Early Intervention as an Approach to Retention






Strand Student retention
Type Ignite – 5 min talk
Learning Objective(s) Participants will

  • Improving early intervention
  • Better identifying students for early intervention.
In 2016-17, the Faculty of ACES was down on University KPIs for both retention (93% against a KPI of 95%) and year 1 to 2 progression (78% against a KPI of 90%) (Sheffield Hallam University 2017). In response, the Faculty Student Services team developed a Retention Plan which aimed to address this shortfall by providing early intervention (The HERE Project, 2011) to vulnerable students (Tinto 1998), and attempting to remove barriers to attendance and achievement. The plan was designed to be a first step towards making retention activity more coherent.The retention plan consisted of three main strands of activity: an extended induction, welfare calls and attendance monitoring. The outcomes of these were evaluated against the initial criteria for the plan.

This ignite presentation will introduce and evaluate the impact of these activities and, moving forward, identify ways to develop a more coherent approach to retention activity. In particular, we seek to examine ways in which we can define predictors to identify appropriate students for supportive early intervention.

To facilitate the discussion, the following questions will be used:

  1. How could this work in your area?
  2. What are your ‘predictors’? Are they anecdotal or supported by evidence?
  3. How can we do this work in a more coherent way?
References Sheffield Hallam University. (2017). Strategy Implementation Plan. Retrieved from https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/universitystrategy/about/The HERE Project. (2011). Higher Education: Retention & Engagement 2018-2011. Retrieved from http://www.improvingthestudentexperience.com/library/UG_documents/Final_Report_-_HERE_Project.pdf

Tinto, V. (1998). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.