Administrative Issues Journal


Higher education institutions face increased pressure from government and external funding sources to retain and graduate their students each year. Nationally, the federal government’s IPEDS report defines the standard measure of an institution’s retention and graduation success. When universities attempt to adapt this institutional standard to individual majors, they must proceed with caution. In this paper, researchers present the problems institutions can expect in directly adapting the IPEDS standard to measure a single academic major’s retention. They also propose an evolved means of reporting a major’s “student retention to graduation.” In doing so, they create a better depiction of the journey students take through a degree program. The modifications introduced in this evolved report make it more useful and more meaningful to university administrators and program faculty as it provides a clearer, truer retention picture. The evolved report thereby provides better support to decision makers seeking to identify retention problems, propose alternative solutions, and gauge undertaken initiatives.



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