DePAUL'S EXECUTIVE RETENTION GROUP
DePaul's Executive Retention Group
Established in April 2008, the Executive Retention Group (referred to as XRG) leads the coordination of research, academic and programmatic initiatives to understand and improve rates of degree completion for DePaul's diverse student population.
With the executive sponsorship and leadership of the senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing and the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, this group is charged with the following six responsibilities:
- Develop a strategic framework to guide all university retention research and retention programs; develop institutional awareness of the framework, current issues and trends, and institutional data regarding student retention.
- Recommend specific retention goals and objectives grounded in this framework, defined in the context of comparable benchmarks and DePaul's enrollment planning, to guide strategic enrollment planning.
- Integrate into this strategic framework all university activities and initiatives designed and/or intended to improve institutional retention and graduation rates as well as for particular populations of students.
- Develop and recommend new strategies, programs, policies and initiatives designed to bring institutional retention and graduation rates to performance levels outlined in the strategic plan.
- Review, recommend and prioritize for the provost all new retention strategies, initiatives and programs developed by the university community, particularly those proposed as part of the annual strategic planning and budget review process.
- Develop and coordinate all university retention-related research, analysis and reporting; coordinate the evaluation of all retention strategies; oversee all strategic reporting of retention outcomes.
Comprehensive Framework and Research for Retention Strategy
The first step in the university's retention effort was the adoption of a conceptual framework, the "4 Ps of Student Retention,
" to guide DePaul's overall approach to institution-wide retention research and programs.
The second was the development of DePaul's largest, most comprehensive longitudinal analysis of patterns of undergraduate student retention, attrition and degree completion. This research effort provides the foundation for inquiry into how various factors contribute to academic progress and degree attainment for all students, and particularly for groups that historically have below-average rates of degree completion.
Initiatives to Improve Retention
Following are examples of major initiatives that have been influenced, led or are being planned by XRG:
- Development of institutional data around retention and degree completion. Areas of focus include: relationship between first-year performance and four- and six-year graduation rates; relationship between academic probation, retention and graduation; comprehensive analysis of NSSE data; and development of ways to better track transfer students.
- Improvements in academic advising, including: creation of the Office for Academic Advising Support for students who are exploring different majors/minors; technology support for advising (i.e., comprehensive Degree Progress Report, online transfer articulations, Academic Progress Report, online Declaration and Inter-college Transfer Tool); improved policy coordination of advisors across colleges; increased numbers of advisors in college offices; more support for and emphasis on faculty advising appropriate to each college.
- Continual enhancement of DePaul Central, a one-stop service center for Student Records, Financial Aid and Student Accounts, which has locations on both campuses and a single coordinated phone system.
For additional exampes of DePaul's retention goals and strategies, read more about the 4 Ps of Student Retention.
For information about DePaul's Executive Retention Group and their work, contact Carla Cortes, project manager for the Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Retention Group Membership
DePaul's Executive Retention Group includes representatives from across the university.
Peggy Burke, associate vice president for Student Development
Caryn Chaden, associate vice president for Academic Affairs (co-chair)
Carla Cortes, project manager for the Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing
Lawrence Hamer, associate vice president for Academic Affairs
Elizabeth Holder, research analyst for Institutional Research & Market Analytics
David Kalsbeek, senior vice president for the Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing (co-chair)
Susan Leigh, associate vice president for Student Records
Paula Luff, associate vice president for Financial Aid
Robert McCormick, vice president for Information Services
Richard Niedziela, associate dean for the College of Science and Health
Liz Ortiz, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity
Vijay Pendakur, director for the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
Mark Pohlad, program director for Liberal Studies Program
Liz Sanders, assistant vice president for Institutional Research and Market Analytics
Brian Spittle, assistant vice president for the Center for Access and Attainment
Chuck Suchar, dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Scott Walter, university librarian