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Principles of Effective Retention

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Though retention programs on different campuses vary in their structure and in the specific sorts of actions they take on behalf of students, successful programs are invariably similar in a number of important ways. These have to do with the way they think about retention, the sorts of emphasis they give their retention efforts, and the ends to which they direct their energies. Understanding these commonalities, or what is referred to here as the principles of effective retention, holds the key to successful retention programming, for they direct our attention away from the merely technical issue of what sorts of programs can retain students to the more fundamental issues of how and why those programs have been successful in doing so.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1990

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  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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