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Trine team presents, publishes
Presentation focused on student retention
A team of campus retention experts and scholarsprepared a paper on the tremendous retention success at Trine University and saw it published in the four-book series given to educators attending the 114th annual meeting of the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago April 17-21.
Director of Student Success and Retention Deborah McHenry, Academic Support Services Director Kathie Wentworth, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Finley co-created and presented “Successful Retention via Proactive Service and Support” for higher education practitioners. Their Power Point presentation enhanced the seminar. Their information is published in “Programs, Strategies and Structures to Support Student Success,” the third volume in the series.
They began the submission process and the creation of a Power Point for the presentation on Sept. 15. McHenry discussed how her program assists first-time students and their parents in navigating the academic system. Authorization forms allowing her to speak directly to parents about academic progress work in tandem with Wentworth’s program, which includes an automated system of delivering deficiency reports to students so they receive warning of unsatisfactory grades. Mid-term grade reports go to the students’ homes to let them and their parents know where they stand for the semester.
These processes detect problems early enough to give students time to recover academically and address any related emotional adjustment problems. Advocacy for students and providing short-term emergency financial help are other ways in which McHenry’s office aids students. The program works to create a team of support around each student, she said.
Wentworth detailed her Academic Foundations program, which helps students develop the competency to remain in college. Tutors and resources such as Trine’s Academic Support Services, Learning Center, Writing Center, math help sessions, library, and counseling services play a major role in helping students succeed academically and stay in college.
The programs pay off in high retention of Trine students. Nearly 95 percent of Trine students returned for the spring semester this year as compared to 90 percent in spring semester 2008 and 88 percent in spring 2007.
The educators received the presentation well, McHenry said. “It was nice to see the acknowledgement from the audience. Many were nodding their heads in agreement.”
The presentation sparked a request by Dr. Madhu Jain, Provost of East-West University in Chicago, to visit Trine in May or June to learn more about the university’s student success and retention procedures and programs.