Episode 3

Supporting Student Retention and Success Through A Faculty and Research Partnership

Instructional Faculty and Researchers Partner to Examine Practices That Support Student Retention and Success

When looking to improve the students’ experience in community college, the key is to impact their retention, persistence, completion, and success in reaching educational goals. To that end, the Regional Strong Workforce Program (SWP) Student Retention, Persistence, and Completion Research Investment aims to start by looking at promising strategies happening every day in community college classrooms.

The kick-off to this initiative was the Faculty Institute, held on February 28, 2020. It brought together faculty and researchers to begin identifying specific classroom practices that positively impact students, and develop plans to learn and share them with the wider region. The professional learning event was attended by over 244 faculty members and 61 researchers, deans, and staff to launch.

One of the goals of the initiative is to inspire faculty involvement to transform and meet the needs of student. Faculty and research staff work collaboratively to build capacity to conduct investigative research on their own students and build an action plan to make changes in the classroom based on what is learned. More than 20 instructional faculty per college colleges have joined together with the Career Education Dean and researches on campus to dig into classroom level data and research, uncovering promising practices and interventions that can lead to better outcomes for students. The process encourages faculty into self-reflection, inquiry, and research-based decision making about classroom practices, looking through a culturally inclusive lens.

The investment is linked to several key outcomes:

  • Insights in the region about how classroom level practice links to student retention and persistence
  • List of successful intervention strategies
  • Action plans for sharing and implementing these strategies/practices across the region
  • Improved student retention rates, completion rates, and an increase in the number attaining a living wage


Find out more about the Faculty Institute project here, or by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions.

Check back regularly as details and insights from across the region will be shared and posted in this episode.

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