Improving Fall to Fall Retention


Southwest Tennessee Community College

This webinar features our collection of text examples and best practices for communicating through retention use cases, originally published in Nudging Students Through The Academic Life Cycle ebook.

How to increase fall to fall retention

We were joined by Dr. Nikita Ashford-Ashworth and Dr. Jacqueline Taylor from Southwest Tennessee Community College who discuss how their team was able to effectively communicate with their students and ultimately increased fall to fall retention.

By 2016, SWTCC enrollment and retention numbers were declining. Enrollment had dropped seven years in a row. Similarly, graduation rates were not on the right track. At that time, college staff were using a one-way texting platform to reach students. As a result of these sharp declines, the Retention & Student Success Team realized that they needed to rethink how they communicate with students. They wished to communicate with students and not to them via one-way texting.

At first, staff tried to use email for student outreach. However, email proved to be ineffective. The team realized that students were only reading some emails. As a result, staff agreed that they needed a real-time, two-way method of communication that would engage students, inform them of student supports in place, and also make way for a call to action should one need to be sent.

Watch the webinar to learn about their implementation and the results which include an 80% retention rate for Tennessee Promise and Reconnect students.