyone needs a plan to follow, whether specific steps to resolve a concern or to finish a program.

4. Success must be measured

As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Seeing the bigger picture involves tying specific activities to outcomes.

You are investing money and resources to help students be successful including First Year Experience programs, living learning communities, and tutoring. How does your institutional leadership know what is working? Your institution needs to be able to measure its efforts to optimize further investments.

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