Muskegon Community College

Data fuels increased graduation rates


Improve retention rates and improve student-counselor interactions

  • Two-year graduation rate increased from 16% to 19% 
  • Six-year graduation rate increased from 38% to 50% 
  • More effective communications across campus

Muskegon Community College strengthens student-counselor communications with Ellucian CRM Advise.

Dale Nesbary, President, Muskegon Community College 

We've increased our two-year graduation rate in the last four years from 16% to 19%. We've increased our six-year graduation rate over a seven-year period from 38% to 50%. And among community colleges, 50% is a very good number. Retention is difficult for any institution, at a community college particularly. We take all comers for the most part. Most of our programmes are open enrolment. Some aren't. So nursing, respiratory therapy, or health care programmes are not open enrolment, but most are.  

So, to retain a student, we have to do all sorts of things to keep those students engaged. Unless we have data, we cannot understand who our students are, how they are behaving in class, what we're doing right as an institution and what we're doing wrong as an institution. So, it's very important to us to have data, and very good data, to support the stories.  

We have a programme called CRM Advise that helps our counselors, our faculty, and staff communicate with our students very effectively. From the time they enter class, and actually before they enter class, until they leave, we want those students to be able to understand if they are going off track in any way, whether it would be grades, whether it be attendance, Advise helps us understand that.  

Students, they think we're on their back, we're asking for too much information and we're intruding. And then they quickly realise that, for them to be successful, they need, in many cases, a helping hand. And so, it's up to us as faculty, as staff, as administrators to help our students stay on track. 

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