July 8 2011

Here at Credo, our work related to student success is focused on why students stay rather than why they leave.  Why is that, you may ask?  The issues surrounding student success are complex – an interwoven mix of the following:

  • an individual student’s identity
  • a student's fit with the institution
  • the institution’s culture of student-centeredness
  • the circumstances of life that might intervene at any time

When we look at the data our clients collect during exit interviews, the answers to the why question range from tragic events to homesickness to academic uncertainty, all blended with the universal answer: MONEY!

When we focus our efforts on changing those feelings or experiences, we are taking our student success eyes off the real prize: the students who persist. If you look closely at your students who return each year, you will find any number of examples of students who were homesick, who survived a personal tragedy, who didn’t initially fit in, who struggle to finance their education, who changed their mind about their major, and they’re still here!

At Credo, we have completed research for clients comparing responses from students who are currently enrolled and those who have left voluntarily. It’s remarkable to see how many current and satisfied students are also experiencing the challenges and doubts of those who chose to leave. 

So, why do those students stay?  And if we can know the answer to that question, couldn’t we enhance the very programs, systems, and overall culture that seem to promote persistence, ensuring that every student experiences that support? 

We care so much about answering this question, we provide services and solutions to our partner institutions with a focus on retention and student success. Find out more about our services or talk to a Credo expert in the field of student success and retention. 

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