Software programs assist in university retention efforts

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Dr. Ron Nowacyzk is the Provost at Clarion University.
Dr. Ron Nowacyzk is the Provost at Clarion University.

CLARION, Pa. – Over the past two years, Clarion has been making an effort to improve student retention on campus.
To help in its efforts, the university has adopted software programs Map Works and the Student Success Collaborative to guide students through their academic careers at clarion.
Clarion increased its student retention over five percentage points over the past year. Provost Ronald Nowacyzk says that part of the improvement can be accredited to an analytical tool called Map Works that the university has adopted.
The program focuses on a student’s perception of how he or she are doing at Clarion and has been in use for a year.
“It is a tool for freshmen that identifies problems that students are having early, whether it is financial, social or something else, so that we can help them stay in school,” Nowacyzk said.
The university has now adopted another new program called the Student Success Collaborative that became available this semester and focuses on academics for students.
The program is built on looking at records of students over the past 10 years at Clarion and seeing how students progressed academically throughout their time at the university.
Based on the data, it is shown how successful students progressed in their respective curriculum, generating a basic guideline for students today.
The collaborative is targeted at working for sophomores, juniors and  seniors currently enrolled.  It is not available for freshmen because of the lack of data available for analyzing.
A student’s adviser may open the Collaborative to see if the student is on track academically or behind based on the analyzed data of what a successful student has done at Clarion.
“It basically helps the adviser see what the student is doing. They can tell if the student is not on track with what a successful student is in their respective programs,” Nowacyzk said.
If a student’s record were to be in the “red zone” of being off-track in a program’s curriculum on the collaborative, the program can also tell the adviser what area of study the student might fit best in at the university based on past data of students in those programs.
“This program also allows us to see if a student is not on track to finish in their degree, what programs they are on track with to graduate,” Nowacyzk said.
Clarion is the first school in the PASSHE school to adopt the Student Success Collaborative program.  Other universities that have followed include Slippery Rock and Shippensburg.
“[We] want to figure out how to get students to graduate in a good amount of time.  If we can help you from detouring and being lost academically for a year and save you a semester or a year, that would be great,” Nowacyzk said. “I am very happy that Clarion is taking the lead in the PASSHE system and not playing catch up with other schools. Anything we can do to help [students] navigate through the four or five years here, we are going to do.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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