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Retention Efforts of Minority Students

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Jenna Hilligoss

on 8 February 2014

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Transcript of Retention Efforts of Minority Students

Results from the PAL Program:

PAL participants have demonstrated greater levels of academic success, meaning they are maintaining strong academic records, remaining in good academic standing at American River and are applying the skills learned through the PAL program
PAL students are retained at a much higher rate after the first year of study as compared to non-participating students
How is student retention related to graduation?
The first year of college represents a drastic change in a student' life, and being able to succeed during this year is one of the greatest predictors of overall academic success and graduating within six years.
How do diverse student populations compare with majority student populations retention and graduation rates?
Dividing the US student population by ethnicity, the standing of each ethnic group was the same for one year retention rates and six year graduation rates.
The five ethnic groups studied by Seidman were Asian, White, Black, Hispanic and Native American (2005)

The Impact of Student Retention
Retention of Diverse Students
Defining "
diverse students
" as those who are educationally at risk because of readiness, gender, race, ethnicity, college readiness and veteran re-entrance
These diverse students are playing a glowingly important role in educational globalization
Only 68% of the student population in higher education today, meaning a growing percentage of students are racial minorities (Seidman, 2005)
29% of students nationwide have a household income of $20,000 or less (Fang, 2013)
These statistics demonstrate the tremendous role diverse student populations play within the US higher education context
Importance of Retention Efforts
Four Main Ideas Related to the Importance of Diverse Student Retention Efforts

Swail's Geometric Model of Student Persistence and Achivevement
Tintu's Model of Student Departure
Social Mobility
Retention vs. Graduation
Swail's Geometric Model of Student Persistence and Achievement
Three factors of model
1. Cognitive (Intelligence, academic ability)
2. Social (parental/peer support, career goals)
3. Institutional (On-campus support offices & staff)

Retention is comprehensive and extends into these (and other) areas of a student's life

Importance of retention is noticeable in a student's life not just from an academic/cognitive nature, but also within their social and instiutional networks
Faulconer, J., Geissler, J., Majewski, D., & Trifilo, J. (2013). Adoption of an Early-Alert System to Support University Student Success. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 80(2), 45-48.
Faye Carter, D. (2006). Key Issues in the Persistence of Underrepresented Minority Students. New Directions For Institutional Research, 2006(130), 33-46. doi:10.1002/ir.178

Faye Carter, D. (2006). Key Issues in the Persistence of Underrepresented Minority Students. New Directions For Institutional Research, 2006(130), 33-46. doi:10.1002/ir.178

Jensen, U. (2011). Factors Influencing Student Retention in Higher Education. Summary of Influential Factors in Degreee Attainment and Persistance to Career or Further Educaiton for At-Risk/High Educational Need Students, by Pacific Policy Research Center. Honolulu, HI: Kamehameha Schools-Research & Evaluation Division.

McShannon, J. J., Hynes, P. P., Nirmalakhandan, N. N., Venkataramana, G. G., Ricketts, C. C., Ulery, A. A., & Steiner, R. R. (2006). Gaining Retention and Achievement for Students Program: A Faculty Development Program. Journal Of Professional Issues In Engineering Education & Practice, 132(3), 204-208. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2006)132:3(204)

Seidman, A. (2005). Minority student retention: Resources for practitioners. New Directions For Institutional Research, 2005(125), 7-24.

Swail, W.S. (2003). A framework for retention. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 30(2), 75-112.

