London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) December 18, 2009 -- Victoria Valle, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, said there are still steps the university needs to make to improve enrollment and retention at SIUC.
Valle said retention begins with the first recruitment attempts toward a student.
âRetention and recruitment are different sides of the same coin,â Valle said. âYou begin retention when you begin recruitment.â
Valle said the department is always looking at bringing in a larger recruitment class to ensure better retention.
Valle said the university would never be one that has a 95 percent retention rate.
âThe higher the selectivity, the higher the retention rate,â Valle said. âIf youâre looking at students coming in that have an average ACT of 28, youâre going to have a very high retention rate. Thatâs not what our freshman class looks like, and itâs very unlikely that our freshman class will ever look like that.â
But Valle said the university needs to do a better job with the students it has.
Interim Provost Don Rice said retention for the spring semester is looking positive at this point.
âThe rate is high,â Rice said. âWe are doing much better. And despite budget issues, the application rate right now is very good.â
Nearly 98 percent of freshman and almost 92 percent of sophomores have already registered for next semester. That number drops at the junior and senior levels, where more than 85 percent of juniors have registered and almost 63 percent of seniors have registered.
Valle said the administration should talk to students in orientation about the proper path to take in order to be successful at the university.
âWe make choices in our lives, we do things in our lives, and they have consequences,â Valle said. âThatâs what I think we need to start talking to students about in orientation.â
Valle said, at least in the short term, the universityâs selectivity would not change.
âWe have a demographic trend thatâs going to make it difficult for us to do that,â Valle said. âI think we have some tools in place that we can start to attract stronger students, but we need a little more time to do that. I think we can do that and weâre a good enough university to do that.â
Valle said the university should get the word out to high school students earlier in their schooling to make them attracted to SIUC.
Chancellor Sam Goldman said unless something unusual occurs, retention would be high in the spring.
âBarring anything unforeseen, Iâm very optimistic about where we will be in the spring,â Goldman said. Copyright: Daily Egyptian Source: http://www.newscolony.com