CLU’s connected and collaborative community fosters feedback on specific students from a wide range of university constituents, including faculty, administrators, and staff. This regular, often informal input plays a major role in identifying and addressing at-risk students. It is my role to communicate with community members.
Centralized dashboard monitoring
Communication management has been a key driver of our success. As we created specific retention goals, we quickly understood that a successful retention program would require a variety of opportunities to identify, report, and address at-risk students, all of which should be available and centrally managed through a software management tool. We decided to employ Hobsons’ Retain software, which allows us to:
- Solicit input on each individual student
- Automatically generate early alert information based on statistical data
- Create opportunities for those not traditionally involved in the student retention process (i.e., bursar’s office, athletics, student life) to provide feedback
- Manage and monitor all information from one central system
Although I encourage faculty to use our formal alert system to flag potentially at-risk students, I continue to collect informal alerts. If a professor stops me in the hallway to share a student anecdote, I can add details of that conversation to the system.
I used to pore through my eMails and case notes to gain an overarching understanding of a particular student’s history. Now, I simply search by name and can easily click through the records to refresh my memory regarding this student.
Each semester we complete a number of exercises to identify potentially at-risk students. In addition to gathering continuous feedback from faculty and staff, I run quantitative analysis. I can proactively analyze the data to forecast attrition rates, identify trends, and pinpoint students who may need individualized attention.