5 teaching tips to boost student completion and retention … what are yours?

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I love practical tips … and I love lists, especially short ones.

I couldn’t resist sharing this story from the Chronicle of Higher Education, which I’m constantly reading for grant ideas:

The 5 Tips for Student Success That a Longtime Instructor Swears By

Tony Holland
Tony Holland

The tips are from Tony Holland of the Alabama Community College System, a former dean of instruction who taught chemistry for almost 30 years. During the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in Dallas, Holland said his I-CAN approach (improvement, constant and never ending) increased associate degree completions by 67% and retention rates by 27%, with the greatest improvements shown by minority students.

Here’s the quick list, as they appeared in the Chronicle story:

1. Pass out course evaluations early in the semester
2. Set clear learning objectives for each unit
3. Create 10-minute videos for each objective
4. Give frequent quizzes, essays and group work
5. Provide early, intrusive interventions

What would you add to the list? I’d love to compile some tips from our own faculty. Even if you have just one excellent tip, please do share. Who knows … it might inspire your colleagues …. or an entire grant project. Email sseagle@virginiawestern.edu.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!