Wake Technical Community College

Leveraging technology to increase classroom engagement

Challenge

Increase retention and success rates for online students

Results
  • Used data to determine baseline and create control and test groups
  • Improved withdrawal and success rates by six percentage points for students overall
  • Improved withdrawal and success rates by 10 percent points for students of color

Wake Technical Community College uses Ellucian Colleague to improve student retention and success rates

Laila Shahid-El, Grant Project Coordinator, Wake Technical Community College

Project COMPASS is a U.S. Department of Education First in the World grant. And these are grants that were awarded to institutions who have innovative solutions to persisting problems in higher education. In our case, that persisting problem was the achievement gaps between students of color and their counterparts. And so, what we wanted to do was increase the retention rates and the success rates of online students through high-tech, high-touch teaching methodologies.

Can we leverage technology to increase engagement in the classroom and, ultimately, impact retention and success rates for students?

Ellucian Colleague® was a very indispensable part of our project. We've seen an average improvement of the withdrawal rate of over six percentage points. For the success rate, we've seen an average improvement of almost six percentage points. And then for students of color— those were the results for students overall—but for students of color, we actually see an even more pronounced improvement.

For students of color with the withdrawal rate, we've seen an improvement of almost 10 percentage points. And then with the success rate, we've seen an improvement of almost eight percentage points. And keep in mind that these are high-enrollment, low-success courses. So, to see that increment has really been phenomenal for us.

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