The first step toward incorporating support services into any educational institutions' retention plan is to ensure that they have the appropriate student support services in place.
FREMONT, CA: Students who attend colleges and universities enjoy several benefits, but student support services go much beyond that. The distinction between an associate's degree and a stop-out is a nonissue for many students. Despite this, many programs continue to under-promote support services for students in their degrees. Others incorporate them into their marketing but then drop the ball once a student is on board.
Consider the role that student assistance programs can play in helping educational institutions keep their students on-campus and productive. They help students stay motivated, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. However, if students know their existence, they are more effective. Student support services should be a key part of the toolkit if the goal is to promote student retention.
Maintaining student engagement: Consider going to a gathering where one doesn't know anyone. He or she may end up staring at his or her phone in the corner rather than participating in the conversation. A student who does not have support services is like the only one at a party. They may want to participate but aren't sure how. As a result, they develop a sense of isolation from the rest of the population. In their minds, leaving early will go undetected or unappreciated.
It's like going to a party where only half the attendees are familiar. Students will have more opportunities to mingle and make friends. Networking activities, cultural events, peer mentorship, gyms, and skill seminars are just ways students can get involved in the school community. As a result, they feel more linked to one another and are more likely to persevere in the face of difficulty.
Getting rid of or minimizing obstacles: Each student has to overcome a set of challenges. For whatever reason, it may be difficult to keep childcare or a crisis of self-confidence spurred on by a particularly demanding lesson. Such stumbling blocks can impede educational progress. They may put off finishing their education until the situation is remedied. A more dire outcome would be a realization of their inadequacy to attend college at all.
By providing these students with the essential tools to overcome their obstacles, student support services help them stay enrolled. Many programs are available to help students succeed and go forward, including tutoring, childcare, financial aid, health care for students, mental health services, and IT support.