The Office of Retention and Graduation Success in Undergraduate Education identifies barriers to student success and works to eliminate those barriers. It uses applied behavioral science research techniques to support the academic success of FIU undergraduates, particularly as measured by retention and on-time graduation rates. The Office helps to carry out the Graduation Success Initiative (GSI), primarily by providing Major Maps and alerts for students and academic advisors, and information and analyses to departments and decision-majors. The primary work of the Office includes:
Providing Timely Information on Retention and Graduation Rates
- Provision of the Retention and Graduation Dashboard, a regularly-updated dashboard tool showing the progress to graduation of cohorts of students by year, major, and college;
- Provision of retention and graduation data reports and analyses for ad hoc reports, grant proposals, federal reporting studies, etc.
Major Maps and Alerts for Students and Advisors
- Oversight and coordination of the GSI’s Major Maps, the multi-year, major-specific plans that show students in each major which courses to take each term, and what grades they should earn in key courses to be well prepared for subsequent courses;
- Identification and creation of alerts and critical indicators, early warning signals of potentially problematic performance in courses or deviation from Major Maps;
- Provision of timely information for all university academic advisors, including identification of students nearing graduation and non-returnees, to support the advisor-student relationship and maximize graduation opportunities;
Identifying Bottlenecks and Risk Factors
- Analysis of high-failure rate, high-impact bottleneck courses in partnership with academic departments, to identify potential remedies (e.g., placement scores, prerequisites, changes in pedagogy);
- Comparative analyses of successful and unsuccessful cohorts of students by major or college, to retrospectively identify predictors of success or dropout and remedy the factors that led to dropout, or to identify factors to be used in the selection of students with a high likelihood of success for limited-access programs;
Identifying Impact of Support Services
- Analyses of groups of students who participated in specific activities or used particular services extensively (e.g., leadership and scholarship programs, Student Affairs departments), to compare their retention and graduation rates to non-participating cohorts of students and assess program impact;
- Oversight of assessment of the Graduation Success Initiative to monitor progress on program goals and identify areas of improvement.