RETENTION RATES RISING. Lyndon State College enjoyed a 4.4 percent jump in the first-year student retention rate from fall 2011 to fall 2012. At 64.3 percent, the retention rate is the highest for LSC in more than a decade. The rate measures how many students return for their second year of college at the same institution.
Dean of Academic Affairs Donna Dalton attributes the rate upswing to many things including the fact that there is greater awareness among everyone on campus that retention is very important. Said Dalton, “We look to help every student, one student at a time.”
Assistant Academic Dean Debra Hale cited a handful of programs including the First Year Experience. “These summer registration and fall kickoff programs help students understand the adjustments that they should make to be a successful college student.”
“In addition, our Advising Resource Center [ARC] works with both faculty and students to ensure that the advising experience gives students the most assistance possible and ensure that students are taking courses that will best help them achieve their academic goals. The Career Services Office is located in the ARC so there is a natural tie-in for those students who are questioning their major,” Hale added.
“Our push for experiential education has helped students have that hands-on experience that gives them motivation to continue their education. Also, I think we are doing a better job of incorporating alumni into our curriculum to help students see where they can go with their major.”
“The fact that we have built the concept of student centeredness into the whole campus community has also had a positive impact. We stress that personal attention.”
Kate Gold, director of Advising Resources, reiterated some of Hale’s points and added that “Lyndon’s hands-on approach to counseling students about their financial obligation has helped many students figure out a viable plan to pay for college. Financial counseling also allows students who don’t have the resources to gracefully withdraw before incurring penalties.”
Dalton spoke for the entire group by saying, “The hope for next year’s retention rate is that it will be even higher than this year. And that would be the best news.”