How Can StudentKeys Improve Student Retention?

  • “I taught one section of Intro to College this term. I had 41 students and we used The Cognitive Thinking Style Workbook, The Perceptual Learning Style Workbook, and The Goal Setting Workbook. I have been teaching this course for six years and never before have my students responded more positively to the materials we have used.”
    -Ed Casteldine, Freshmen Director, Northwest Nazarene College, Napa, Idaho
  • “We have used this program for one semester only. It is new to us so we are finding out which is the best way of presenting it to our students. We offered the materials in seminar format. The materials themselves are very easy for the student to comprehend, and they enjoy the discoveries about themselves that each workbook fosters. The materials were also very adaptable and could easily fit into courses already being taught or new ones being developed. It could very easily be used outside of class time as well, in a seminar or workshop format. We are hoping that over the course of time this material will help acclimate our students to our college as well as help them feel a stronger sense of direction in their lives because of the consideration they have given to the different processes.”
    -Lisa Frankland, Director of Freshmen Orientation, Briercrest Bible College, Canada

  • “We have been using StudentKeys (formally Career Quest) materials for three years, and we are beginning to see major results in acclimating and retaining students at Geneva. The materials have helped our students in all areas of life: social, academic, and personal development. I believe these materials need to be in every school in America. Our Freshman Program has helped retain our student body and saved us time and money.”
    -Joy Jewell, Vice President of Student Development, Geneva College, Pennsylvania
  • “We utilized StudentKeys (formally Career Quest) materials during our Freshman Weekend Retreat. After we went through the Personality Workbook, the students began to relate what style they were with each other. It was the “buzz” around the entire campus after the retreat!”
    -Gary Ewing, Freshman Orientation Director, Colorado Christian University, Colorado
  • “These materials are tremendous! They have helped our students understand their unique personality and learning styles. StudentKeys (formally Career Quest) is one of my strongest retention tools.”
    -Joel Wilson, Freshman Director, The Criswell College, Texas
  • “My evaluation of this program was positive. I felt the students learned valuable information about their learning styles with the workbooks.”
    -Barb Streeter, Director of Freshman Programs, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
  • “This past year, I trained mentors in this material for Geneva’s freshmen orientation program. I noticed that both mentors and freshmen had gotten excited about learning the CAREERQuest material. When they went through the workbooks, you could see the light bulbs being turned on in their minds. The mentors really had a lot of fun teaching StudentKeys (formally Career Quest) to the incoming students and it rubbed off on the freshmen. One very outgoing freshman introduced himself at lunch by saying, “Hi! I’m Michael, and I’m a high I!” In my focus group, so many new relationships have developed. We’ve openly talked about differences, conflict, studying, dating, roommates and family. I am good friends with some people whom I mentored and I know these materials built the relationship’s foundation.”
    -Debra Csellar, Senior Mentor and Student, Geneva College, Pennsylvania
  • “I was hoping my daughter would not have a bad experience with her new roommate. After taking part in this course, she has resolved her differences with her roommate.”
    -R.S., Parent of college student, Pennsylvania
  • “When my child brought the materials home during the break, we opened new areas of communication and saw the differences within our family.”
    -M.M., Parent of college student, Pennsylvania
  • “This program adds value to the cost of my child’s education.”
    -K.L., Parent of college student, British Columbia

Retention issues have become increasingly important in higher education since the 1980’s when retention rates began to decline) (Postsecondary Education Opportunity, 2002). Since then, schools have put their emphasis upon student persistence and preventing attrition (dropout). Considering that approximately 40% of students leave higher education, both public and private, without getting a degree, the emphasis is well put. (Horn & Carroll, 1996). After all, student attrition not only hampers the student’s success, but affects a college’s bottom line.

Since more than half of all students who withdraw, do so at the end of the freshman year, the first year continues to be a vital time in a student’s college education. (Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange, 1999). As a result of this phenomenon, many schools now offer extensive and comprehensive first-year and freshman experience programs.

During the first year, it is imperative to integrate students both academically and socially. Dr. Tinto, a popular retention theorist, made this a central theme in his retention model (Tinto, 1975). After studying and distinguishing many reasons for student departure, he found that students need academic integration i.e. to feel a sense of personal development from what they are learning independent from the teacher’s marks. He also found that students need to gain a sense of social integration not only with peers, but with educators and staff or anyone in their realm of influence.

How can StudentKeys help retain students?

  • StudentKeys assessments were originally designed to be a significant part of orientation programs during the first year to help retain students.
  • These workbooks help to academically and socially integrate students in the first year by helping them identify and enhance their learning and communicating styles.
  • The workbooks were used in an empirical study to determine their impact upon first-year student success and retention.
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