I’ve been quoting people who quoted Tinto for a while now. I guess it’s about time I started quoting him instead.
First, students are more likely to persist and graduate in settings that expect them to succeed.
Expecting students to succeed includes encouraging them to aim high.
Second, students are more likely to persist and graduate in settings that provide clear and consistent information about institutional requirements and effective advising about the choices students have to make regarding their programs of study and future career goals.
This was something we talked about at the Developmental Education meeting in the mass of two-week meetings that I had before school started.
Third, students are more likely to persist and graduate in settings that provide academic, social, and personal support.
I am trying to do this myself, at least a bit, by helping the students get to know each other and writing them myself in response to their personal introduction email.
Fourth, students are more likely to persist and graduate in settings that involve them as valued members of the institution. The frequency and quality of contact with faculty, staff, and other students is an important independent predictor of student persistence.
So I do need to have them come into my office. When can I do that?
Fifth, and most importantly, students are more likely to persist and graduate in settings that foster learning. Learning has always been the key to student retention. Students who learn are students who stay. Institutions that are successful in building settings that educate their students are successful in retaining their students. Again, involvement seems to be the key. Students who are actively involved in learning, that is who spend more time on task especially with others, are more likely to learn and, in turn, more likely to stay.
What is time on task? Is that time spent writing? I need to think about that some more.