Graduation and Retention Committee
Annual Report, 2010-11
Membership: Robin Boyd, Elsa Bruguier, Susannah Chewning, Robert Comeau, Theresa Cosmas, Harold Damerow, Elise Donovan, Barbara Foley, Barbara Gaba, Nicholas Gilbert, Carol Greco, Doug Greenwood, Gail Hein, Sharon Johnson, Mary Beth Kelley, Marinna Kolaitis, Howard Krebs, Bohdan Lukaschewsky, Jerri Marsee (Chair), Linda Milteer, Howard Pomann, Patricia Rodihan, Arthur Rose, David Sheridan, Cherrell Smith, Wallace Smith
The committee met five times during the year in September, December, February, March, and May. Following is a summary of its activities and accomplishments.
A live online seminar—Drive Retention Performance Through a Comprehensive Plan—addressed retention challenges, do’s, and don’ts. Key points were:
· Retention is “the most important institutional function that lacks an organization home.” It’s “everybody’s—and nobody’s—responsibility”!
· Clear leadership and direction from the top is imperative.
· Every person working at Union County College impacts retention.
Pursuant to the seminar, the development of a retention plan was begun. Challenges along with possible actions were discussed. To identify successful retention activities that are already in place, representatives from the following groups described their strategies for assisting students:
· Conversation Groups
· PNU Online Activities
· Supplemental Instruction
· STEM Activities
· Center for Student Success
· Learning Communities
· Early Warning
· SGA Student-Focused Activities
The common thread among all of these groups is their development of “community.”
The culmination of committee activities was development of the Retention Project. Starting with an existing data collection prototype and incorporating Data Book statistics and recommendations of the Graduation and Retention Committee, the Data subcommittee developed and recommended and the Graduation and Retention Committee approved the project described below.
I. Identify 5-6 academic programs which will follow a cohort of students in their programs, including first-time, full-time students beginning fall 2011. Each program coordinator, along with department faculty, will track student progress in each semester to identify road blocks to student success and, in conjunction with counseling, develop intervention strategies to assist students to move toward graduation.
Target students in a particular program for faculty mentoring, counseling, and
intervention by providing program coordinators with the names of students in
each program divided into the following categories:
A. First-time, full-time students
B. Developmental or ESL courses
C. 0-15 credits
D. 16-30 credits
E. 31-45 credits (an emphasis could be placed on students with 30+ credits in each program)
F. 45 credits or more
III. To implement this project, a study will be conducted this summer to review the graduation data from fall 2006-2009 (or another three-year time period) for the programs in the project. In this study, information relevant to retention and graduation of students who were in the programs over the three years will be reviewed by faculty in their departments. This data will be used to develop course and program strategies for improving student success in the participating programs. The strategies, which begin at the course level, may be expanded to individualized counseling and engagement activities related to each academic program.
Finally, Susannah Chewning was elected as Committee Chairperson for 2011-2012.