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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Retention

Retention seems to be on everybody's mind at UIS. I've heard the Student Government Association, Campus Senate, Chancellor's Cabinet and quite a few individuals talking about doing more than ever to support our students so they can succeed. I suspect we'll all be hearing a lot more about this, and action taken on it, in the months AND YEARS to come.

3 Comments:

At April 7, 2008 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous J said...

Retention is certainly an area we need to work on. We have faculty and AP's who put in long hours and considerable effort and expertise to develop a learning community, and to ease students over the bumps, but serious bumps remain. For instance, when I was a student many years ago, I would go to my faculty advisor with questions about what courses I needed to take, and they would simply be answered. No second guessing, no referring or double-checking with half a dozen other people. Traditionally, degrees were granted by faculty. Since then, some disempowerment, some fracturing of the traditional system has occurred. We got simultaneously creative and stringent with the rules for the general education requirements, the colloquia, the ECCE's, and they outgrew us. Nobody seems to have a handle on them anymore, and the faculty are becoming hesitant to tell their advisees, "This is the requirement you need to take." In that kind of environment, students will either flounder or try to take advantage. We need to reempower the faculty in our programs, and restore our students' faith in our system.

 
At April 8, 2008 at 5:50 AM , Anonymous Ed Wojcicki said...

Thoughtful point. I think a lot of people would agree that good advising is essential for students.

 
At April 9, 2008 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, the problem is bigger than that. The ECCE et al while attempting to provide the students with more "flexibility" actually does the opposite. Students are bogged down with their upper-division discipline classes, theses, projects and then they have to worry about taking ECCE classes, which basically amount to a regurgitation of GenEd, and their AST which is mildy insulting to the large number of students that have had or currently hold jobs outside school. Why can't we just take relative electives like every other campus, and not be subjected to a constrained list of ECCE courses that more often than not are just taken based upon the fact that they fit into a student's schedule.

 

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