Michigan University Study Finds Ways to Improve Freshman Retention RateBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
Soon-to-be freshmen students at a college or university are more likely going to stick around and go back to the same school for their sophomore year if they feel that sense of belongingness and sense of fitting in, according to a study. The Michigan University research has found that this is an important aspect that institutions should be taking a closer look at.
The team of researchers from MSU has found that fostering student connections before the freshmen students even start attending classes should be done through summer transition programs, because it is one way of establishing and fostering connections with these students, Science Daily reported. They have also found that in the United States, 3 out of 10 students do not go back for their sophomore year. But, at MSU, their retention rate is about 90 percent.
Joshua Prasad, lead author of the MSU study and a master's student in the Department of Psychology, said that they have learned that students can already develop the sense of fitting in right before they even walk into the class, and that this feeling is important for students, because it will make them feel that their skills meet the academic standards and demands of the school, and that is going to help them decide to stay, according to Science News Line.
Prasas added that this is an area that colleges and universities must look into and act on, and that they can take advantage of the summer before the classes to help students develop the sense of fitting in. This is even more helpful especially to the ethnic minority in the schools. Based on their study, the ethnic minority who felt connection during the orientation felt a feeling of fitting in and found to have wanted to stay at the university for the next semester.