Student Retention Plan Initiated

May 16, 2014

Administrators Hope to Set Clear Benchmarks for Student Success

Over the last academic year, members of the Office of the Provost met with campus leaders to discuss the topic of student persistence and success. They included the Committee for Academic Advising and Retention (CAAR), the Deans of the academic colleges, and others to collaborate on the development of methods to improve undergraduate student retention, persistence, and graduation at Texas Tech University. The results of these discussions, previous institutional investigations, and earlier strategic plans provide a framework for addressing student persistence and success. We are now at a point of engaging the broader campus in undertaking a retention initiative. Over the summer months, a series of meetings and presentations will be scheduled through the Office of the Provost to introduce the actions and goals that will be part of this institutional effort.

The current focus on student persistence, retention, and graduation is a natural extension of the university’s commitment to an academic culture recognized for its focus on student success. The implementation of the retention initiative is intended to yield measurable gains in student success, persistence, retention, and graduation rates.  This initiative will be led by the Office of the Provost, under the supervision of Dr. Juan Munoz, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, in collaboration with the academic colleges, student affairs units, and support and auxiliary areas. The Texas Tech University Retention Initiative (TTU-RI) will emphasize the following:

  1. A data-informed process that uses retention analytics and timely reporting to achieve a retention goal of increasing 6-year graduate rates to 70%, and one-year retention rates to 90%.
  2. Enhanced use of technology to accelerate time to degree, degree selection and transition, and the identification of and intervention with “at-risk” subpopulations.
  3. Strategies to incorporate assistive intervention in critical courses, such as academic programming tailored for students in courses with markedly high D, F, and W rates.
  4. Enhanced professional opportunities for consistency of academic advising experiences and student success outcomes.
  5. Enhanced central support of ongoing college retention efforts or assistance in the   development of new retention programs.

With the implementation of this plan, Texas Tech will be positioned to set clear benchmarks for student success by department, major, college and sub-populations in a manner that it has not previously experienced.

Further, this approach will help guide the university’s overall undergraduate retention initiative, identify concrete improvement metrics, and ensure that improvements to student success in the form of persistence, retention, and graduation are realized within a strategic timeline, and, just as important, are sustainable over time.

A schedule of related planning events or presentations will be announced in June.  Although initial planning and organizational events will begin during the summer, opportunities for broader faculty involvement will be provided with the start of the fall semester.