SDSU STUDENT AFFAIRS 2006-2007 Annual Report

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Impact on Retention

The Power of Engagement: Student Affairs Programs Make a Big Impact on Retention

The 2006/2007 academic year was the beginning of Student Affairs’ “culture of evidence.” Intuitively, we all know that our services make a difference, but now we have the data to back it up.

Rey Monzon, director of Student Testing, Assessment and Research (STAAR), along with his staff, spent the last year analyzing data to show the real impact that our programs and services have on students. STAAR is beginning to develop longitudinal studies to track first-time freshmen in terms of programmatic participation, program effectiveness, academic persistence and success.

photo of students and parents at orientation.

New Student Orientation

The 2006/2007 academic year began with New Student and Parent Orientation record attendance. New Student Orientation 2006 saw 4,830 first-time freshmen and 2,970 transfer students. In addition, 6,344 parents and guests attended Parent Orientation.

Why these numbers are important: Students who attend orientation have a higher success rate than those who do not. Quite simply, students who did not attend orientation were more likely to have lower GPAs and less likely to continue to their second year.

The data also confirmed that parental support is key. Students who brought a parent or guest to orientation had higher GPAs and were more likely to continue to their second year than those students who attended orientation alone.

chart showing retention rates and first year performance of orientation participants compared to non-participants

Residential Education

photo of sa group of tudentsstudying in a STAR Center

Academic success rates are much higher for students living in the residence halls, and are even higher for those residence hall students who live in learning communities (LC). This was borne out by data that compared academic probation rates.

chart comparing academic probation rates of various residence hall students

Counseling & Psychological Services Bounce Back program

The Bounce Back program entered its third year with an honorary recognition and distinction for the Innovative Program Award from the Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education. Bounce Back is designed to assist and retain students on academic probation, teaching them skills in time management, test-taking strategies, life skills, finding meaningfulness in college goals and persistence toward graduation. For the 2006/2007 academic year, 240 students participated in the Bounce Back program and, for the first time, earned one unit of course credit for those who completed it. The program has had tremendous success in helping students eliminate academic probation and matriculate.

chart comparing acdemic probation rates and retention of Bounce Back program participants with non-participants