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The Faculty Role in Student Retention. By Larry G. Edwards OSU-Oklahoma City. Soc Joc: The Early Years/RR& I. Ray, Me the Fliers and the Dogs The 60% Solution. Alibis for Poor Retention & The Integrity Trap. I obviously have high standards; hardly anyone passes my courses.

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The Faculty Role in Student Retention

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the faculty role in student retention

The Faculty Role in Student Retention


Larry G. Edwards

OSU-Oklahoma City

soc joc the early years rr i
Soc Joc: The Early Years/RR& I
  • Ray, Me the Fliers and the Dogs
  • The 60% Solution
alibis for poor retention the integrity trap
Alibis for Poor Retention & The Integrity Trap
  • I obviously have high standards; hardly anyone passes my courses.
  • S/he is just a popularizer, not a real scholar.
  • An inverse ratio between winning teaching awards and tenure?
  • “My colleagues use teaching as an excuse not to do research and research as an excuse not to teach.”
encourage faculty to measure success not failure
Encourage Faculty to MeasureSuccess, not Failure
  • Help Faculty to:
    • Take pride in
      • How many students meet their standards no matter how high they are, not how many fail
      • Fact each individual student received grade s/he earned
    • Recognize uniqueness of
      • Each class
      • Each student
    • Resist the temptation to force grades into a “bell shaped” curve or other preconception about grade distributions (danger of self-fulfilling prophecies)
retention vs integrity a tradeoff
Retention vs. Integrity: A Tradeoff ?
  • Retention involves
    • Clear standards/objectives
    • Assisting students
  • Academic Integrity involves
    • Measuring only academic performance
faculty influence retention and more
Faculty Influence Retention and More
  • Faculty Interaction w/Students:
    • Key to Retention
    • Especially in Car-Class-Car
    • Program Viability & Faculty
      • Mechanistic Model
      • Organic Model
the middle margin
The “Middle Margin”
  • Some students will
    • Succeed no matter how lousy the course/instructor may be
    • Fail no matter how great the course/instructor may be
  • Most students’ success will be influenced by
    • Their interaction with the instructor
    • The instructor’s course design
    • The support offered or referred by the instructor
    • And—number one with a bullet—the willingness of the instructor to reach out to students in trouble
the syllabus as a learning contract
The Syllabus as a Learning Contract
  • A “Meeting of the Minds” About the Course
  • Good contracts Are
    • Specific
    • Detailed
    • Clear about the Expectations for Both Parties
  • By Being Specific About Attendance, Grading, Schedules, etc.,
    • Takes the Mystery Out of the Course
    • Encourages Better Compliance with Course Rules
  • The “Reification” Caveat (Six Absences = “F”)
80 of life is showing up woody allen
“80% of Life is Showing Up.” Woody Allen
  • High Correlation Between Attendance and Success
  • Create Incentives for Students Who come to Class
    • Pop Quizzes for Extra Credit
    • Study Groups
    • Group Projects
    • Grades Based on Participation
    • Guest Speakers
    • Review Sessions
    • Whatever It Takes (Mary Ann’s Comment/My Response)
  • Academic Integration = Success & Retention
get students involved outside of class
Get Students Involved Outside of Class
  • Faculty Role in Social/Campus Integration
    • Set Example by
      • Sponsoring Student Clubs/Activities
      • Attending Student Activities
    • Make Announcements about
      • Jobs on Campus
      • Scholarships
      • Activities
      • Sports Events
      • Student Government & Clubs
encourage faculty to develop course objectives
Encourage Faculty to Develop Course Objectives
  • Course Objectives (Soc Joc Redux)
    • Specify Skills/Knowledge Students Must Master
    • Help Students Set Priorities/Emphases for Study
    • Help Faculty Organize Courses in Logical Sequence
    • Ensure Course Exit/Entrance Objectives Match
    • Build Sequence to Overall Program Objectives
    • Provide Benchmarks for Assessment of Learning
needless repetitious redundancy
Needless Repetitious Redundancy?
  • Students Are Often Confused/Anxious
    • Discuss/Review/Quiz Over Syllabus & Class Rules
    • Provide Students with Multiple Sources of Information (Actually Talk About Text?)
    • Repeat/Review & Reinforce Important Points
    • Ask Student(s) to Recite/Write Most Important Points Covered in Class
  • Skills/Knowledge Develop Through Practice
    • Give Students Chance to Build Confidence Through Practice & Skill Building
three tries the olympic standard
Three Tries: The Olympic Standard?
  • Multiple Opportunities to Demonstrate Enhance Student Success/Retention
  • Fewer Opportunities to Demonstrate Success Increase Chances Non-Academic Factors and/or Learning Styles Limit/Inhibit Student Success
  • Allow for
    • Multiple Exams Over Limited Portions of Materials
    • Retesting (when appropriate)
    • Extra Credit
    • Drop a Grade
a retention oriented faculty
A Retention Oriented Faculty
  • Shows Enthusiasm: If Faculty Don’t Care, Neither Will Students
  • Is Conscious Of His or Her Influence Over Students: Being Curt, Not Returning Calls, etc., Devalues Students
  • Focuses on Learning, Not the Lesson Plan: Wants Discussions, Questions, Interruptions, etc., during Class
  • Is Flexible:Class rules Are Parameters, but No Substitute for Professional Judgment
a retention oriented faculty cont d
A Retention Oriented Faculty (cont’d)
  • Shares Tips for Academic Success: Faculty Were Successful Students & Know Their Own Courses . Who Better to Offer Tips to Students?
  • Is Wary of Unintended Consequences: Can’t Always Know How Students Will React. Don’t Make Assumptions About Student Reactions.
  • Constantly Tweaks His or Her Courses: Continuously Looking for Ways to Improve Them.
  • Reaches Out to Students: Again and Again!