As students return to campus and settle in for the new semester, administrators must face the daunting task of unpacking a complex and all-important problem: retention. The stakes are high in those first few weeks, as the excitement subsides and the reality of college life sets in. Given this scenario, it’s easy to see the benefits of implementing an early alert system. The key is to quickly identify students who may be at-risk, and then shepherd them to the resources they need to be successful. While a hyper-focus on individual learners is important, it’s crucial to also consider what patterns and characteristics are shared by groups of students to get a true picture of the state of retention on campus.


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