IMPROVING RETENTION


Many students who begin postsecondary education drop out before completing a degree. An estimated 60% of students at public institutions fail to complete degrees within five years, and half of these students leave during the freshman year. The first year of college is the most critical to a college student's success and to degree completion, and successful completion of introductory courses is critical for first-year students. NCAT's redesign methodology produces increases in course completion and student retention.

For example:

  • With an undergraduate minority student population of approximately 46.4%, the University of New Mexico leads the nation's research universities in student diversity. Prior to redesign, 41% of traditional psychology students received a C- or below. This percentage was reduced to 23% after redesign. In addition, the cost of the course was reduced from $161,184 to $82,340, a 49% reduction.

  • The University of Iowa reduced the rate of Ds, Fs and Withdrawals in its introductory chemistry course from 25% to 13%. Redesign students outperformed (mean score 24.7) traditional students (mean score 19.2) and outscored them on 29 of 30 items on a common chemistry exam. At the same time, the cost-per-student was reduced from $286 to $191, a 33% savings.


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