Student Retention Conference a Success

The Staff Forum held the Student Retention Conference in the Hinds University Center from 3:00 to 4:30 last Wednesday. The conference was held to determine faculty and student opinions about what WCU can do to keep its students.

Staff director Bob Orr was very pleased with the turnout.

“I am encouraged by the input received today. We are always trying new ways to get input at these meetings,” said Orr. “I believe today was successful because of the large amount of feedback that we received. There will be more of these conferences held to help us solve the problem.”

Possible solutions proposed regarding the retention problem were increased communication between faculty and students, better computer technical support services and a liberal studies program. Those in attendance hope that a few of these improvements will indeed help retention at WCU.

The conference broke into small groups in order to encourage people to speak their minds more freely in front of a smaller audience. It seemed the general consensus was that WCU needs to recruit students who are a good “fit” with the university.

New Writing Center Director Barbara Hudson seemed excited about the conference.

“It was great how many people came today. There were a lot of fresh ideas and a lot of enthusiasm,” said Hudson. “I hope we can use the information we received today effectively to solve our problem. Today was very good!”

The staff forum announced that 83 percent of students think that the teachers care, up from 74 percent last year. Fewer freshmen from the 2000 class were placed on academic probation than from the 1999 class.

The Staff Forum was also happy to announce that freshmen retention was up one percent from last year.