An institutional approach to developing a culture of student persistence

  • Gary J Burkholder The National Hispanic University Walden University
  • Jim Lenio Walden University
  • Nicole Holland Walden University
  • Rebecca Jobe Laureate Online Education
  • Alan Seidman Walden University
  • Diane Neal Walden University
  • Jimmy Middlebrook Walden University
Keywords: Retention, institutional approaches, retention theories, student persistence, institutional retention strategy

Abstract

There continues to be increasing focus on college student retention and persistence. This focus is coming from the United States federal government, accrediting organizations, and from students, parents, and the public. Given the spiraling costs of education and the fact that retention rates have not improved over time, various stakeholders are concerned about the value of a higher education credential. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the efforts of a for-profit, distance education institution to focus its resources, in an evidence-based manner, on retention and to develop a culture of retention and persistence throughout the institution. The literature review and analysis of internal initiatives demonstrated that (a) institutions must make a commitment to retention, include retention efforts as part of its strategic plan, and provide resources to support retention efforts; (b) mastery of knowledge of the research on retention and persistence is critical for designing evidence-based interventions; and (c) institutions should identify, develop, and implement pilot projects aimed at improving student progress and share results to help stimulate development of best practices throughout higher education.

DOI: 10.18870/hlrc.v3i3.120

Author Biographies

Gary J Burkholder, The National Hispanic University Walden University

I serve as Vice President and General Manager at the National Hispanic University and Contributiong Faculty in Psychology and Public Health at Walden University (USA). I previously have served as Director of Online Studies for Psychology Programmes offered thorugh University of Liverpool/OHE Online. I have been at the NHU since 2012 and Walden since 2001 and have served in a number of faculty and administrative roles.

Jim Lenio, Walden University
Office of Institutional Research
Nicole Holland, Walden University
Office of Institutional Research
Rebecca Jobe, Laureate Online Education
Executive Director, Student Progress Initiatives
Alan Seidman, Walden University
College of Educaton and Leadership
Diane Neal, Walden University
College of Health Sciences
Jimmy Middlebrook, Walden University
College of Undergradate Studies and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Published
2013-09-30
How to Cite
Burkholder, G. J., Lenio, J., Holland, N., Jobe, R., Seidman, A., Neal, D., & Middlebrook, J. (2013). An institutional approach to developing a culture of student persistence. Higher Learning Research Communications, 3(3), 16-39. https://doi.org/10.18870/hlrc.v3i3.120
Section
Articles