Retaining Our Students

We’ve tabulate the results from the ticket out from Fall 2007 Convocation. The following list groups the various "Retaining Students" ideas into trends that Naomi Story identified. Please read through and consider responding to this post. Things to consider:

  • Which of these suggestions will you do? when? where? how?
  • Which of these suggestions have you done in the past? How did they play out?
  • What other categories do you see emerging in this list of suggestions?

Student Services/Support

  • Advise students to get advising or help when in academic trouble
  • Advised individual interviews with present students
  • Always going the extra mile for students
  • Being able to offer institutional funding to potential students in need to match or increase what university is offering
  • Correct advisement re: classes and transferability.
  • Employees need to be more knowledgeable about process
  • Encourage students to try other majors if science is not right
  • Explain the benefits of an AA degree, have faculty as advisors instead of those in the advising center
  • Focus on new students in a way to ensure their success, which will bring them back
  • Follow up calls to students
  • Get students involved with service and connect to more scholarships
  • Give individual students who are considering withdrawing from the class
  • Help students inside and outside classroom. Provide textbooks assistance to needy students. In the ad, say FREE PARKING
  • Improve internal customer service. Always keep the student in mind. It is not about numbers but about the student if we serve them well they will come back and stay
  • Keep students because we welcome them and make them feel more comfortable. Ease transition from HS and build in ownership – they can mentor next year
  • Keeping in touch with students individually through dedicated advisors. Via online, email, postcards
  • Know your students – provide student services information – all faculty need to know about services
  • Lessen degree of complication (obstacles) to knowing what classes they need.
  • Make students more active in the community here on campus give them more avenues to do so
  • Make sure they’re aware of other classes that may be of interest or transferable. Make sure they’re aware of college resources
  • More advice, counseling
  • Placing student at right locations
  • Proper placement
  • Provide best customer service to new students – encourage transfer students to keep using our services
  • Provide excellent service in the class and outside. Treat all students with respect. Learn students names
  • Provide more tutoring, more scholarships, more on-campus student jobs, more federal work study funding
  • Provide support and resources for students
  • Provide support for students struggling in their first few semester academically with tutoring
  • Real rigor-extended support efficiently start to finish – service staff
  • Re-entry students by clear, concise, and friendly instruction and assistance in research, library usage and overall ease of access. Always a friendly face and helping hand
  • Refer to counseling: those who are overwhelmed
  • Retain and value all students
  • Retain students
  • scholarships for developmental classes
  • Send reminders to register. Make time, places and reasons for instructors to interact with students outside of class
  • Service, smile – say “no”
  • Student services – alumni involvement
  • Students need to be taught the benefits of graduating with as AA degree. Students need academic advisors trained on their program. Some dept. have them, but the word needs to get out
  • Support the students.
  • Take time to look at, smile, engage with students on campus, make them feel welcome
  • Train students to be visionary of the future
  • Tutoring, identifying students in need, contacts?
  • We need to look for ways to help all students
  • Work more with students who struggle academically
  • Work with the recruiters to speak with student about mcc


  • Assess student ability for student to complete program of study
  • Fair assessment techniques, early intervention for those students who are struggling, increased number of partnerships specific to MCC to ensure a steady stream of motivated students

Program Development

  • Develop a personal relationship through mentoring
  • Mentor program, offer/require freshman seminar course
  • Require/encourage at risk students to participate in 1 student life program

Attitude Change

  • Be available to students, make students feel that they do make a difference in the society where they live
  • Flu- system to flu above steps to minimize or prevent losing touch or track of students. Make no assumptions about students – find out!
  • Get to know students as individuals, valued.
  • Partners don’t refuse to accept transfer credits!
  • Recognize achievement, stimulate/encourage
  • Red herring. Many students only intend to take one or two classes here
  • Respect/success they’ll come back for more
  • Teach to the souls, speak to the soul, and nurture the soul. It is the core of life an the world
  • To transform the physical and virtual library to be a hub, an intuitive place to find information, a place where students feel comfortable hanging out and studying


