students graduating

Providing strategic and operational focus for student retention at UWSP

Purpose and Mission

The Office of Student Retention​ provides strategic insight to​​​​​ several elements of the university-wide process of retention, with a goal of positively impacting the persistence of students from term to term and year to year, to the point of graduation.

Retention and persistence are often used interchangeably. UW-Stevens Point uses guidance from National Student Clearinghouse​ to distinguish between them. Retention focuses on the actions and strategies employed by institutions to keep students enrolled at their institution, while persistence emphasizes the efforts and mindset of students to persevere despite expected and unexpected challenges. UW-Stevens Point comports to national data norms in reporting retention as the percentage of first-time/full-time undergraduates who return for their second fall semester. Persistence includes students who may stop out and return at a later date.

Primary Areas of Work

​​​Retention Framework and Student Success Ecosystem​​​​

Faculty and staff from across the university worked together to create a set of high-level learning/behavioral outcomes that live within UW-Stevens Point's intentional ecosystem for student success. The framework provides student outcomes and faculty/staff actions that form​ a common point of reference for departments to examine, develop, and refine their retention efforts.

Qualitative and ​Retention Data Assessments​

A critical element of our work in Retention Services is the ongoing assessment of the student experience, which provides us with a qualitative understanding of the issues and concerns that are impacting academic and personal success. This combined with quantitative data collected by the university refines​ our understanding of actions that support persistance and retention. Several surveys are conducted on a regular basis.​​

Outreach Campaigns

​In collaboration with the Office of Academic Success,​ staff members develop ​​​​intentionally timed outreach efforts to current and previously enrolled students, that focus on helping students address any barriers to continued enrollment. Campaigns are primarily managed through Navigate.​​

C​​​onsultation and Support

​We work with departments and units at the university to develop specific plans and tactics to improve student retention and align operations with the strategic plan and University Retention Plan​. Support with understanding data, outreach planning, and other strategies are available.

Retention Steering Committee​​

Comprised of key stakeholders​ from across the university, the Retention and Steering Committee is charged with the systematic examination of issues tied to the persistence of our students, with a goal of developing recommendations and driving systemic changes to the student experience that will result in increased persistence.​​