Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Awards: 2015 Winning Programs

Webinar Materials

Presented on September 29, 2015

The annual Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Awards celebrate exceptional retention programs.  Listen to the presentation to hear directly from recipients of the 2015 awards about their goals, implementation strategies, and results. These innovative programs serve as models of retention excellence that can stimulate creativity and resourcefulness in your own student success initiatives.

During this webinar, we heard from these winners of the 2015 Retention Excellence Awards about the following programs:

  • The University of Central Oklahoma: Operation Degree Completion
    Operation Degree Completion is a two-step program. The first part involves tracking down students who have disappeared from campus even though they have completed almost all of their requirements and guiding them to graduation. The second step builds on reverse transfer trends by identifying transfer students who have enough credits to receive an associate’s degree from the originating community college. This innovative program is improving institutional graduation rates and represented $1.7 million in additional tuition revenue.
  • Edgewood College (WI): Strategic Retention Plan
    Edgewood College's Strategic Retention Plan is a multi-year, collegewide project that puts students and their success at the heart of what the college does. The plan includes initiatives for first-year and second-year students. The plan’s objectives are reviewed annually and action steps are updated quarterly by the retention council. This comprehensive approach has been successful in improving student success. For example, four-year graduation rates have increased from 27 percent in 2005 to 40 percent in 2014. Student satisfaction and engagement have also increased.
  • Grand Rapids Community College (MI): Fast Track
    Supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant, Grand Rapids Community College created Fast Track – a program to help students bypass developmental education with an emphasis on retention and completion. Fast Track is an intensive three-week, 14-hour-per-week learning lab in which students remediate academic skills through a combination of web-based and tutor-guided activities. Fast Track participation saved a total of $324,000 worth of in-district tuition, fees, and books for students, as well as a total of 33,480 hours of instruction for students who bypassed their placement.


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