  • Seamless service from the personal to the realm of technology

Faculty – Student Interaction

  • Be available for student interactions. Be visible to support and encourage each student for which I have contact
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Be sensitive and observant. If a student seems overwhelmed or lost, I can offer assistance, empathy and when appropriate, a referral. I also try to get to know regular library users by name
  • Begin with a smile. The initial contact is critical. Faculty can assist by acknowledging the importance of student attendance
  • Call no-shows after 2 consecutive missed classes
  • Call them on the phone when they are absent. Choose a different student every class to have a personal conversation with
  • Communication with students – continually
  • Communication with students. Always make them feel like they can be successful
  • Develop relationships/ show genuine interest in my students
  • Encourage students from day one that they can be successful in achieving their academic goals
  • Encourage the students to be the best you can be
  • Follow up with students/programs. See how they are doing, make personal contacts
  • Get to know their learning styles and preferences for learning individually
  • Give more support to my students besides my help also form study groups that can support its members
  • Have students in entry classes discover their learning style – set them up to succeed
  • Improve feedback
  • Interact , go the extra mile
  • Link the students to the campus beyond the classroom
  • Listen to students talk in class, ask what they want
  • Maintain our policy of having at risk students to meet individually with the instructors
  • Meet with each student individually to discuss their continuance at Mesa
  • Meet with students independently the first week of class – individual attention
  • More personal interaction with students – create community with students, staff and faculty
  • Personal advisement for students interested in my guild/discipline. Value students time
  • Plenty of positive feedback availability to academically help all students
  • Remain available to students so students feel comfortable asking for help
  • Retain the students in my classes by staying in touch and offering whatever might help
  • Seek opportunities. Ask student if I can follow up with them personally after complete their research to help with citation to evaluate sources identified
  • Show we care! Be available for students
  • Stress the importance of education and where the students can go with the two years they get from us
  • Student study skills/success course. Supportive faculty; support resources (training, counseling, advisement) modern registrations processes and advisement (internet)
  • Successful attainment of high expectations allows students to hunger for more
  • Teach more, help student, be available to reach/help students
  • To make time for every student
  • Value students time

Faculty Development

  • Create scheduling and encourage training for instructors especially adjuncts to assist students with time management in relationship to their studies coordinating with their lives

Improve Teaching & Learning

  • Be real
  • Follow up with my support of their progress
  • Give them more resources to be successful in class – i.e.; online
  • Learning communities, for some target groups,
  • Make the learning experience positive – be accessible and supportive
  • Peer tutoring in more diverse fields
  • Positive feedback needs to be reinforced and negative feedback needs to be addressed and dealt with
  • Provide activities and challenges specific to student needs
  • Remaining consistent in my endeavors to provide the best learning experience for students
  • Restructuring pedagogical systems and approaches to assessment
  • Supply interactive, randomly generated practice problems online, as well as post all examples and exam solutions online


  • Change requirements for nursing admission to include grades
  • Communicate math issue (exodus) of honors to CGCC for math. Try not to cancel classes
  • Continually communicate program information
  • Continue to improve class content and programs to keep them relevant to the technical workplaces in the east valley
  • I always speak of our AA degree programs as a stepping stone. I obtained my AA first and I truly believe that starting at MCC is the logical step for success
  • Look at remediation avenues
  • More self paced choices
  • Unique programs that transcend offerings at the university (creative niches).

Systemic Change

  • A place for different groups of students (international, multicultural) where they can interact
  • Can we come across as less greedy? Our refund policies are somewhat harsh. We also don’t seem to do a good job getting students to come to campus every day
  • Consistent high quality classes at free convenient times, small class size, parking, awards of completion
  • Counselors in to visit with o82 and o92 levels
  • Don’t create classes so big, you have no relationship with students. Create a form to ID students who are struggling and sent to counseling for follow up
  • Fix parking! Make it easier to sign up for classes, especially returning students! Fix advisement
  • Help develop a MCC early alert program
  • Learning communities, connectivity spaces in buildings with classrooms not just KSC
  • Specific meeting times and dates for at risk students
  • Up personal touch with smaller classes (human interest) beyond just academic


  • Collaborate
  • Do more so what students feel a sense of community
  • Teamwork

Public Relations

  • Publish on the website our success stories in order to inspire students
  • Retain! Big campaign is needed, huge gain from his cohort

Institutional Research

  • Meet anyone who drops out and have a personal interview to find out why and what we can do to help them continue
  • Track students through the systems and contact them if they don’t re-enroll
  • Use empirical data to intervene.

One Comment

  1. Susan Crawford PhD says:

    If we truly want to retain students in MCC Internet classes, then we must make having an MCC email address a prerequisite to enrolling in such classes. Fall 08 starts in one week and TEN out of 25 students in my fall class do not have MCC email addresses. Five of them also have “Phone number not given.” I will attempt to call the other five, but many people now have a block on calls from numbers they do not know. Distance learning used to send post cards to Internet students explaining how to get started in these classes, but it is my understanding they no longer do this. I send instructions to the MCC email addresses on how to start the class, but you obviously need an email address to recieve the message. Most of these students end up dropping the class since they cannot figure out how to get started.
    Regards, Susan Crawford PhD

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