We want to discuss student success and retention in terms of capitalizing on strategic mileposts that we adopted from the Adjunct Success Program. Adjunct Success is grounded in the works of Dr. Richard Lyons and Dr. Helen Burnstad – it is a professional development program for part-time professors. The program is designed to improve instructional quality and student retention through participation in a one-year program that includes 15 webinars, bi-weekly e-newsletters, and other printable and on-line resources. Dr. Lyons has also written other books in the area, such as the Success Strategies for Adjunct Faculty as depicted here.Dr. Lyons postulates that student retention is most attributable to success in the classroom. Improving student retention directly relates to improving the effectiveness of instruction and quality of relations with each student. College professors are being viewed as facilitators of learning and course managers rather than simply as dispensers of information. To achieve success, it is best to benchmark the strategies of the best in your field and then fine-tune them to your specific needs most effectively. Successful managers in many arenas commonly embrace a strategy called the Pareto Rule, which is also known as the 80/20 Rule. Pareto, an Italian economist of the 1800s, found that 80 percent of the success (or failure) of a particular endeavor is derived from roughly 20 percent of its contributing factors. For example, 80 percent of the business of a particular business is generated by roughly 20 percent of its customers. Ergo, manage the key 20 percent of any issue effectively and the overwhelming majority of your job is done.In the need to manage student retention, we are likely to see that 20 percent of our class meetings correlate with 80 percent of student dropouts. Therefore, if we manage those 20 percent of meetings effectively, about 80 percent of the course retention problems could be solved. Those 20 percent of meetings are the mileposts for student retention.
First Class Meeting - The initial class meetings are critical times for instructors. Students must quickly decide whether a given course is a wise investment of their time, money, and self-esteem. Most students are searching for an experience that is rewarding and relevant but also that allows them to pursue other critical activities in their lives. Instructors must ensure that students attending the first class meeting perceive that the instructor can be trusted to orchestrate a rewarding, relevant learning experience throughout the term.First Major Graded Assignment – The first examination or the submission of the first major graded assignment is sometimes an even more significant milepost than the first class meeting.Mid-Term – The third key retention milepost is the midpoint of the term. This often coincides with the a second examination or the submission of a major assignment. At this point, students often weigh the resources they are required to invest against the outcomes they expect.
Adjunct Strategies to Foster Student Success Burdick
Strategic MILEPOSTS<br />Adjunct Strategies to Foster Student Success<br /> Presented by: Brent Burdick<br />Adjunct, Business and Legal Studies<br /> College of Southern Maryland<br />
Strategic MILEPOSTS Managing for Student Retention<br />Adopted from the Adjunct Success Program<br /><ul><li>Dr. Richard Lyons and Dr. Helen Burnstad
Retention most attributable </li></ul> to success in classroom<br /><ul><li>Mileposts – Pareto Rule</li></ul> (aka: 80/20 Rule)<br />
Student Retention Mileposts<br /><ul><li>First class meeting