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Taking Student Retention Seriously: Rethinking the First Year of College

Subject: student success
Date: 2002-04-15
This is a speech Vincent Tinto gave to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, widely republished since then.  He gives a helpful, narrative account of the design and use of learning communities as one example of institutional commitment to retention, and reducing the achievement gap.  From the article:  "one of the important characteristics of learning communities is that they provide an academic structure within which faculty and student affairs collaboration is possible, indeed often required. Moreover, they can serve as a vehicle through which a range of services can be provided to all first year students in ways which are connected to their daily educational experiences.  More importantly, they are a type of organizational reform that is rooted in the classroom, the one place, perhaps only place, students meet each other and the faculty, and the one place for which we as faculty and student affairs professionals have responsibility. As such they are available to all students, faculty, and staff. And unlike other retention programs that sit at the margins of student academic experience, they seek to transform that experience and thereby address the deeper roots of student retention. Learning communities take student learning and retention seriously. So should our institutions."
Tinto-re-Taking-Student-Retention-Seriously.pdf Tinto-re-Taking-Student-Retention-Seriously.pdf

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