Improving student retention through greater engagement
By THOMAS L. KEON
Successfully retaining the students we recruit to Purdue Calumet demands that we continue to engage them—regularly and persistently—after they enroll.
For the past several years, approximately one in three first-year students have not returned to our campus for a second year of study. We continue to explore the reasons why, but what we do know is that the reasons go beyond academic performance.
Good students departing
In fact, among those first-year students who failed to return this academic year, 87 percent had a grade point average of 2.0 or higher, with 41 percent recording a gpa of at least 3.0.
The message of this data suggests we must do a better job of determining what about their Purdue Calumet experience deters our students.
Proactive, collaborative strategies
Our Academic Affairs and Enrollment Services units have been busy advancing more proactive and collaborative strategies to effectively interact with our students. Our advisors are being asked to more ambitiously monitor the academic progress, direction and plan of their students each semester.
Other data you will read elsewhere in this issue strongly connects the importance of students committing to regularly collaborating with their advisor and graduation track success.
Making student lives better
We also know that the various checks and balances instituted by our athletics department relative to the academic performance and degree track progress of our student-athletes have had a profoundly positive effect.
As we learn more definitively about why students choose to leave Purdue Calumet before they graduate, we will better understand how to become a university recognized for providing opportunities that make student lives better.
Thomas L. Keon