Using Selfies to Motivate Student Registration and Reach a Record Retention Rate
Advisors from the Clayton State University First-Year Advising and Retention Center (FYARC) presented at the NACADA (National Association of Academic Advising) regional conference on May 16, at the University of Georgia.
Nearly 70 advisors from across the southeast region attended FYARC’s presentation on “Timeless First-Year Advising for the Millennial Generation.” FYARC advisors shared their advising strategies for first-year students such as providing holistic academic advisement, major and career exploration, and linking advisement to first-year programming. In addition, the presentation highlighted the center’s innovative outreach and communication efforts for the millennial generation. These efforts include hosting Freshman Registration Parties in the Laker Hall residence hall, teaching students how to register, and posting advising selfie pictures through social media to motivate students to register.
“Our advising colleagues were shocked to learn that we require all of our first-year students to attend at least three advisement sessions during the semester,” says FYARC Director DeLandra Hunter. “By the end of the presentation, I think they understood that academic advisors should develop meaningful relationships with students to support their developmental needs and increase retention. Of course, this takes time to do.”
Clayton State reached a first-to-second-year retention rate of 72.34 percent for its fall 2012 cohort, the highest retention rate the institution has ever seen. This is a 4.5 percent increase from the 67.84 percent retention rate in the fall of 2011.
“Although there are a variety of programs and interventions we have developed over the past several years, we believe our intentional, directive, and monthly mandatory advising sessions are making the greatest difference in our freshmen,” says Dr. Mark Daddona, associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Academic Success. “Our first-year students are developing close connections with the staff in the First-Year Advising and Retention Center as well as other students.
“As a result, more first-year students are returning to the institution for their second year of college.”
Daddona also notes that, for the first time, the University surpassed the average 70.60 percent retention rate of all institutions in its sector and has the second highest retention rate of institutions in its sector.