First an apology for not posting a new article recently. I have been distracted by a kidney failure issue that has taken most of my time and strength. Butnow I am somewhat back t myself as I start dialysis and search for a volunteer to donate a kidney. Not much fun by the alternative really sucks so I need to do this and locate a donor kidney.
Anyhow, it was gratifying to see the results of a Gallup Poll of 30,000 students to try and determine what factors kept a student in school through to graduation. When reviewed it seems that most of the reasons students stayed were related to academic customer service as we have been talking about for some time now.
The main reason why students stayed was” I had at least on professor in (college) that got me excited about learning – 63%”. That is a professor has reached out in the classroom through great discussion and teaching or outside of the classroom with extra help or just talking to make students feel that the college is a good and exciting place to learn. The professor has delivered on of the most significant services available at the school- good teaching and likely reaching out to students to keep them involved and knowing the professor cares about them. Caring does count greatly in retaining students,
This leads into the next result “my professors at (college) cared about me as a person – 27%” of respondents. This number matches the one we got when we last studied why students leave school rather than this one’s trying to see why students stay in school. Our study found that twenty-seven percent of students left because they did not think anyone cared about them, the obverse question but both came up with the same result.
These two items from the Gallup survey and our study of why students left again evidence how the absolute importance of treating every student as a person with integrity, needs and a personality. They show how it is necessary to reach out to students and make them feel welcome and valued. You know, like one would serve a customer in a store, a restaurant, a hospital and any other place where the customer is wanted. Treat people right and they will come back.
If this makes sense to you get a copy of From Admissions to Graduation or The Power of Retention by Dr. Neal Raisman, the international expert on academic customer service and retention.