Butler Community College celebrates record high retention rates | Butler Community College

Butler Community College celebrates record high retention rates

Three students wearing Butler shirts seated at concrete table
Published: Friday, April 12th, 2024

Fall 2022 freshmen returned to Butler at all-time rates.

Butler Community College reached historic heights in its retention rates for the Fall 2022 freshman class, as first-time full-time students who began taking classes during that term returned to Butler the following fall at a 66% rate. The previous high for the college was 61%.

The increase in Butler’s retention rate moves it from comparable to the national average, which is also 61%, to sitting well above it. In addition, Butler’s 35% retention rate for part-time students is the highest its been since 2018.

“In today’s enrollment and financial climate, student retention has never been more important,” said Butler Research Analyst Dr. Jenna Gannon. ”And these latest numbers show Butler’s ongoing commitment to increasing student retention rates.”  

Butler Community College’s efforts to help retention include Gannon and former research analyst Megan Chambers publishing a peer-reviewed study last year on why students are not being retained. As a result of that study’s findings, Butler faculty members are being encouraged to embrace their role as principal avenues for student engagement.

The reason retention rates for the Fall 2022 cohort are released in the Spring 2024 semester is that Fall 2022 enrollment numbers must be measured against the number of students who return for the Fall 2023 semester, before both sets of numbers can be analyzed.

Dr. Esam Mohammad, Butler’s Associate Vice President of Institutional Research, pointed out one particularly noteworthy finding from this year’s analysis. Mohammad found that “the retention rate hike was almost exclusively due to one particular group of students: those who came in with the intention of seeking an associate degree in the liberal arts—i.e., students who did not have a specific major in mind.”

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Retention is a fundamental component of an institution’s ability to carry out its mission,” with low retention rates serving as an indicator of future financial loss. As a result, an increase in retention rate indicates that Butler is fulfilling its mission to provide innovative, affordable, quality education with great success.

Written by Joe Wescott.