Student Success & Retention Moving The Needle

Moving The Needle On Student Success & Retention

The Moving the Needle (MTN) project is a comprehensive student success strategic plan designed and delivered through a multi-year partnership between the campus and Credo.

The Benefits of an MTN Partnership

Explore Benefits and Outcomes:

Thriving Students

  • Positive impact on fall-to-fall retention & overall new student transition & retention rates.
  • Established targets & retention strategies for disaggregated student populations.
  • Positive impact on four-year and six-year graduation rates.
  • Clarified & improved student data dashboard & comprehensive student success assessment strategy.
  • Implementation of high-impact practices in selected areas.
  • Empowered students with expanded opportunities to facilitate their own learning and success.

Campus Environment & Strategic Alignment

  • Multi-year strategy & action plan for campus retention efforts.
  • Identification of gaps & vulnerabilities hindering student progress and success, thus resulting in clarified priorities to drive decision-making.
  • Enhanced departmental partnerships.
  • Middle talent leadership development.
  • Identification of high-level space impacts on student success & learning.

Systems, Processes & Efficiencies

  • Completed student life cycle & student communications audits.
  • Process maps of departmental operations.
  • Solutions to facilitate the readiness/ease for students/families to satisfy critical “business” matters.
  • Cross-trained staff to maximize efficient service to students and families.
  • Streamlined technology & systems integration.
  • Policy & practice review for key areas impacting students’ progression through the institution.

Moving The Needle Outcomes

  • 100%

    MTN partners experienced continued increases in first-time full-time fall-to-fall retention after 5 years.

  • +2.8% Points

    On average, first-time full-time retention increases between the first and second year of MTN participation.

  • 100%

    Partner institutions had increases in first-time full-time 4-year graduation rates after completing MTN.

  • +5 Points

    MTN partners’ average 4-year graduation rate increased from 35% to 40% and the 6-year graduation rate followed suit with an increase from 48% to 53%.

  • $1.9M

    The average new annual tuition revenue generated by improved retention at the fifth year of MTN for partner institutions.


Hear Credo Vice Chairman / Owner & Founder of MTN, Joretta Nelson, Ph.D., introduce Credo's signature student success and retention partnership.

Meet Credo’s Student Success & Retention Team

Contact Us

Student Success Starts Here

MTN Guide Cover - 2022

Are you ready to radically improve student success and retention outcomes for your communities of learners?

The Moving the Needle (MTN) project is a partnership that engages the full campus community in developing, implementing, and enhancing the conditions, practices, systems, and solutions that foster sustainable, inclusive student success & retention.

Find out more by downloading your complimentary Moving The Needle Guide.

Download My Moving The Needle  Retention Guide

"Moving the Needle has provided both capacity to our team and focus on the right priorities to positively impact student success. Even in the face of the Covid pandemic, we have experienced an increase in retention. We have tremendous confidence in the success of our partnership with Credo and are excited to see data informed decision-making become part of our culture."

Charles Fowler, Ph.D., Carson-Newman University

"In selecting Credo we keyed in on professional expertise, an evidence-based model and process, and a proven record of success. In particular, we are impressed with the holistic mindset and emphasis on enhancing our culture and building on our institutional and educational strengths. Credo brings proven experience in building networked and integrated strategies tailored to our mission and educational values and our vision for the future."

Brian J. Bruess, Ph.D., President, St. Norbert College

"The campus kickoff for Moving the Needle was received in a positive light and gives me continued confidence in Credo and outcomes for the work. Our team spent a long time discerning if MTN was the right thing -but don't wait -even if you think you are doing a great job. Now is the time. We owe it to our students to truly improve their experience and provide opportunities to thrive."

Deanne H. D'Emilio, J.D, President, Gwynedd Mercy University

"Credo helped us think about integrating student success and retention into everything we do at UPIKE. It's not work on top. We shifted all committees and initiatives, including our Board, around Moving the Needle. Changing the culture and seeing the faculty and staff working together was new to the institution and the Moving the Needle journey with Credo helped us get to where we are today with openness and collaboration."

Dr. Lori Werth, Provost, University of Pikeville
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Transforming Teams & Talent

We partner with the extraordinary talent already at work on your campus. Leadership development intentionally occurs at all levels of MTN—from the Board to the staff to the students—as the entire campus or cohort community is catalyzed around culture change and student success outcomes.


Building Momentum Through Cohorts

Moving The Needle can be transformative to an individual campus and also through the cohort model. Learning from each other, cohort participants develop and implement inclusive student success and retention outcomes for their campuses and communities. Why join a cohort? Find out more by visiting our MTN Cohorts page.

Talk To Dr. Joretta Nelson, Vice Chairman & Founder of MTN, About Student Success


Having the right partner at the table can be a game changer. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help your campus to flourish.