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EIU Committee on Retention Efforts

@ EIU - FOR Faculty/Staff; Generated BY Faculty/Staff

  • Provide a way for students in your major to receive information in your departmental offices (i.e., mailboxes or bulletin boards).
  • Communicate with students in your major on a regular basis—send letters before students arrive on campus, include students in dept. newsletters, etc. 
  • Establish listservs for classes and/or majors to help students make connections with other people with similar interests. 
  • Contact students if they are absent a great deal from class.  Numerous absences may indicate that students are not serious about staying at Eastern. 
  • Become involved with students outside of classroom by attending student government, becoming an advisor for a student organization, etc.
  • If you are an advisor, contact students with congratulatory letters when they make the deans list. 
  • Learn students’ names in your classes and call on them by name. 
  • Hand out a student information sheet on the first day of class to learn information about your students. 
  • Meet with students regarding their progress during the semester. 
  • Be accessible—set and keep office hours, share phone number and email address with students and advisees. 
  • Make students aware of academic support services and refer individual students to specific services; encourage students to make appointments with these support services while in your office. 
  • If you do not know the answer to a student’s question when he/she comes to your office, direct him/her to the appropriate office (if you don’t know the appropriate office, make a phone call or two to find out while the student waits). 
  • Make time for students; greet them with a smile, be friendly, treat them as a person and not a number.

Universal Practices

Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, Source: Chickering, A.W, and Gamson, Z.F. "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education."AAHE Bulletin, 1987, 39(7), 3-7.

Warning Signs that Students are At-Risk*

 Student’s behavior changes or is suspect:

  •  Starts to come late to class when on time previously
  • Misses a number of classes without reason
  • Makes excuses for not completing work
  •  Stops answering questions in class or participating in discussions
  • Appears very quiet and shy, never talks to anyone in class
  •  Begins to be disruptive—talks to friends, makes rude noises, etc.
  • You see the student spending a lot of time playing sports or goofing off, but never in the library, studying, or carrying books
  •  Drastically changes physical appearance
  • Personality changes (stops being upbeat, stops making jokes, starts being sarcastic or surly, becomes withdrawn)
  • Appears uninterested, unmotivated, undisciplined

Student acts disgruntled, odd, or disengaged:

  • Avoids you—won’t answer email, won’t meet your eye when you talk to him/her
  • Misses scheduled appointments, or makes a number of appointments for no apparent reason
  • Makes derogatory comments concerning other classes or professors
  • Has unrealistic expectations for self (getting a D on assignments and thinks he can pull an A in the course)
  • Takes no responsibility for course work or grades
  • Complains about Eastern or college
  • Seems to participate in no University activities
  • Has low self-esteem
  • Has no life or educational goals or interests

Poor or weak performance/work:

  • Turns in sloppy or poorly written papers/assignments
  • Hurries through tests and quizzes
  • Does not participate in class discussion
  • Cannot answer questions about assignments or readings when asked directly
  • Does not come prepared with basics like pen, paper, or books
  • Never takes notes or just doodles
  • Constantly asks you to repeat announcements and lecture material
  • Seems to sleep or daydream in class
  • Seems subject to negative peer pressure
  • Unprepared academically
  • Poor study habits

* “At-risk” here is used to define students who may not persist at the University because of academic or personal issues.


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