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Community college Intentional Engagement program improves student retention

New River Community College sees 25 percent reduction in student withdrawals

Students studying in college
Students studying in college

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Community colleges throughout the commonwealth are showing more than half of students are not completing an associates or certification degree program.

According to the commonwealth's Joint Legislative Audit and Review report, nearly two-thirds of community college students are not completing a certification degree program.

But administrators at the New River Community College say, that since the implementation of Accountability and Student Learning, a program involving academic advisors helping students one-on-one, the school is seeing a 25 percent reduction in student withdrawals. 

Rather than students being invited to seek academic help, the program has advisers reaching out to students to ensure success in their educational goals. 

The program is also referred to as "intentional engagement," where advisers help students in a highly structured and proactive way.

To see the light at the end of the tunnel program has been essential for helping many students feel that success is right around the corner to have someone there in their corner," said Ray Williams, connection specialist at New River Community College.

Advisers at the community college are hopeful that this intentional engagement model will continue to show positive results in student retention.