Purdue Calumet is Nationally Recognized for Improving Student Success/Retention

PUC-LogoPurdue University Calumet is among three universities nationally to receive the 2014 Student Success Collaborative award from the Education Advisory Board (EAB) for outstanding achievement improving student outcomes and proactively intervening with students at risk.

Purdue Calumet joins California State University Long Beach and Southern Illinois University as EAB honored institutions. Announcement of the award recipients took place Monday (11/10).

“These institutions have shown national leadership in strategically supporting students through the use of data—and getting students the resources they need to graduate,” EAB Executive Vice President Scott Schirmeier said. “Students and schools both win when institutions get access to data that elevate the art of advising.”

Data-driven practices contribute to increased retention
Purdue Calumet received the Data-Driven Impact Award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship, for using data-driven practices to increase the university’s freshman-to-sophomore year retention rate to 73.5 percent this fall from 68.8 percent a year ago. Freshman-to-sophomore year retention is recognized as an important factor in graduation rates.

“Purdue University Calumet is committed to guiding students through an educational process that leads to graduation and fulfills our mission by creating future leaders in Northwest Indiana, nationally and world-wide,” Purdue Calumet Executive Director of Student Success and Transition Dhanfu Elston said.

To improve student success and degree persistence, Purdue Calumet introduced two years ago a new approach of utilizing data to serve students better. Subsequently, university retention professionals have used data to allocate tutors to attend those classes in which significant assistance is needed. Data also is utilized to outline key milestone courses and grades needed to graduate within four years.

More proactive advising
Additionally, Purdue Calumet implemented mandatory advising for students on probation. Advisors also have played a more proactive role tracking and interacting with at-risk students. Such practices contributed, not only to the freshman-to-sophomore year retention increase, but also a 1.6 percent student persistence rise across all class years.

As part of EAB’s Student Success Collaborative, Purdue Calumet leverages best practice research, predictive analytics and consulting to help colleges and universities improve retention and increase graduation rates.

“Our partnership with the Student Success Collaborative makes us a more predictive and data-driven campus related to student success,” Elston said. “The new information we have generated provides us insights into our students’ educational patterns that allow us to create an engaging and supportive academic environment.”

Advisors expand outreach
He added that given the role of academic advising as a proven, high impact practice in student success and degree completion, “providing advisors with technological tools and predictive analytics has allowed them to expand their outreach and touch the lives of many more students.”

Purdue Calumet will receive its award during the annual Student Success Collaborative Summit Dec. 4 in Washington, D.C.

The Education Advisory Board, a division of The Advisory Board Company, provides research, technology and consulting services to more than 700 colleges and universities nationally.