Carl Sandburg College with the 1-2 Punch to Knock out Retention Issues

With dwindling budgets and legacy pressure to grow enrollments, institutions are being forced to evaluate priorities.  In 2012, 21.6 million students attended colleges and universities (Source: National Center for Education Statistics).  Yet, according to a recent article in the New York Times, college enrollment fell 2% in 2012-2013.  Couple these new enrollment trends with declining graduation rates and the ensuing backlash from policy makers, and the result is an environment rife for change.

Many states such as Florida & Connecticut have taken notice of the 50% graduation rate and drastically changed the ways in which dollars are allocated to institutions.  Rather than allocate dollars based on enrollment, some states are incentivizing institutions by reimbursing them for the number of students they graduate.  As a result, institutions are scrambling to adjust to this new reality.  If retention and graduation rates rather than enrollment numbers are the new gold standard, then what options are available to colleges & universities?

Carl Sandburg College

Carl Sandburg College, a two-year institution in Illinois, sought an aggressive strategy to address the retention issues they were facing with their students.  Largely serving a diverse and commuter-heavy student population, tutoring became an essential factor in retention strategies.  Carl Sandburg College already operated an on-campus tutoring center.  However, to cater to its students with busy lifestyles and growing online course enrollments, the school wanted to expand its academic support coverage.  In 2012, Carl Sandburg College partnered with Tutor.com to supply online tutoring to its student body. Online tutoring is used in tandem with on-campus tutoring.  Tutor.com outcomes are 10-15% higher than on-campus tutoring success rates. Andy Scott, Coordinator of Academic Support, believes it is because students are tech savvy and are looking for a ‘drop-in’ service to suit their busy lifestyles.

To read more about the results of the Carl Sandburg College-Tutor.com partnership, click here.

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