When it comes to student success and retention, it really does take a commitment from everyone to help our students to be academically successful and make connections. While it is up to the student to "want" to be here, there is a lot that we as faculty, staff, administrators, families, friends, and peer students can do to encourage students to stay. With this being said, the more that we can do to help students make positive connections to various people and resources here at UCCS and in the community, the more likely they will want to be here. Also, the more academically successful a student is, the more likely they will want to be here. Retention doesn't have to be hard work, it's oftentimes the little things that we do, that make the biggest difference to our students.
Here is a list of what we can do, as a community of scholars, to help retain our students:
- Maintain high standards/expectations in the classroom. Retention is not about lowering standards, it's about helping our students to reach their full potential.
- Challenge your students, but also provide adequate support. Students are more likely to reach their full potential when they are challenged, but if the challenge is initially too much for them, they may need some additional support to help them progress toward their goals.
- Hold students accountable. Recognize when students are missing class or not participating and help them to realize the impact this can have on their ability to do well academically.
- Participate in Early Alert. If you teach a 1000 or 2000 level class, please login to Early Alert whenever you are concerned about a student so that we can partner to help them get back on track. Inform students, in your syllabus, that you participate in this program.
- Provide consistent feedback. Students are more likely to be successful when they are receiving consistent and timely feedback. This helps them identify where they need to improve and what they are doing well.
- Encourage your students to utilize campus resources. Student who utilize campus resources (i.e. Excel Centers) typically earn higher grades.
- Help your students to see the big picture. Help students to bridge what they are learning in the classroom to their everyday out-of-class experiences.
- Get to know your students by their first names. By getting to know students, they are more likely to seek out advice or help when they need it.
- Follow-up with students regularly. Check in with students who you know have been struggling, no matter the issue, to see if they are doing better. In most cases, the student will appreciate that you care.
- Encourage students to get involved. There are many ways for students to get involved here at UCCS. They can join a club or organization, work on-campus, participate in intramurals, or get involved in a faculty sponsored research project.
- Advise a student club or organization. In order for a student club or organization to become recognized they must have a staff or faculty advisor. Through your advice, support, and knowledge, the club or organization will flourish.
- Keep your students informed. Make classroom announcements that encourage your students to stay involved. Keep them informed of out-of-class opportunities such as internships, research opportunities, study groups, and campus events (i.e. guest speakers).