Butler Researchers Have Student Retention Study Published
Mixed method study presents important data, insights, and recommendations for the future
A study by Butler Community College research analysts has been published in the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.
Titled “A Mixed-Methods Community College Retention Study: Who Isn’t Being Retained and Why?”, the study explores the characteristics of students who were not retained and presents their unique perspective on the factors that contributed to their attrition.
Butler Research Analyst Jenna Gannon, while not completely surprised by the results of her and co-author Megan Chambers’ research, emphasized one set of results she found particularly notable. “[There is] incredible potential for book scholarships, work study, and individualized exceptions policies to increase retention rates.”
Chambers, now serving as director of recruitment for Kansas State University’s Global Campus, underlined the role faculty members have as the principal avenues for connection between students and colleges. "[They] have a unique opportunity to offer support to their students in a way that most others cannot," she said.
Esam Mohammad, Butler’s Associate Vice President of Institutional Research, notes the relevance of the achievement. “It's extremely rare for administrative staff to be published in peer reviewed journals, let alone one of [this] caliber. This is the gold standard of data, insights, and recommendations on retention bar none.”
Mohammad also points out that the goal must now be to put the study’s findings into practice. “Now that we have the validated research, analysis, and recommendations, the challenge for our institution and other community colleges is to implement the findings without waiting for some elusive silver bullet,” he said.
Gannon and Chambers’ study was published online for subscribers last month, and will be featured in the August print version of the journal.