Persistence and Completion

During the last few years, several college access programs have led the way of “retention” efforts that colleges have begun to embrace. Access programs that track their students through college often find that their students are not retained or graduating at the institutional average. Indeed, national data confirms that many underrepresented/low-income/minority/first generation students lag behind their high income, high achieving counterparts. As a result, many access programs have begun to adopt the concept of college “access and success” as their mantra.

Retaining first-year students has become a priority at higher education institutions. Colleges and universities have earmarked vast resources to support student success on campus. These resources include academic assistance/tutoring programs, personal counseling, student activities and learning communities. A common assumption is that, with the vast array of resources being provided, all students should have what they need to obtain a degree at any college. A limited number of NCAN member programs have initiated retention programs in an effort to improve the college success rates of their students. In order for these initiatives to succeed, however, access programs must aggressively build and strengthen collaborations with higher education partners.

This section is designed for your review if your program is currently providing retention services or is interested in planning or establishing such services.

For more information about persistence and completion, download this Advisor Training Module - Chapter 12.  

Member Example: Access Program Authorization Release Form

This form is an example of authorizing the release of student information to a college access and success program.

Academic Persistence

Social Supports and Self-Efficacy in College Success
The brief points to the much-researched concept of academic self-efficacy—“an individual’s perceived capability in performing the necessary tasks to achieve personal goals”—as playing a critical role in influencing the academic success of underrepresented students, particularly during their first year of college. It also describes the connection between meeting national college completion goals and influencing retention through social supports. In addition, the paper provides expert commentary and advice from college access and success practitioners. 

Study Skills 101
This presentation covers study skills from the point of view of the 7 Habits and aimed to help students strengthen their study skills prior to the start of college.

Financial Persistence

Financial Information for Savvy College Students
This presentation aims to provide a final reminder for students about affordability and debt. There is a refresher on student loans, a small portion on repayment and the consequences of failure to repay, etc.

I've Borrowed. Now What?
This presentation is for students who have completed a year of college and are actively in the process of managing student loan debt. It provides suggestions for graduate funding and also discusses repayment, default, etc.