Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 38

stagnant or worse.” More recently, Lynn
O’Shaughnessy, author of The College
Solution, announced that graduation
rates at four-year public colleges and
universities had fallen to 27.6 percent.
What can those in housing and
residence life do to increase the chances
that first-year residential students will
remain in college for their second year
and then go on to graduate?
The literature on college student
retention is broad and dense, full of
studies attempting to identify the Holy
Grail that will reduce college student
attrition. Vincent Tinto, distinguished
university professor in the School of
Education at Syracuse University in
New York, has written extensively on
the lucrative consulting businesses
and data survey services that have
been created and marketed to colleges
and universities seeking the magic
solution that will improve graduation
rates. Retention has become a big
business for researchers, educators, and
entrepreneurs alike, but most attempts
to find a solution have produced
inconclusive or even contradictory
results. There is no magic solution
because factors vary so much from
one school to the next; and despite
the incredible volume of literature
on retention, enormous numbers
of students still drop out of college
before they achieve their educational
objectives.
In a monograph about the need
for higher education institutions to
rethink the experience of students as
they navigate their first year of college,
Tinto confirmed that retention rates at
38

Talking STick

four-year institutions are alarmingly
low, despite concerted efforts to
improve them. The problem, he says,
is that “most retention programs have
done little to change the essential
quality of the academic experience for
most students, especially during the
critical first year of college.” There will
always be an inevitable level of naturally
occurring attrition, and no college or
university can control all the factors that
could possibly contribute to a student
dropping out of college. Some students
leave because of academic difficulties
or financial problems, others leave
because of difficulties in adjusting to
college or connecting with their peers,
and some leave simply because they
want to transfer to another school.
There is no one-size-fits-all retention
plan that can account for all of these
variables. There are, nevertheless,
several strategies that can improve
retention: advising programs, faculty
involvement, support services, and –
most important for first-year students
– residence hall programs that provide
opportunities for them to connect with
their peers and feel invested in the
institution.

Identify the Central
Problem
Most students leave college not because
they are academically unprepared or
are failing their courses; they leave
because they are failing to make the
kind of connections – with their peers,
with faculty, with the institution –
that create a sense of belonging and



Talking Stick - March/April 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - March/April 2013

Talking Stick - March/April 2013
Table of Contents
New Member Highlight
Vision
Just In
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Facilities
Regroup
Calendar
A Fair Division of Space
Why They Stay
Conversations
First Takes
Reporting Out
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Intro
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Talking Stick - March/April 2013
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Cover2
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 1
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 2
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Table of Contents
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - New Member Highlight
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 5
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Vision
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 7
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Just In
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 9
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 10
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 11
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 12
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 14
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Transitions
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 16
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 17
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Res Life
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 19
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 20
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Facilities
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 22
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 23
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Regroup
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 25
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 26
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Calendar
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - A Fair Division of Space
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 29
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 30
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 31
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 32
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 33
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 34
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 35
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Why They Stay
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 37
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 38
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 39
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 40
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 41
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 42
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 43
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Conversations
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 45
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 46
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - First Takes
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Reporting Out
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 49
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 50
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 51
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 52
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 53
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - New Members
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 55
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Cover3
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Cover4
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