Dec 10, 2020

How Student and Parent Engagement Predicts Student Attrition – Part Two


On this past Monday, I shared my observations on how a small number of key indicators of student and parent engagement can predict attrition. I shared a story from my past as an enrollment manager as we put the theory of student engagement predicting attrition into action. If you have not yet read the post, it is a good starting point to rethinking how your school or college approaches retention.

In the first part of our story, we used key variables of student engagement to identify students that were at risk of attrition. Armed with this data, we formed an “SOS Team”, an ongoing administrative task force that was charged with proactively identifying students and creating indvidual intervention plans for their retention. Our group met monthly for an hour only for strategy formation, but kept in touch through electronic channels throughout the semester as we waded through the list of students and individually matched their circumstances with plans.

What was the result? We had extraordinary success at mitigating the somewhat manageable situations that impact student retention. We addressed issues of 1) student isolation, health, and wellness, 2) identified undiagnosed learning differences, 3) created new means of financial plans for students, and 4) guided students to more appropriate academic and career pathways. Overall, we were able to reduce fall to fall student retention by about 50% in a three year period, an extraordinary feat all using data that was readily available to us.

Try it on for size by using student and parent engagement data to predict candidates for attrition. Your school or college may not be able to address the circumstances of every student, our experience shows that using predictive attrition data works.

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