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Back to the Basics? Research-based strategies for college student success

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  1. Back to the Basics?Research-based strategies for college student success Everything I know about college student retention, I learned in 1980 Dr. Wes Habley hableyw@gmail.com

  2. Back to the Basics

  3. Lumina Foundation Goal • Increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. (166,000/year) • Current level: 39.9% • Higher education attainment rates among adults, first-generation, low-income and students of color are significantly lower than those of other students • Fastest growing segments of the US population are those least likely to complete high school, enroll in college and earn certificates or degrees. Back to the Basics

  4. President Obama 2020 Goal • U.S. will return to first in the world in the proportion of 25-34 year-olds with some form of postsecondary education • Requires H.S. graduation rate of 90% (current rate is 74.9%) • We must double current undergraduate enrollment • 8 million more individuals must complete postsecondary education Back to the Basics

  5. Global Competitiveness? • 23rd of 35 countries on high school enrollment of 15-19 year-olds • 20th of 28 countries on high school completion rate • 10th of 32 countries on B.A. enrollment rate • 12th of 36 countries in degree attainment of 25-34 year-olds Back to the Basics

  6. Topics • Overview of WWISR surveys • Attrition Factors • Retention Interventions • Retention and Degree Completion Rates • Educational Attainment Rates • Expanding the Retention Paradigm Back to the Basics

  7. Back to the Basics

  8. Section 1: What Do We Know About Retention and Persistence to Degree? • Section 2: The Case for Intensified Campus Efforts • Section 3: Core Components of Student Success Back to the Basics

  9. ACHIEVEMENT SUCCESS BEHAVIOR GOALS Back to the Basics

  10. What Works in Student Retention • Beal and Noel (1980) • Collaboration with NCHEMS • 40.2% response rate • Cowart (1987) • Collaboration with AASCU • 51.7% response rate • Habley & McClanahan (2004) • 35.4% response rate • Habley, McClanahan, Valiga, & Burkum (2010) • 34.5% response rate Back to the Basics

  11. Highest Rated Dropout Characteristics (1980-87) • Low academic achievement • Limited educational aspirations • Indecision about a major/career goal • Inadequate financial resources

  12. Greatest Impact on Attrition (2004-10) NO CHANGE Back to the Basics

  13. If students…… ….had better academic preparation ….had better study skills ….were more committed to earning a degree ….were more certain about a program of study ….were more motivated to learn ….had better financial support ….had better support from significant others Back to the Basics

  14. There would be no attrition problem

  15. Least Impact on Attrition (2004-10) NO CHANGE Back to the Basics

  16. Why do we have a problem? We have….. a beautiful campus great facilities a rich set of co-curricular experiences excellent academic programs an outstanding faculty Back to the Basics

  17. The problem must be that we have the…. WRONG STUDENTS Back to the Basics

  18. John Gardner comments…. It is disturbing to note….that in spite of all we know about student retention that institutions are still inclined to hold students responsible for their retention/attrition while dramatically minimizing the institutional role in student retention. Back to the Basics

  19. What do we know about academic performance? Back to the Basics

  20. Academic Performance • Global competitiveness is on the decline • High school grades are on the rise • Dual enrollment is on the rise • Advanced placement is on the rise • Assessment results are stagnant • NAEP Pipeline scores • ACT college readiness pipeline scores

  21. 2013 College Readiness Benchmarks ACT College Readiness benchmarks Score needed on an ACT subject area test for a:50% chance of a B or higher OR A 75% chance ofa C or higher IN THE corresponding credit-bearing college course Back to the Basics

  22. 2013 College Readiness Benchmarks 26% of ACT-tested 2013 high school graduates met all four benchmarks Back to the Basics

