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What works? Student Retention and Success Dr Helen May Professor Liz Thomas . Presentation Overview . Overview of projects and key findings Emerging theoretical model Common outcomes and emerging core principles of effective practice Conclusions Next Steps. Projects Overview.
What works? Student Retention and SuccessDr Helen May Professor Liz Thomas
Presentation Overview • Overview of projects and key findings • Emerging theoretical model • Common outcomes and emerging core principles of effective practice • Conclusions • Next Steps
Pathways to success: The value of peer mentoring in enhancing student transition to university • Universities of Aston, Bangor, Liverpool Hope, London Metropolitan, Oxford Brookes, Sheffield, York University Canada and Oslo University College, Norway. • Focus/hypothesis: Peer mentoring improves social and academic belonging (for mentors and mentees), which improves retention, progression and achievement. • Findings: Mentoring creates positive impacts (greater for mentors) particularly in relation to learning experience and inter-personal relations. • Evaluation of different forms of peer mentoring.
HERE – Higher Education Retention and Engagement • Universities of Nottingham Trent, Bournemouth and Bradford • Focus: Student doubters who stay in HE and programmes with excellent rates of retention. • Findings: Students consider leaving for course related reasons. Students stay for more mixed reasons: support from friends and family, future goals or employment aspirations, personal determination or other characteristics, adapting to course/university and lack of other options. What makes people doubt is not the same what makes them want to stay. • Evaluation of transition, social support and developing opportunities to feel confident early in the course.
A comparative evaluation of the roles of student advisor and personal tutor Anglia Ruskin University and two FE partners • Focus: Where students prefer to seek help from for different issues. • Findings: Study concerns - personal tutors (60%) and other university services; feeling low - family and friends (81%); thinking about leaving HE - friends and family (46%), personal tutor (43%) and student advisors (40%). • Evaluation of the relationships with and roles of personal tutors and student advisors. Are friends and families equipped to adequately support students?
An examination of the effects of student integration on non-completion • Universities of Sunderland, Hull and Newcastle • Focus: The effects of student integration on non-completion, particularly in relation to mature and/or part-time learners, engineering students and local, stay at home students. • Findings: Local students have achievement but not affiliation orientation. Focus on academic studies but look elsewhere for social and pastoral support. Need to promote integration via the academic experience. • Evaluation of integrated orientation, structured and engaging personal tutoring and small groups.
Comparing and evaluating the impact of study advice and personal development on student retention • Universities of Reading and Oxford Brookes • Focus: to compare and evaluate the impact of academic and pastoral support systems based centrally (optional) or within the discipline (interventionist). • Findings: Monitoring of student engagement (attendance and marks) has an impact upon retention rates. Prior qualifications (in science) has been a successful indicator for identifying students ‘at risk’. Importance of proactive role of personal tutors and other staff to signpost support. • Evaluation of role of study skills support/advice and personal tutor and of interventionist /optional services.
Dispositions to Stay: the support and evaluation of retention strategies using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory • Universities of Northumbria, Bedfordshire, Manchester with Bristol and Glyndwr. • Focus: Using ELLI as a diagnostic tool, to identify whether particular learning dispositions place students at risk of withdrawing. • Findings: Positive correlations found between 1st year student marks and dispositions of ‘strategic awareness’, ‘critical curiosity’ and ‘changing and learning’. Few significant differences found between social groups, although some gender, subject, social class, international differences. • Evaluation of the relationship between learning dispositions and success and of the ELLI tool.
Belonging and intimacy factors in the retention of students • University of Leicester • Focus: evaluating the importance of a students’ sense of integration. • Findings: have found combination of social, academic and environmental (facilities, accommodation) factors contribute to sense of belonging. Importance of personal and academic relationships and facilities/events. • Evaluation of the factors that contribute to students’ integration and belonging.
Key principles underpin everyday practices and interventions Organisational system Academic system Social system Student relations, Student engagement & belonging Professional services system dispositions & capacities “What students do during college counts more for what they learn and whether they will persist in college than who they are or even where they go to college.” (Kuh et al 2005, p. 8)
Conclusions • Engage students across the lifecycle • Work across different institutional systems • Ensure everyday practices and retention interventions are informed by core principles • Recognise the importance of peer /staff relationships • Co-ordinate the student learning experience • Promote a shared responsibility for retention • Be proactive to engage all students.
Next steps • Ongoing analysis of project findings • Develop practical outputs for the sector • Dissemination • Seminar series • Briefing papers • Conferences • Community of interest • Final conference planned in 2012.
For further information, please contact:Dr Helen May firstname.lastname@example.orgProfessor Liz Thomaslthomas@phf.org.uk