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Activity #2: Improving Retention through Excellence in Education and Service

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Abstract: A current issue of concern in higher education institutions across the world is the retention and success of students in their studies. It is Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (AAMU) goal to increase its retention, persistence and graduation rates by 7% within the next five years.   An Office of Retention and Persistence has been established at AAMU in order to achieve this goal.  Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University has identified numerous factors affecting retention and time-to-degree-completion such as lack of financial aid, advising, infrastructure and facilities, housing, work-related concerns, dissatisfaction with instruction and opportunities, poor customer service, inadequate support, family issues and other personal reasons. Currently, the average retention rates are as follows: 2-year – 69.61%, 3-year – 54.10% and 4-year – 49.56%. The 6-year graduation rate is 29.14%. Improving our retention, persistence and graduation rates will be an integrated effort across the entire University encompassing the areas of the Offices of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Residential Life and Housing, Public Safety, Physical Facilities and various Colleges, Departments and Academic Units. Strategic initiatives will be implemented in the areas of enrollment management (i.e., social media, CONNECT Centers, Student Success Coaches, and Early Alert), academic programming (i.e., curriculum modifications, faculty development, optimizing course scheduling, and competency based degree program), and student success and access (i.e., academic support, health and career counseling and planning, and enhancement of overall student life).


Activity Director: Dr. Malinda Gilmore
Email Address:
Telephone Number: 256-372-4427