East Central College Increases Retention and Completion Rates
Faculty and staff are working diligently to support students who are in danger of falling behind in class, and it’s producing real results. That was the message from Dr. Michelle Smith, executive director of institutional effectiveness, at the May 6 Board of Trustees meeting.
“East Central College has increased student completion and transfer rates by ten percent in just two years,” she explained. “We’ve also increased retention rates in the same period.”
A new early intervention program launched at the beginning of the school year is helping the cause. It allows faculty to identify students who are not attending class, missing assignments or otherwise not succeeding. Those students are then referred to support services on campus to help them improve.
“This initiative would not have been possible without our dedicated Retention Committee,” added Dr. Smith. “They spent countless hours implementing this program to help support our students.”
Dr. Smith also gave an update on several other key areas regarding our current college strategic plan. The number of online students has increased nearly five percent, with online credit hours growing nearly twelve percent. The College also saw positive numbers regarding workforce development.
“We experienced year-over-year enrollment growth in our apprenticeship program and Center for Workforce Development training opportunities,” Dr. Smith said. “The number of businesses and industries we served jumped more than 45 percent.”
While enrollment numbers have fallen the past few years, Dr. Smith noted that enrollment numbers are trending upward for the Summer 2019 semester, as well as the Fall 2019 semester.
East Central College is currently developing a new strategic plan. The SOAR to 2024 initiative has been a collaboration of community members, business leaders, faculty and staff. It is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval in August 2019.