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Summer 2015

Actionable Intelligence

When the governor says his goal is to graduate 250,000 more students by 2020 and that your university needs to play a major role, any higher ed leader would sit up and take notice. As part of the statewide Complete College Georgia program, Valdosta State University committed to improving its own retention rate, which was 66 percent in 2011.

Passport to Success

Despite a number of initiatives to improve retention rates at Culver-Stockton College, the Missouri school found itself underperforming in comparison to other institutions. Administrators, recognizing the need to try something new, focused specifically on freshman-to-sophomore retention.

Scholarship Universe

The financial crash of 2008 gave Arizona’s college students a one-two punch. First, the state’s financial support dropped the furthest in the country. Second, scholarship dollars grew scarcer as donors had less to give.

Sam Houston Establishing Leadership In and Through Education

When Miguel Arellano Arriaga talks about Sam Houston’s Establishing Leadership In and Through Education program, his perspective is multifaceted. Arellano Arriaga, the coordinator of “SH ELITE” at the Texas university, also went through the program as an undergraduate at Sam Houston.

“It definitely was eye-opening,” he says. “They talk to you about college in high school and they tell you a little bit about what it’s going to be about, but you really don’t know until you get here.”

Drop Rate Improvement Program

Many initiatives targeted at reducing student dropout rates look at factors such as ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic status to explain academic underperformance—and then the institution develops programs to help boost graduation rates within the at-risk categories.

Coyote First STEP

With just 1,400 beds serving a student population of 19,000, California State University, San Bernardino, is the classic commuter campus. As part of a transition to a stronger on-campus student experience, officials have launched a residential-life initiative to provide math preparation and engage students in campus life before they even begin taking classes.