Every year, colleges and universities around the world face the same challenge of trying to increase their retention rates. This is particularly important for first-year students since research shows that they are more likely to drop out of college if they get discouraged.
With so many factors working against institutions of higher learning, like rising tuitions, increasing competition, and a struggling job market, it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep students enrolled. Fortunately, there are several tried and tested methods for improving retention rates. By utilizing some or all of these methods, every institution can improve its success rate and help more students. Let’s find out what they are!
Improve Orientation Programs
Ensuring a smooth transition into university life may be one of the best solutions for universities that wonder how to increase student retention. This means providing well-organized and informative orientation programs that offer information about campus resources, academic expectations, and social activities. By orienting students early on and making them feel welcome, you’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll stay enrolled at your university.
Technology, Technology, Technology
Modern-day students have grown in a completely different world than today’s university staff know. The crucial thing that makes all the difference between college greenhorns and faculty is technology.
Only a decade ago, books and other learning materials were still widely used for education, and students were frequent visitors to university buildings. Even though computers and mobile phones made their mark on society, they weren’t as widely utilized as they are today.
As tech became a prevalent part of our lives, children started to grow with it and adopt it as the main way of functioning on all levels. This made universities keep up with tech-savvy generations and create campus apps and sites to connect with students. A college that offers a native mobile app, such as CampusM, is proven to have higher retention rates by easing the transition into a new environment.
Advanced technology enables universities and colleges to introduce more streamlined communication between students and professors. Students should not hesitate to approach professors whenever they need help.
Regular office hours are sometimes not enough, and technology can help here. For instance, reaching out to professors by sending emails or contacting them via a campus app should be a daily practice. Building a more efficient bridge between students and faculty members will help them feel more connected to their education and less likely to drop out.
Enhance Teaching Methods
A great way to increase student retention is to enhance teaching methods. This means making sure lectures are engaging and interactive, utilizing technology in the classroom, fostering a collaborative learning environment, and using real-world examples.
When students actively engage in their learning and feel like they’re getting something out of it, they’re more likely to stick around. Once again, technology has its advantages, and this article nicely explains how it can be used to keep students interested.
Promote a Sense of Belonging
A big reason why students drop out of university is a lack of belonging. They may feel like they don’t fit in or are not part of the community. To combat this, universities should promote a sense of belonging by organizing social activities, supporting student clubs and organizations, providing opportunities for students to get involved on campus, or simply encouraging people to interact more.
Increasing student retention is a top priority for universities worldwide, and this article provided some of the best strategies to make this happen. Implementing at least one can do wonders for higher retention rates, while combining a few will most likely make any university a place where students want to stay and succeed.