Tweeting Your Way to Better Retention

Photo Credit: Francisco Osorio

Universities are tackling retention issues head-on with relentless outreach – using any channels available to them. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently highlighted several universities making the time and effort to get struggling or simply AWOL students back on track – including Temple University. Advisers and faculty there contact students throughout the semester, with a goal of reaching each student five times. And, they use more than just email: phone calls, tweets and even in-person visits are all fair game to help establish and maintain contact with the highest-risk students.

The students who most need it tend not to be the ones who reach out for help,

said Peter R. Jones, Temple University’s senior vice provost for undergraduate studies. As the higher ed landscape continues to get more competitive and more complex, kudos to the colleges and universities that are establishing strong retention programs now. Not only will the coming years see record numbers of nontraditional and first-generation students, but we are likely to see significant shifts in the way higher education is delivered. Or more options, at the very least. Many students – and their families – will need help navigating the changing waters. Investing in their success now will continue to pay dividends well into the future.

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