Student Retention

Student Retention / Success Tips

  • For the first week (or two) of the semester, each employee provides a business card to at least 10 students every day (that’s 50-100 students total).  They ask how the student’s first week is going and let them know to call them directly if they have additional questions or need assistance.
  • Provide an office list of “where to go for help”. 
  • Be proactive in approaching “lost” students and TAKING THE TIME, which we do not always have, to help them.  Be willing to slow down and assist students or direct to them to the appropriate resource(s) and do it with a “smile”. 
  • Always wear your name badge to allow students the ability to ask you for assistance when you’re walking around the campus.
  • Treat others with the same level of respect and attention you would want your loved ones to receive.
  • If there is a last minute classroom change, have the division offices clearly post the change outside of the classroom along with a campus map.
  • Post signs on hallway walls to help direct students to hard to find rooms.
  • Keep the division office open until 6:00 pm for the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Post materials in classrooms to promote programs and boost enrollments.
  • Post “Welcome Back” messages on the hallway TV
  • Post “Welcome Back” banners on walls/hallways to showstudents we value them.
  • Help and support new faculty
Components of Effective Instruction
  • Enthusiasm
  • Preparation and organization
  • Ability to stimulate students’ thoughts and interests
  • Clarity
  • Knowledge and love of the content
          (Source:  Improving Your Classroom Teaching)

Some characteristics that students look for in good teachers are:
  • Being knowledgeable, organized, and in control.
  • Possessing good communication skills and utilizing techniques to enhance classroom communication.
  • Having a good attitude and empathy, and exhibiting honesty.
  • Being fair in treatment of individuals in class as well as in evaluation.
  • Being professional and business-like in appearance and conduct.
  • Utilizing questions and other techniques to stimulate discussion and involve students.
  • Having a pleasant personality.
  • Utilizing a variety of teaching techniques and strategies.
  • Taking time for individual students and their concerns.
  • Striving to build student self-esteem and success.
          (Source:  A Handbook:  For Adjunct/Part-time Faculty and Teachers of Adults)
Improving Classroom Communication
  • Speak loudly, clearly, and at a rate comfortable for you.
  • Avoid ‘attaching’ yourself to the lectern or desk.  The lectern should be used to hold notes, not used as a crutch.  Do not just sit at the desk and talk.
  • Keep your eyes on the students.  Look for non-verbal as well as verbal feedback.
  • Never read lectures.
  • Speak from an outline, rather than a script.
  • Use supplements (charts, graphs, PowerPoint, etc.) for explanations, whenever possible.
  • Encourage a friendly, open atmosphere.  Try to monitor students’ understanding.  Rather than saying, “everybody got that?," ask a student to rephrase the idea or concept.
  • Move around the classroom.  Moving close to the students indicates openness and friendliness.
  • Present yourself energetically and with confidence.  Audiences will invest about as much confidence in the speaker as the speaker demands.
  • Allow disagreement without being defensive.
  • Enter the classroom with optimism and good will.
  (Source:  A Handbook:  For Adjunct/Part-time Faculty and Teachers of Adults)
Procedures for Class Preparation
  • Prepare your Course Syllabus for distribution before or at the first meeting of each class.
          As a faculty member, you are required to prepare a syllabus for each class section.  On your syllabus, 
          include such information as your faculty contact information and office hours (if applicable), student
          learning outcomes, course topics (cut and paste from the Course Online of Record, found at Curricunet; no
          password is needed to search for courses), schedule, grading standards, student conduct, academic
          dishonesty policy (found in Catalog under rules and regulations, and any other pertinent information.  This
          is your contract with the student, so be detailed. 
          Important:  Provide the Division Office with a copy of your course syllabus within the first week of the
          semester; you may submit either a hard copy or an electronic version to the division senior administrative
          Ask your department chair or dean which student learning outcomes(s) you are to assess for each class,
          how it is to be assessed, and where and when to post the results fo assessments.
  • Establish and post your Faculty Profile online.
          Create and post your faculty profile online.  Include a general overview of your academic background and
          work experience.
  • Establish and use Blackboard for your classes.
  • Use the Textbooks and other Supplemental Materials.
          According to the official course outline, you are required to use a college-level textbook for each class.
  • Download your Class Roster within 24 hours prior to the first class session.
          Your class will officially close about 24 hours before the first class session. Download your class roster via 
          MySite after the official closing of each class and before the first class session.  You can download your
          class roster from any computer with access to the internet and a printer.
  • Download your Add Permit Codes (APCs).
          You can download your Add Permit Codes once you have faculty access to MySite and your semester 
          class schedule.  The College system often experiences glitches during such heavy-use time as the
          beginning of the semester.  To avoid these glitches, and the added frustrations they can cause, download  
          APCs and other necessary materials well in advance of your classes.
  Students will add or drop your class
          until the official class close time (24 hours prior to the first class session).  From the beginning of the
          semester registration process until the expiration of your class APCs, you can add students to your classes
          without the Dean’s permission.  Once the codes have expired, the student “grace period” to add late is over.
  • Explore your MySite.
          There is a wealth of information on your MySite; familiarize yourself with it.  You can find your class 
          schedule, College announcements, employee documents, benefits information, grade history, class rosters,  
          Add Permit Codes, online grade submittal, and more.
  • Learn how and use your College Email.

          Once you are officially hired, you will receive a College email address, which is your primary form of   
          communication with the College, Division, and your students, outside of class.  As an option, you can
          forward your College emails to an alternate email address.

  • Check out each Classroom before the first class session

          Make sure that you are familiar with the class configuration, location, and   equipment prior to the first
          class session.

       Daily Lesson Plan
       One of the most important activities an instructor performs is that of preparing for class.  Before you enter
       the classroom, you should have thought about what you are going to do and why you are doing it.  It is
       essential to teach to the course outline as approved by the Board of Trustees.  As you create your lesson plan,
       consider including the following:
  • A list of definitions that should be clarified for the students.
  • The objectives of the class.
  • The activities in which each student will participate.
  • A definite plan for your activities.
  • The assignment for the next session.


       Beginnings are important!  Whether it is an introductory course or an advanced course in a major field, begin
       the term on a positive note.  Students will decide very early – some say the first day of class – whether they
       will like your course, its contents, you as the teacher, and their fellow students.  During the first day of class:
  • Be prepared and well organized.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Take attendance and conduct the appropriate recordkeeping by adding or dropping students, as appropriate.
  • Start getting to know your students by name.
  • Distribute an informative, attractive, and user-friendly syllabus.
  • Review the syllabus in detail.
  • Hit the ground running with substantial content.
  • Provide learning opportunities that spark intellectual curiosity and challenge students.
  • Engage students in classroom activities that encourage active learning.
  • Build a sense of community in the classroom.
  1. Start each day with carefully thought-out sequences of topics.  Know what you are going to do in the lesson.
  2. Be professional, be on time, and be ready.
  3. Create the atmosphere you want to convey.
  4. Make it a class you would like to attend.  If you appear bored, the class will be bored, too.
  5. Realize your students are not you.
  6. Create bonds.  Show care and concern for the students, including a reasonable perspective on their professional and personal needs.
  7. Have fun!  Attend staff development workshops, in-service, and other activities to help you improve yourself.  We are continually learning how to teach and should be devoted to quality teaching.
  8. Evaluate your students fairly.  Try to figure out how they capture information.
  9. Help your students succeed.  They have a right to succeed.  A sense of sharing, learning, and adventure should all be part of the classroom experience.
  10. Enthusiasm!  It is one of the things by which students will remember you.