  23. What do we know about retention and persistence to degree rates? Back to the Basics

  24. Retention Trends 1983-2013Freshman-Sophomore Year NO CHANGE Back to the Basics

  25. Completion Trends 1983-2013 Two-year Colleges – Graduation in 3 years or less NO CHANGE Back to the Basics

  26. Completion Trends 1983-2013Four-year Colleges – Graduation in 5 years or less NO CHANGE Back to the Basics

  27. College Participation/Attainment Back to the Basics U.S. Census, 2010: population 18 years or older

  28. College Participation/Attainment Back to the Basics U.S. Census, 2010: population 18 years or older

  29. College Participation/Attainment Back to the Basics U.S. Census, 2010: population 18 years or older

  30. College Participation/Attainment NO CHANGE Back to the Basics U.S. Census, 2010: population 18 years or older

  31. After 40 Years….. • Attrition Factors – No Change • Retention Interventions – No Change • Retention and Persistence to Degree Rates – No Change • U.S. Educational Attainment – No Change • The fastest growing demographic groups include those least likely to succeed in the educational system Back to the Basics

  32. Asian/American Caucasian 3 Asian/American Caucasian 1 Hispanic/American 3 Caucasian Hispanic/American 2 Caucasian 1 Asian American African/American 1 African/Hispanic/ Caucasian 1American African/Caucasian/ Asian American 2American This is about all of America’s children

  33. These are America’s kids

  34. Lumina Foundation Goal? Obama Goal? Back to the Basics

  35. Section 1: What Do We Know About Retention and Persistence to Degree? • Section 2: The Case for Intensified Campus Efforts • Section 3: Core Components of Student Success • Section 4: Proven Student Success Practices Back to the Basics

  36. Retention Interventions • All four surveys…… • Entry level course placement • Appropriate learning support/developmental education • Academic Advising • First year transition programs Back to the Basics

  37. ACHIEVEMENT SUCCESS BEHAVIOR GOALS Back to the Basics

  38. Indirect v. Direct Relationships MEDIATOR INDIRECT EFFECT INDIRECT EFFECT FACTOR OUTCOME DIRECT EFFECT Back to the Basics

  39. Indirect v. Direct Relationships MEDIATOR High Quality Course Placement Learning Support Academic Advising Transition Programs INDIRECT EFFECT INDIRECT EFFECT FACTOR OUTCOME SATISFACTION PERSISTENCE RELATIONSHIP DIRECT EFFECT Back to the Basics

  40. High Quality Course Placement “Optimal placement results when students begin with the course for which all important learning outcomes have been satisfied and few important course outcomes have been mastered.” D.R. Whitney (1989) Back to the Basics

  41. Course Placement in WWISR • Academic preparation was consistently rated as a major cause of student attrition • Mandatory placement testing rated in the top five retention strategies across all institutional types • The use of placement diagnostics was a differentiator between high retention campuses and low retention campuses

  42. Course Placement Imperatives • Required of all students • Selection of an assessment instrument • Validity • Reliability • Curricular alignment • Costs • Availability of diagnostics Back to the Basics

  43. Course Placement Imperatives Multiple sources of information • Test scores are but one element in the decision • Previous academic performance • Educational program/Career Choice • Psycho-social measures • Student prerogative • Intervening life experiences Decisions derived through dialog with an advisor Back to the Basics

  44. High quality learning support Learning support fills the gaps between the learning outcomes that students can demonstrate and those that are necessary to begin and succeed in a particular course Whitney - extended

  45. Learning Support in WWISR • Remedial/Developmental Coursework (required) Back to the Basics

  46. Developmental Education Courses • Percentage of colleges offering developmental education • Two-year Colleges 99% • Four-year Public Colleges 88% • Four-year Private Colleges 68% Back to the Basics

  47. Remediation WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY ENROLL? Percentage of community college students taking at least one remedial course 45% Percentage of four-year college students taking at least one remedial course 27% Source: National Center for Education Statistics

  48. Remediation Annual estimated cost of college remediation in the United States $5,600,000,000,000 $5.6 Billion Source: Alliance for Excellent Education

  49. Developmental Education Courses • Percentage of colleges offering developmental education • Two-year Colleges 99% • Four-year Public Colleges 88% • Four-year Private Colleges 68% We are teaching high school courses to college students We are teaching college courses to high school students Back to the Basics