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Retention and Student Success

Faculty & Staff Resources


Retention Initiatives

In 2009, the Chancellor appointed a Student Success Advisory Council to study retention and make recommendations to increase retention moving forward.

The council identified three primary goals:

  1. Increase the freshman retention rate (first-time, full-time cohort that returned for the second year) by five percent or on average one percent per year.
  2. Increase the sophomore retention rate (first-time, full-time cohort that returned for the third year) by five percent or on average one percent per year.
  3. Increase the graduation rate to 55 percent in five years.

To achieve these goals, the council developed a series of recommendations to be implemented by the Office of Retention and Student Success.

  1. Create and hire the position of University Retention Director.
  2. Instill a culture of retention through expanded expectations of programs, schools and colleges that would include accountability for student retention, assessment of retention, and faculty and staff development.
  3. Early Academic Warning - Expand the existing early student self-assessment, MAP-Works, to include all first-year students.
  4. Early Academic Warning - Monitor performance (i.e. grades) and attendance in typical first-year and second-year high-risk courses and develop a system for follow-up. Maximize the use of technology in the development and implementation of this system. This system could be expanded to include for first and second year courses.
  5. Financial Distress Warning - Provide timely notification of Bursar holds and take systematic action to resolve issues. Maximize the use of technology in the development and implementation of this system.
  6. Develop a unified advising records system.
  7. Establish program-specific check points (milestones) and most recently admitted major profiles to ensure that the student is on-track for courses and grades needed in the major.
  8. Engage faculty and students in the development of alternative degree maps, initially for limited-access majors, and expanding to all majors that are consistent with course scheduling.
  9. Develop a targeted recruitment and degree completion plan for students who leave the University in good academic standing within 30 hours of graduation.
  10. Develop programs for professional practice students (pharmacy, dental medicine) to earn concurrent bachelor's degree. Students who are admitted to professional programs should be targeted.
  11. Create a collaborative referral system between advisors, faculty and the Career Development Center to assist students in selecting a major and career path that best matches their academic interests and capabilities. Undecided students in the freshman and sophomore years and students who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to their chosen major should be targeted.
  12. Establish a process to facilitate direct admission to majors for incoming freshman.
  13. Establish a process to facilitate direct declaration of incoming transfer students.
  14. Consider multiple points of entry for students into majors (e.g. early admit as freshman, later admit as juniors).
  15. Develop a bachelor's degree that meets the needs of students with broad interests or for students whose first choice degree option is not available.
  16. Use technology to analyze data University wide so that student demand for courses can be projected. This data should be regularly communicated with schools and colleges to assist in efficient and student-needs-based departmental advising.
  17. Fully implement degree audits (i.e. Curriculum Advisement and Program Planning or CAPP)
  18. Promote and market existing programs to support sophomore engagement (e.g. internships, academically-related employment, travel or student abroad, volunteer opportunities, career assessment).
  19. Assess existing SIUE programs that guarantee an ongoing personal connection between students and their peers, faculty members and/or staff members. These programs could include peer mentoring, orientation and Bridge. Coordinate all existing programs to assure that each student at SIUE has access to at least one of these programs.
  20. Increase the scholarship pool for continuing students based on merit and need.
  21. Establish an emergency funds pool for students
  22. Expand and centralize tutoring for students.

If you have questions about the recommendations made by the Student Success Advisory Council and/or their implementation, please contact us at 618-650-5930 or

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