|If You Build It, Will They Stay? Addressing the Decreasing Degree Completion Rates

If You Build It, Will They Stay? Addressing the Decreasing Degree Completion Rates

Susie Harvey

College costs are rising each year, so it’s no surprise that getting students to commit to (enroll in) programs may be a bit difficult. But what about ensuring that students complete those programs? Unfortunately, there is a rise in the number of students who don’t complete their degrees, even as enrollment numbers continue to rise. How do institutions ensure that completion rates keep pace?

College/university education has been, for many years, considered the hallmark of an educated work-force. However, low completion rates suggest that perhaps programs may not be on par with rising trends within differentiated industries. In fact, the US News and World Report claims that on 1 and 3 first-time freshman come back for their sophomore year.

Which begs the question, are your programs competitive? Do they include the latest technological advancements being utilized by workers in their industries? Will your students be equipped to employ skills learned on the job? Is your advising staff working with students to keep them engaged and focused?

Below are just a few easy steps you can take to ensure that your retention plans are efficient:

  1. Look at your enrollment statistics and compare them to your completion rates. Notice a problem? Don’t worry! With this data, you’re empowered to take the next step.
  2. Evaluate your statistics. Which programs have lowest completion rates, which demographic completes at a lower rate, etc.
  3. Listen to student feedback. Universities should always consider what needs must the program satisfy to offer greatest return on investment.

Through evaluation and well-developed strategies, you can combat declining completion rates and ensure your students are on track to finish their programs successfully and prepared for the ever-advancing workforce.

By | 2018-02-15T07:59:05+00:00 February 15th, 2018|Articles|