Scalable and practical interventions faculty can deploy to increase retention: A faculty cookbook for increasing student success

Byron Hempel, Paul Blowers, Kasi M. Kiehlbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Student retention in college is often expected to be handled by advisers, staff, and administrators. Faculty, however, are the only members in academia that students are required to interact with regularly. For most courses offered in higher education, the contact time between faculty and students is normally three hours per week, allowing faculty to have a large impact on student outcomes. This paper discusses how to deploy low-cost, scalable interventions that span the affective domains of growth mindset, self-efficacy, metacognition, and belongingness. These interventions helped increase student retention by 40% in an entry-level core engineering course at our institution. The techniques described in this work can be deployed either simultaneously or in discrete sets to help students remain involved with their education and successfully graduate. Because teaching is a universal practice, the interventions can be deployed in nearly every discipline, at every academic level, and are independent of which instructional modes are being used, i.e., implementing active learning, teaching in large or small lecture halls, or incorporating in an online class. The implementation of the interventions may look different in each of those venues or have different levels of effectiveness because every classroom environment differs and faculty deployment of instructional practices varies. The strongest recommendation of the authors is to deploy a reflective process throughout implementation of some of the different teaching practices. This will allow for personal and professional growth in deploying the techniques while improving their use in their local teaching context over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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