Identifying where students stumble: A retention map from Edith Cowan College

There are many factors that can influence a student’s ability to continue and succeed in their studies, from their demographic background to their initial engagement with the college, orientation, support and ongoing learning experiences. Improving retention involves taking a holistic view of the student and the systems that support them.

Edith Cowan College was one of three Australian Navitas colleges involved in a data analytics project. It produced insights and strategies that led to 10–20% increases in retention in two years.

The project was an opportunity to look holistically at all our available data on students, from demographics to academic reports, to identify flags for retention and identify students at risk.

Making retention everyone’s business

Based on the data analysis and other insights, we mapped out the student life-cycle and key intervention strategies to improve retention.

Importantly, retention is now set as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for staff. Each trimester we set an aspirational target for retention. Every day a Retention Scorecard is emailed to staff which includes the current position against the target and promotes discussion of the effectiveness of different intervention strategies. This process truly makes retention everybody’s business and generates valuable discussion within and between teams about innovations and improvements to processes.

Click the plus signs in the image below to explore intervention strategies:

If this is a key issue in your area of Navitas, keep an eye on the Events page or subscribe for monthly updates. We’ll be continuing and deepening this discussion! You can also join the conversation with Malcolm Baigent and other colleagues around the world on Yammer.