August 7 2023

Moving The Needle Impacts Culture & Retention

Together with our partners, the Moving the Needle (MTN) project invests deeply in the development of leaders across the campus, in the integration of their work, and in creating a long-term sustainable culture of student success. Our campus partners have achieved remarkable outcomes for students and for campus resources and culture. This success is possible – and proven – in a variety of college profiles, from open enrollment to highly selective, from liberal-arts focused to expanding comprehensive institutions. 

Moving the Needle is currently underway or has been completed at 40 institutions. Read on to see how campuses are transformed by this student-success and culture-catalyzing experience.

Case Study Excerpt: University of Pikeville 

About Upike

Historically and proudly an open enrollment institution, University of Pikeville, KY, is positioned to alter the trajectory of a region of students and families because of its mission and demand for excellence. UPIKE is a unique place where the undergraduate population is primarily regional while the professional schools of optometry and osteopathic medicine attract students and faculty from around the country and the world.

Setting & Achieving Student Retention Goals

In this unique setting, with these fairly remarkable contrasts, new senior leadership arrived on campus in 2016 and built a vision for institutional impact that required a new approach to expectations on campus. While leadership had the “know-how” to improve retention, they knew they and the campus didn’t really have the bandwidth to execute as quickly as they would have liked.

In 2016, UPIKE partnered with Credo with goals of moving their 57% retention rate to 65%, and more importantly, of increasing the expectations from across the campus of what could be done through strategic collaboration, integrated seamless systems, and raising the bar for students and the campus community.

Reaching Historically Underserved Populations

Key to the UPIKE campus is the success of particular groups of students within that marker, including a 17% increase in retention of students of color. By creating a culture around belonging where retention is everyone's job on campus, the great work of this campus team has resulted in $3.8 million in additional revenue over four years because of improvements in retention across all classifications. 

Key Takeaways

UPIKE is one of the partner campuses that has seen firsthand the results of MTN. Out of the 40 institutions who have completed or are in process, here are some exciting data points we are seeing from the longer term impacts of Moving The Needle.

  • The average increase for four-year graduation rates is six percentage points.
  • One-hundred percent of MTN partners experienced continued increases in first-time full-time fall-to-fall retention after five years.
  • All partner institutions have increased in first-time full-time four-year graduation rates after completing MTN.
  • The average new annual tuition revenue generated by improved retention at the fifth year of MTN for partner institutions is $2.3 million. 

Get more stories and data by accessing your student success and retention case studies.

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