[caption id="attachment_37707" align="alignleft" width="150"] Paul Smith's College saw retention rise by 12 percent last year.[/caption]

An Arizona community college and a New York campus with 1,000 students are using technology embraced by large research universities to stem alarming drops in student retention, especially among freshmen and sophomores.

Helping new college students – many away from home for the first time – stay in school through the sometimes-difficult transition from high school hallways to the campus dorm has long been a goal of colleges and universities.

Following the advice of a task force created to...

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