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Articles: Student Success

“In the beginning, I was focused on developing systems and processes. Now, I see that role becoming more of a mentor and facilitator of performance improvement.”

Brandon Stokes is director of retention and student success at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

When the national averages for freshman retention rates at public schools sits around 64 percent and private schools hover around 70 percent, there’s clearly room for improvement in ensuring students return to campus the following fall.

Here are seven things higher ed search leaders and administrators believe campus administrators must do in the coming year to get the job done.

COURSE CATALOG—Nursing programs at the University of Saint Francis should get more notice now that the school has joined Credential Engine, which is developing a searchable database designed to contain all credentials offered in U.S. The service also will help students plot degree paths through higher ed.

The development of career-oriented academic programs will, in the coming years, increasingly rely on collaboration between institutions and industry.

“No margin, no mission!” is how one respondent to UB’s 2018 Outlook survey of campus leaders described the high stakes involved in raising more tuition revenue, non-tuition revenue and fundraising dollars in 2018.

We asked: What are your predictions, hopes and concerns for 2018? Administrators and experts who have recently contributed to UB answered.

There are efforts underway to position colleges and universities to recognize “prior learning” in ways that go beyond today’s standard approaches.

Melissa Vito is the senior vice president for student affairs, enrollment management and strategic initiatives at the University of Arizona. 

What do successful models of career services look like? Here’s what I’ve learned at The University of Arizona.

What are key considerations for administrators when deciding whether to provide more single dorm rooms on campus?”

“Most freshman are in a fragile state during their first year and placing them in a single room can increase the feeling of isolation, leading to lower retention rates. They often need a ready-made roommate/buddy that can help ease the transition.

“However, on the other end of the spectrum, upper-level students often are looking for options to live on campus, but in their own controlled apartment-like environment.

Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., is president of Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa.

Increasingly, higher education is taking a larger role in providing opportunities for our veterans.

Attention to underserved students may be well spent on single mothers, a growing demographic on campus.

Martin Pritikin is the dean of Concord Law School at Kaplan University, the nation’s first fully online law school. He can be reached at martin.pritikin@kaplan.edu.

The high cost of legal education drives up the cost of legal services, and both law schools and law firms are typically concentrated in pricier metropolitan areas. Fortunately, readily available technology can address both problems.

Officials at Webster University in Missouri noticed a number of graduate students had stopped registering for classes. Recognizing they did not have the staff resources to provide intensive support, they formed a pilot with InsideTrack, a company that partners with colleges to create adaptive coaching options.

Launched in fall 2017, the pilot included 511 students (including 101 online-only students) who receive specialized coaching.

An emerging area involves ensuring students who have returned after being dismissed for poor academic performance stay on track to completion.

Nido Qubein is president of High Point University in North Carolina.

Instead of hoping that mentorship happens, we have to help both students and our colleagues understand the fundamentals of making these connections.

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