Many Reasons, Many Solutions

“First-Year Experience:  What Works and Why” will be the focus when Housatonic Community College hosts a day-long workshop sponsored by the Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence on September 27 in Bridgeport.

The reasons for the less-than-ideal retention and graduation rates in Connecticut and nationally are many and complex:

  • the student “achievement gap” that higher education institutions inherit from K-12 educational systems;
  • increasing financial constraints on all institutions, public and private, and on students;
  • the academic and non-academic challenges faced by an increasing number of students, including student debt; and
  • the cost and bureaucratic challenge of implementing recognized promising and best practices from around the nation.

Such outcomes refer to the lost potential and the lost “life success” of each student who does not retain to graduation and move into the workforce from their chosen institution of postsecondary education. More broadly, it refers to the economic and social cost to society of lost wages and taxes, including contributions to Social Security.

Attendance is limited at the Sept.. 27 program, which features nationally acclaimed educator Betsy Barefoot, Vice President of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.