The campus community is invited to participate in a “Retention Summit” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room, to examine what’s being done – and what other steps might be taken – to encourage students to remain at SOU through graduation.
Participants in Thursday’s summit will hear reports on current student retention efforts, data and benchmarking, and on the university’s new Navigate platform – an application created by the Education Advisory Board (EAB) to improve the student experience.
Those at the event will then break into small groups and discuss other potential means of improving retention, such as engaging and supporting students, and addressing their academic needs.
SOU President Linda Schott also hosted an “Enrollment Summit” in November to discuss this academic year’s enrollment dip among incoming SOU students and how it might be addressed. The president and SOU’s enrollment and admissions staff have followed up with several steps to ensure that this year’s decline will not be repeated.
The university overcame state and national trends toward lower enrollments a year ago with gains in both total headcount and full-time equivalent students. Early projections for the 2019-20 academic year suggest that SOU may rebound with another year of gains, if current application trends continue.
Steady enrollment growth helps the university counteract some of the effects of decreased state support. The higher education budget currently being discussed among Oregon legislators would fund the state’s seven public universities well below current service levels and would likely require large tuition increases or significant program cuts.