Magazine article University Business

Student Success Starts Early: Honored Programs Start Newcomers on the Right Foot to Keep Them in College

Magazine article University Business

Student Success Starts Early: Honored Programs Start Newcomers on the Right Foot to Keep Them in College

Article excerpt

Today's progressive student success initiatives start even before first semester classes convene. The colleges and universities honored in the second round of UB's national Models of Excellence awards program have found that easing students' transition from high school to higher ed increases the likelihood they will remain enrolled and graduate.

But an "easy" transition doesn't come without some hard work on behalf of students, administrators and instructors.

At one large state university, students who've fallen behind in math receive intensive instruction during the summer before classes start. Only 8 percent of the university's new students needing remediation were graduating within four years. Administrators also wanted to forge closer connections to the commuter campus, which is home to only about 1,400 of the university's 19,000 students.

The program requires first-year students who are in need of remediation to live on campus for a month while they take remedial classes, as well as participate in other university engagement activities.

On the college affordability front, one state flagship university makes it easier for first-year students to find the private scholarships for which they're most qualified. The university's expansive scholarship database even asks students questions to improve the accuracy of the matching process. Students can use the system to store important scholarship documents and letters of recommendation, as well.

At yet another large state school, early success efforts focus on first-year minority students. …

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