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They're Talking on Campus...

...About a recent survey that finds community colleges will need to reach out to their incoming students earlier and more aggressively if they want to retain a higher percentage of their students.

The Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), a new survey from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), reports that community colleges typically lose about half their students—disproportionately students of color, low-income, and academically underprepared students—prior to the students’ second year.

The survey, conducted in fall 2007 and covering the first three weeks of the semester, found that a large number of incoming students were unaware of their colleges core services and failed to make use of them in the early weeks of the semester.

Only one-third of the students surveyed said an advisor helped them set goals and create a plan to achieve them; 41 percent said they didn’t use academic planning services at all; less than one-third said a financial aid adviser helped them with financial aid; and only one in five said they felt welcome the first time they came to campus.

Authors of the survey say their findings may offer clues as to why students leave and what colleges can do to help them stay.

The SENSE survey, which was in the pilot phase this year, included 22 institutions and yielded more than 13,200 responses. A greater number of institutions will participate in a second SENSE survey in fall 2008. The SENSE pilot data report can be downloaded at www.enteringstudent.org.

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Published In

15-Apr-08


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