Retention Plan Updates
The Route to Retention—Multi-Year Retention Action Plan was developed out of our shared university commitment to Students First. Through this plan and the many other efforts of colleges, divisions and departments, the Retention Task Force (RTF) will continue to support our first-year Kent campus students return for their second year. The plan serves as a mechanism for aligning resources to implement innovative efforts to achieve our goal of an 85% retention rate.
The Retention Task Force assessed policies, procedures, data, emerging practices, and other efforts to propose the recommendations included in the plan. The development of the plan began in April 2021 at a Retention Task Force member retreat. Members defined what it meant for Kent State (Kent campus) to shift practices to align with Student Ready principles and position itself as an access university.
Retention Task Force members identified Student Ready tactics and resources that directly support first to second year student success and align with strategic plans from Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management and the Division of Student Affairs. Tactics were revised based on the feedback from stakeholders and aligned to three priority areas—communication, sense of belonging and student ready. Key factors to the successful implementation of Route to Retention —Multi-Year Retention Action Plan included designated leadership, data-driven and research-based recommendations, continuous communication, transparency, stakeholder buy-in throughout the university, and frequent assessments tied to reporting of efforts and outcomes.
In collaboration with university leadership, Division leads were identified to partner with the Retention Task Force to move the plan forward along with Priority Area Facilitators and Priority Area Members and retention tactics (see Figure below). In September 2022, Priority Area Facilitators along with division leads participated in a workshop providing them with the tools to finalize the tactic plans (milestone, measures for success, RACI chart and Gantt chart) forward. Tactic priority will focus on the 2022/23 academic year identified tactics and continue with moving the work forward until the 2024/25 academic year.
In tandem, fall 2022 semester, Retention Task Force college partners finalized college specific retention plans for the Fall 2022 cohort. In preparing for this work, the Retention Task Force sponsored a campus partner resource meeting that included a panel discussion and time for one-on-one conversation. The goal of the panel was for our campus partners to share with our college partners their programs, events, resources, and training opportunities that could be considered for collaboration. College partners shared their plans in the October Retention Task Force meeting. Following, Dr. Nicole Kotlan and Randall Lennox (IR) met with each RTF college partner to review submitted plans and finalized measurement for a planned persistence and retention reporting.
As we all continue to help our students succeed, we would like to thank all of the faculty and staff who have served and continue to serve as members of the Retention Task Force, our Priority Area Facilitators (Communication Matt Rollyson & Holly Slocum, Sense of Belonging: AJ Conway & Christopher Dorsten, Student Ready: Charity Miller & Dr. Christopher Tankersley), the Retention Task Force Leadership Team (Dr. Eboni Pringle, Dr. Denise Bartell, Dr. John Jewell, and Dr. Nicole Kotlan) and the Fall semester Coordinating Team (Dr. Lamar Hylton, Dr. Sean Broghammer, Dr. Andrew Tonge, Dr. Maureen McFarland, Dr. Andrew Crawford, Wayne Schneider, and Randall Lennox) for their dedication and support for our students’ success.