August 23rd, 2010 15:09 EST
Hey, Colleges! Why Can't You Increase Your Student Retention? It's Easy!
Colleges: Why Haven`t You Increased Your Student Retention?
President Obama`s community college plan is to put $12 billion into community colleges with an expectation of adding five million new graduates by 2020. Higher education executives aren`t really sure what to do. Some may even be fearful of possibly losing their jobs.
According to the American Association of Community Colleges and the Department of Education, the dropout rate among community college students is nearly 50 percent. (And by the time you read this article, it may be closer to 55 - 60 percent.) That`s sad! But why does this continue decade after decade after decade without the result being increased retention? Apparently what`s been done in the past simply isn`t working.
As with most students who struggle with academics due to reasons such as not being fully prepared to handle the rigors of college work or the demands of schoolwork complied with jobs to pay their bills and or family pressures, many dropout. For years, academia has tried to figure out how to keep these students in school to complete their education, thus Building the Foundation for a Successful Future. Yet, the dropout rate, for the most part, remains far higher than desired.
Schools advertise through a variety of mediums " television, radio, print ads and billboards in an attempt to increase the student body (bringing in new students is their idea of increasing revenue). What actually needs to be done is to increase the student retention (with your current student body). If you retain those bordering on dropping out, you WILL increase retention and therefore, increase your revenue, and save on your advertising budget. Instead of trying to add new water in a leaky tank, just fix the leak. BUT HOW!?! Well "
Here`s a quick-N-dirty number to make my point: For argument sake, let`s say tuition costs a student $2,000.00 per academic year (and do not forget books, parking permits, health fees, etc.) and you have, on average, 3,000 dropout every year. That`s $600,000.00 in lost revenue.
Most, if not all, community colleges in America have a Student Retention Department who tracks, or should track, potential dropout due to poor attendance and or grades. If you had 2/3 (2,000) of the 3,000 potential dropouts in an auditorium for my interactive motivational lectures, I guarantee I WILL save 90 percent (1,800) of those students. That`s a $360,000.00 revenue increase.
Folks, this isn`t rocket science. With me, it`s simply common sense.
By Professor Glenn Brandon Burke