For university presidents and provosts, student retention and completion are among the most critical, yet difficult matters to solve. High attrition rates have negative consequences for individual students and institutions alike. On a mission to help public universities award 3.8 million more undergraduate baccalaureate degrees by 2025, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) has launched several ongoing degree completion initiatives. Interest in innovating retention and completion efforts is clear: a total of 498 institutions have signed on to participate in the APLU’s ‘Project Degree Completion.’
Many of these of these institutions use uConnect’s higher education marketing platform to increase visibility, accessibility, and engagement with their career services. Research has repeatedly found that students who have career goals in mind are much more likely to persist and complete their degrees than students without such aspirations.1,2,3 And as a bonus, students with career goals are also more likely to report overall satisfaction with their college experiences.4
Clearly, the importance of career development to students and institutions should not be underestimated; it’s driving student success metrics and institutional objectives. uConnect’s goal is to help university partners integrate career into the entire student journey and campus ecosystem. We believe that preparing students to find successful, fulfilling careers is far too important an endeavor to be relegated to just one office or team, no matter how dedicated they may be. Instead, career development should be made an integral part of the entire campus community, so that students will be engaged with career resources, data, and guidance early and often, by the career center but also by faculty, advisors, staff, alumni, and other stakeholders. This approach ensures that each student develops post-graduate aspirations, and in so doing greatly increases their likelihood of persisting through degree completion.
To learn more about how uConnect can support your institution’s retention and completion goals, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Gallup, Inc. and Strada Education Network. 2018. ‘From College to Life: Relevance and the Value of Higher Education.’
2 Hull-Blanks, E. et. al. 2005. ‘Career Goals and Retention-Related Factors Among College Freshmen.’ Journal of Career Development, 32(1), 16-30.
3 Strang, T. 2015. ‘What Keeps College Students Motivated?’ Cengage. Retrieved from: https://blog.cengage.com/keeps-college-students-motivated-responses/
4 Busteed, B. & Auter, Z. 2018. ‘Career-Relevant Education Linked to Student Well-Being.’ Gallup. Retrieved from: https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/226934/career-relevant-education-linked-student.aspx?