Student Retention is a trending topic of discussion amongst parents and teachers alike. Throughout my life first as a student and then as an educational enthusiast, I’ve often seen schools undermine the significance of student retention.
This ignorance is the gravest mistake you could ever make as an educator. If you want to boost the success rate of your institution, take a look at some of the ways mentioned in this article. But first, let’s briefly understand what student retention is and how is it important.
What is Student Retention?
Student retention is the rate at which a school or a college successfully retains its students till the end of the ongoing course. Studies have shown that many students across the U.S and U.K have been dropping out of schools and colleges at an alarming rate.
Thus, the need for a higher rate of student retention is imperative. The reasons for dropping out are plenty. This can range from ineffective teaching to high tuition. Let’s understand some of the ways through which student retention can be enhanced.
7 Effective Ways to Boost Student Retention
1) Establish a routine and a strict protocol
Believe it or not, we humans love the concept of daily routine. We like knowing what’s going to happen next, we like the element of predictability in our lives. The same is the case with students. If your university has established a daily routine that needs to be adhered to, your efforts towards boosting student retention cuts in half.
The predictability and the optimistic environment of the college are what make students enroll and remain there. Moreover, the students will also have room to unleash their true potential and develop themselves into successful people. All renowned universities have established a daily routine that is expected to be followed by every student and teacher.
2) Ask for feedback and install it:
Most teachers in our generation are almost afraid of hearing criticism about their instruction. Such educators have almost frightened the students to speak out their minds. If you are one such educator, stop right now! Abandon the attitude of “the teacher is always right”.
Ask your students for feedback. You can ask them frequently if the classes are helpful to them. Ask if your speed is fine or should you either slower or faster. Learn about the pace of your students and teach according to their needs, not yours. You could ask for anonymous feedback too. This will encourage students to give feedback without being frightened of a backlash. Once you receive feedback, implement those without being defensive.
3) Compulsory Attendance for 1st-year students:
At a glance, this rule may sound harsh or even a turn-off for students. But, the mere thought “I would have to attend the classes today, no matter what happens” in the minds of the students works like a charm.
The foremost benefit of this rule is that all the students will be one step ahead of the syllabus at all times. You wouldn’t have any student that’s lagging behind due to the compulsion of attending all the classes that are imposed on them. With all the students performing well in academics, student retention will shoot up to new heights.
4) Financial Packages for Economically backward people
Not all students can afford the fancy education offered by most universities. You could be doing everything right, however, if the tuition is enormously high, students would drop out in jiffies. Thus, establish packages for people who cannot afford exceptional education.
Furthermore, introduce various scholarship programs targeted specifically for people who cannot afford the tuition of your institute. This will allow economically weaker people to have a chance of getting a decent education. Additionally, the student retention of your university will also skyrocket.
5) Promote Extra-curricular Activities
Universities should be a lot more than books, studies, timetables, and syllabus. You cannot expect students to remain a part of your school if you have nothing to offer other than education. Many young people desire to engage in non-curricular or recreational activities as well.
This is why universities that have various clubs such as sports clubs, literary clubs, drama clubs, and dance clubs tend to have higher retention rates. The institution has to take responsibility of students for their holistic development not just academically. Thus, ensure that your university also lays significant emphasis on extra-curricular activities.
6) Provide online forums
With the rise of digitalization, students often spend more time on their phones than with their books. Rather than making a fuss about it, use the rising popularity of the internet to your advantage. By establishing online forums such as college apps and websites, encourage your students to share their doubts and feedback through the medium of the internet.
This initiative will have a twofold benefit. One, your students will become more participative now that they are not under heavy scrutiny while asking their questions. Two, the like-minded students could form study groups and help each other out throughout the remaining year.
7) Model Exams
Many students get frightened at the time of the exam and subsequently, decide to drop out of sheer anxiety. The purpose of model exams is to familiarize the students with the way the university conducts the exam. This ensures that the actual day of the exam does not invoke panic and anxiety in them.
Moreover, this method will also give the opportunity to the students to get acquainted with the pattern of the college exams pragmatically. There a massive difference in the way schools and colleges conduct exams. Letting the students know about the difference beforehand would boost the student retention of the institute manifold.
Conclusion | Student retention
Studies have shown that about 25% of college students drop out of university. The United States have a student retention rate of just 49% as compared to the staggeringly high rate of the UK which is at 71%. The latter’s rate is still less nonetheless. This is why boosting student retention is essential. This article expounded on 7 of the most effective ways through which you could boost the retention rate in your school.
- 1 What is Student Retention?
- 2 7 Effective Ways to Boost Student Retention
- 3 Conclusion | Student retention