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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

A leadership academy developed for students who are doing well academically at Thomas College helps ensure they also feel connected socially. This focus on low-risk students has resulted in greater retention rates over a three-year period.

For decades, colleges and universities have used big data to track high-risk students and intervene as needed. Now a growing number of institutions are using data tools to track and analyze another group: successful students.

Marc C. Whitt is director of development communications at the University of Kentucky

Congratulations, you’ve landed your first job as a college’s chief public relations and marketing officer. It’s a grand role loaded with ocean-size opportunities and responsibilities.

I got my first director’s position in 1988 when I joined the staff at Georgetown College in Kentucky. Up until then I had been a one-person shop.

John Gerdy is author of "Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment." He also served as an NCAA legislative assistant and associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.

Here’s a question every educational institution must consider. How do you continue to build and enhance the brand of an educational institution by focusing on an activity that scrambles kids’ brains?

Orientation and engagement activities introduced by Iowa Lakes Community College administrators have driven down the student loan default rate. President Valerie Newhouse says the two trends are intertwined.

Community college students who take out the smallest loans default at the highest rates, and many borrowers who get into trouble make no effort to fix their problems.

Those are two findings in a new report, “A Closer Look at the Trillion,” which calls for institutional and federal policy changes to help students and community colleges better manage debt.

An Association of American Universities study found that 12 percent of students across 27 universities had experienced sexual assault by force or incapacitation since enrollment, and that 17 percent of seniors had experienced this type of sexual assault while at college. Doctoral candidate and researcher Sara Carrigan Wooten says the report comes as no surprise.

Like it or not, we spend a lot of time on planes and in airports as we travel to campuses across the Nation and around the world. Over the 2015 summer session we sensed winds of change in the aeronautics industry – read as, devising new global security measures; retrofitting outdated air fleets; and creating safe and enjoyable air travel experiences.

Professional and continuing education students at Oregon State University can earn a digital badge for completing a course, workshop or certificate program.

More colleges and universities now offer digital badges as a form of micro-credential or “subdegree” to students who pass individual courses or certifications, and want to show potential employers what they’ve learned. The programs target professionals needing a skills boosts and hobbyists.

Brian E. Cartier is CEO of the National Association of College Stores, based in Oberlin, Ohio.

With student debt in the trillions and other economic concerns looming over families, college stores often bear the brunt of public anger over course material costs. But stores are working harder than ever to provide students with affordable options that will help them learn, succeed and get that coveted degree.

produced when colleges engage students, faculty and staff in the notion of vocational callings.

In the eyes of many, higher education has become an industry focused on a singular goal—career training—and college students these days forgo the big questions about who they are and how they can change the world. But sociology professor Tim Clydesdale says higher education can retain its deeper cultural role.

Fulfilling a connection need: Troy University’s Trojan Cafe (left) has had more than 19,000 users in the past year, and Northern Virginia Community College’s virtual student union (right), still in expansion mode, has had about 500 users so far.

For all the advantages of online learning—flexibility, personalization and affordability among them—there can be downsides for some students. Online students may feel isolated and disconnected from their peers and from their college or university—and risk losing the engagement so crucial to student success.

Thomas J. Botzman is president of Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

Decades ago, U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell eloquently stated: “The strength of the United States is not the gold in Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction we have, but the sum total of the education and character of our people.”

Community colleges have achieved the goal of providing broader and cheaper access to higher education. Now, experts and administrators say, the focus must turn more aggressively toward student success and completion.

In an era when prospective students and their parents can learn about hundreds of schools from the comfort of their homes, the in-person campus tour offers a golden opportunity to tip the scales in your favor. But too often, these tours follow the same staid formulas.

States not in compliance with The Choice Act risk losing GI Bill funding. (Click to enlarge)

States that have not offered veterans discounted tuition at public universities are now required by law to do so, reflecting the oft-nomadic lifestyle of vets and their need for greater access to higher education.

In-state tuition for this group, which includes 17 states and the District of Columbia, became nationally mandated on July 1, 2015, through a new provision of the GI Bill known as the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (since dubbed the “Choice Act”).

The intense focus on student success has generated unprecedented pressure for improved retention and completion at institutions across the country and around the globe. At the foundation of an effective student success strategy is harnessing the right technology resources to drive results and positive outcomes.

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