(2010). Family income and educational attainment 1970-2010. Postsecondary education opportunity, (November), Retrieved from http://www.postsecondary.org/last12/221_1110pg1_16.pdf

Tintu Model of Student Departure

This model demonstrates the process of a student departing from higher education
Retention strategies are valuable in 2 primary ways related to this graphic
1. Providing preparatory and initial services that prevent students from even entering this model
2. Offer on-campus services that specifically address these common departure situations
Social Mobility
Academic success increases social mobility through
On average, increasing family median income to improve neighborhood, K-12 educational opportunities and extracurricular activities
On average, greater availability and resources to take part in enrichment activities such as travel and volunteer opportunities/community work
Diverse student populations are least likely to experience social mobility, making education the most realistic option to better their social position

Retention vs. Graduation
Social Mobility ctd.
Education is a multi-generational factor within social mobility, as a student who is retained during their college experience and graduates provides an example for their children, grandchildren and beyond

Five Components of Student Retention Framework
Recruitment and Admission
Academic Services
Curriculum and Instruction
Student Services
Financial Aid
5 components hold equal value in retention initiatives, though student's tend to focus on certain components during the different phases of their academic experience
Equality between components demonstrates need for campus buy-in regarding retention
One office or component group cannot facilitate retention
Student monitoring from recruitment to graduation (and through all these components) is an important element of retention programs to help break down and remedy retention concerns as they arise
Two Steps of Swail's Geometric Model
The three factors are not independent; difficulty or success in one component often affects other and the student's entire outlook.

Effective retention programs understand two ideas related to Swail's development:

1. The three consequences within each component (positive, negative or neutral impact on students) are universal, but the student reaction is different. A key element of retention programs is therefore a focused solution to the specific student at hand.

2. For most students, the model is not perfectly geometric, as their focus is placed most greatly within one or two components. A perfect model is not one that is geometric or not; it is a model that has proven to effectively provide stablity and success within a student's life.
Early Retention Methods: Alert Systems
Utilize flags within student data base to indicate performance gaps or retention concerns
Depending on institutional guidelines, advisers or faculty members might have a series of steps in place to support retention of at-risk students and ensure they making changes in their academic experience.
Also use flags in a more positive way- indicate success of retention programs and strategies for future planning
Long term alert systems can be put into place when a student is first recruited (middle school or above) to provide a comprehensive view of that student's pre-college experience. This information can inform retention services and initiatives to the specific needs of the student.

A key element for all retention strategies is

"intensive and continuous" interventions
(Faulconer, Geissler, Majewski & Trifilo, 2013)
Interventions are often viewed as a reaction to retention concern, but often times are preemptive measures in place to help support continuous retention
For instance, some institutions require students to complete an intervention inventory prior to beginning coursework to gain perspective on their preparedness for the college experience
High school students strongly benefit from interventions from a long-term retention perspective, as they can improve student's student skills and adaption techniques
Continuous interventions both prior to and during a student's college experience has been particularity important for diverse student populations, as they empower the student and provide a sense of direction

First Year Experiences (FYEs)
FYEs have become a source of great funding within institutions, based on their ability to both recruit high priority students and retain those students during the first year of study
The expression of a FYE is significantly different from one institutions to another
Considerations include size, private vs. public, academic focus programs and campus/community life
Learning/Learning communities have become a frequent example of FYEs along with courses offered to only first year students

As of 2009, 95% of instiuttions offered an FYE to incoming students
By participating in an FYE, students are 13% more likely to return for their second year
Participation in FYEs and living on campus are the two best indicators of retention on US campuses
Faculty Influence on Retention ctd.
Faculty Influence on Retention
Faculties are under increasing pressure to support retention initiatives at their institutions
Strong teaching and bonds with faculty members can be one way to support retention within all academic programs
GRASP was established at New Mexico State University in an effort to promote faculty involvement in retention
(Gaining Retention and Achievement for Students Program)
GRASP is focused on continual faculty development, as many college faculty receive little to no teaching training
New initiatives made possible through GRASP change the social setting of the classroom, and in turn, promote better teaching habits
The core of GRASP is based on observation, feedback and successful implementation to better engage and excite students

NMSU launched a review of GRASP and made the following conclusions:

