5 ways degree planning solutions improve retention

Insights - Move the needle student success

Key takeaways

  • Higher retention and on-time graduation are the key appeal of degree-planning tools
  • More personalised support can lead to greater student outcomes
  • Improved tools foster an environment of student empowerment

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, barely half of U.S. students enrolled in 2010 completed their degrees—a 2.1% decline over the previous year’s cohort. This finding applies to students across the board, regardless of age, full- or part-time attendance, and type of institution.

Failure to graduate is costly for students, both in lost tuition and in the lost income a postsecondary degree usually affords them. It’s also costly for institutions whose reputations, enrolment, and funding are tied to student success. 

This e-book explores five ways a degree planning tool keeps students on track. Here are the first three: 

  1. Helps students avoid unnecessary courses: Clear “on-track” and “on-time” indicators; pre-loaded degree plans that make pre-requisites and course sequencing easier to understand; and sample plans—all keep students from taking unnecessary courses and dropping out due to time or financial constraints. 
  2. Improves advisor efficiency: According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, 33% of first year students met with an advisor less than two times and 23% just once. A degree planning solution can help automate daily manual tasks, such as course scheduling, freeing advisors to spend more time with at-risk students and improving the advisor/student relationship over time. 
  3. Increases on-time graduation: On average, students take 14 additional credits than required to complete their bachelor’s degree. Giving students tools to develop and track their course of study increases the likelihood they’ll graduate. And this same planning makes it possible for institutions to offer the courses students need.

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