Learn how this college is increasing retention using our analytics and assessments
For more than a decade, The University of Lynchburg has dedicated significant attention to student retention and assessment. The college zeroed in on RNL Student Success and the Student Retention Predictor™ to take its retention to the next level and to target its limited resources for more effective results.
Like many institutions, the officials at Lynchburg felt they had the technical knowledge in-house to run logistic regression and to merge diverse data, but judged this was not the best use of their time. Instead, they concentrated on strategically addressing the risk factors identified by the analysis, including information that went beyond that provided by their long-trusted assessment, the College Student Inventory™, to include three years of previous entering cohorts’ retention behavior and their profiles.
Risk factors that were unique to Lynchburg were exposed through this process. One of the first things the college did after receiving the findings was to look at its distribution of students across the identified risk factors—how many students had zero risk factors? How many had more than four risk factors? The college proceeded to share this information with advisors and made sure that at-risk students received priority attention and information, adding even more focus to Lynchburg’s existing early-alert system.
The following results are from 2015-16 after using the Student Retention Predictor with stepped-up interventions.
- 81 percent fall-to-fall retention rate—an increase of six percentage points from the previous year.
- 3 percentage point increase in fall-to-fall retention of males.
- 6 percentage point increase in fall-to-fall retention of African American students.
- 14 percent increase over the predicted retention of targeted students in the SRP model.
Going forward, Lynchburg plans to continue assessing its incoming classes with the Student Retention Predictor with an “all hands on deck” philosophy about student engagement throughout the year.
“It’s been amazing to really nail down why specific areas aren’t working for specific students using the [Ruffalo Noel Levitz] assessments. We learn the most important things for individual students as well as for entire populations.”
“What I love the most about the Student Retention Predictor is that it helps us identify individual students that may have greater risk factors. It gives us the opportunity to focus one-on-one attention to individualize students’ experience to be successful. We know right off from the beginning which students are not likely to stay.”
Angelo L. Colon, Jr.
Director, First-Year Programs