Faculty successful in retention:
Learn & use student's names in class
Promote engagement and interactive activities during class
Predict questions rather than asking class "Are there any questions?"
Involve students through problem solving
Freshman students increased, on average, by 5.6% points from pre to post GRASP, while sophomore students increased by 6.7% percentage points
The GRASP faculty survey indicated that faculty were impacted by the program techniques and understand the connection between GRASP and improving retention
Comparative Data
Key Elements of Successful Retention Programs
Asian students were most likely to be retained and to graduate
Native American students were the least likely to be retained and graduate
These figures are seemingly correlated; our responsibility as student affairs professionals now becomes focusing on what we do to improve retention rates in ethnic minorities to also impact graduation rates.
Retention vs. Graduation
Comparative Data: The Institutions
Jensen summarized the factors influence retention into three separate levels: individual, institutional and social/external. See the individual factors and examples here
A wide network of US institutions acknowledge and understand Jensen's retention factors
Chose to compare 3 institutions
1. American River College
2. Saint Xavier University
3. The University of Texas at San Antonio
These institutions offer a comprehensive view of retention efforts based on their varied student populations, institutional missions, geographic location and
Each institution will be reviewed according to Jensen
Home to the Beacon Program, a Peer Assistance Learning (PAL) program with the goal of enabling students to master course materials along with the skills necessary to improve academic success and retention
Current students are integrated into the program as learning assistants, and serve as mentors for first year students for 2 outside of class hours
Student leaders gain leadership experience and are paid $6 per hour for assistant duties
Faculty members also play a critical role in the program, meeting with students for 1 hour per week outside of class and self-identification of students excelling and struggling
Both current students and faculty members collaborate on interactive, application-based activities for the first year students
Institution 1: American River College
Institution 1: American River College
The Student Success Program (SSP) at St. Xavier is focused on providing services to academic/personal support for academically, financially or physically challenged at-risk students throughout their undergraduate experience
Students are supported through a team including counselors, advisers and faculty members that facilitate the college experience through academic advising, personal counseling, student advocacy and service-learning
20 Peer mentors also play a crucial role within SSP; meeting with participants weekly, providing personal guidance and referring students to on-campus services that will be beneficial
Four professional staff supervise the program; A director, an academic advisor, a personal counselor & a math specialist
SSP is supported through the Title IV TRiO grant funds
Institution 2: St. Xavier University
All incoming students are invite to apply for the program, but applicants are selected based on their demonstrated socioeconomic and academic needs along with a clear commitment to SSP's mission

Results from the SSP program:
Typically SSP and non-SSP students have comparable ACT scores, high school GPAs and semester course loads
However, SSP cohort persistence rates are 5.2% higher than those that are not part of the SSP program (58.9% compared to 53.7%
Minority students are more greatly affected by the SSP program, as the percentage difference between SSP and non-SSP students is larger than the general program figures
Institution 2: St. Xavier University
UT San Antonio utilizes the Risk Points Intervention Program (RPIP)
Interventional academic support is offered through RIPIP at five various, specified points of known academic risk during a first year, first time freshman's experience
New freshmen who are put on probation are required to enroll in the program (students earning D's or F's in their first semester)
All program students go through a midterm checking, an intervention for assessment of mid-term progress reports
During each intervention, students meeting one-on-one with an academic counselor to identify areas of difficulty and review their academic performance in relation to other life experiences
Strategic advising is a mandatory aspect of this program to help form long term plans for academic success
Institution 3: UT at San Antonio
RPIP Programs and Success:
Phoenix Program- Probation recover workshop for small groups of first-time freshmen with a GPA below 2.0
Work with other students and a counselor to create a highly structured academic plan to get students back on track
8 % to 12% lower dismissal rate compared to students who do not attend
Academic Development Programs (ADPs) at risk points
Risk Point One- Five week summer bridge program for admitted freshmen
One year retention rate of summer program participants is twice that of non-particiapnts
Risk Point Two- College success confernece during student's first year of program
Conference participants go on probation at a 7% to 15% lower rate than non participants
Conferences participants are dismissed at a 15% lower rate than non participants
Institution 3: UT at San Antonio
First Year Experiences
Five Components of Retention Framework
Early Intervention
Swail's Geometric Model
Early Retention Methods: Interventions
Group Three: Candace Ristow and Jenna Hilligoss
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