Ohio Christian University has participated in the Higher Learning Commission’s Persistence and Completion Academy for the past two years. This group of around 20 institutions collaborate on ideas to improve retention and graduation rates. Through this collaboration, Ohio Christian has worked on several initiatives for both the Adult & Graduate Studies (AGS) and Traditional programs to improve first to second-year retention rates.
As part of this effort, the university enacted programs to intentionally reach students at greater academic risk through coaching and tutoring. One example of a program meant to improve student retention is the recently launched personalized coaching program aimed at providing hands-on assistance to students within the AGS program. Since its inception in 2018, the program has seen a 6% increase in first course persistence of new students and a 7% increase in second course pass rate.
As a result of efforts like the personalized coaching program, retention rates have increased 13%. The current retention rate from first to second-year is 70%, which is similar to peer institutions who offer open-enrollment for online classes.
The university is committed to building on this positive trend through the introduction of new orientations for AGS and traditional students, as well as, the creation of an Early Alert System to notify advisors when students are at risk of failing a course.
Ohio Christian will continue to review existing retention programs, improve or restructure them as needed, and initiate new strategies to help students succeed and persist. By developing better programs that equip students for success, OCU seeks to continue its mission to prepare students to impact the world for Christ.
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