Retention and graduation rates increase for community colleges that beef up or get creative with their student advising services.
It’s a no-brainer that the more advising colleges offer, the more engaged students will be in their education.
But a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement shows that effective advising may have a larger impact on returning students and thus colleges’ persistence and graduation rates.
The report highlights that 78 percent of returning students reported meeting with an adviser, compared to 62 percent of entering students. According to CCCSE, that detail is significant because less than 50 percent of first-time-in-college students return to the same institution the following fall, indicating that early advising leads to increases in retention.
“Clearly advising is not the same for all students,” said Evelyn Waiwaiole, executive director of the center. “But when advisers are spending more time talking with students about developing an academic plan, their career ambitions and opportunities for employment — this is where community colleges are seeing greater student engagement.”
The report found more engagement among students who had longer advising sessions, met with their adviser more often and had an adviser who helped them develop academic and career plans.