Drexel Online Educator Presents Online Retention Strategies to Higher Education Leaders

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Dr. Kenneth E. Hartman, academic director at Drexel University Online and resident of Cherry Hill, NJ, spoke by invitation today to university administrators from around the country attending the National Dialog on Student Retention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. His remarks, entitled "Retaining Online Degree Students: Different Needs-Different Methods" were intended to help universities better retain online learners, which now represents more than 10 percent of the overall training and educational market.

Dr. Kenneth E. Hartman, academic director at Drexel University Online and resident of Cherry Hill, NJ, spoke by invitation today to university administrators from around the country attending the National Dialog on Student Retention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. His remarks, entitled "Retaining Online Degree Students: Different Needs-Different Methods" were intended to help universities better retain online learners, which now represents more than 10 percent of the overall training and educational market.

"We could not have found a more knowledgeable person on the subject of online student retention than Dr. Hartman", states Mark Shay, conference coordinator and chief academic liaison for EducationDynamics, sponsors of the conference.

Hartman is a recent recipient of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Outstanding Leadership in Distance Learning award for his dedication and contribution to the field of online learning, and also has been elected as chairman of USDLA's 2008 National Distance Learning Week for the second consecutive year.

"Today's online students are typically over age 30, working full or part-time, and simultaneously juggling family responsibilities," said Hartman. "Professors online must acknowledge the maturity of online degree students, and deliver their instruction in a highly interactive and engaging manner."
In recent years, many colleges and universities who offer online degree programs have begun to examine the retention of its online students. Drexel Online has been in the forefront of online student retention. Its master's degree in Higher Education, for example, has a significantly higher retention rate than the industry standard.

Dr. Rebecca Clothey, director of Drexel Online's Master of Science in Higher Education, attributes the program's high retention rates to the initial design of the program. "Our degree program was built to ensure maximum professor-student engagement, as well as the creative use of technology to deliver an outstanding and impactful curriculum."

According to the Sloan Consortium, over 3.5 million college students are taking online course and/or earning online college degrees and that number will continue to grow as online learning continues to gain momentum and becomes even more popular. "Online degrees at top institutions continue to develop as motivated students seek to fit demanding higher education online programs into their already active lives," said Hartman. "Institutions must take the initiative to ensure a high-quality online degree is free from unnecessary obstacles preventing a learner from achieving his/her academic goals.

For more information about Hartman's presentation on online student retention or Drexel Online's strategies for online student retention, contact Dr. Kenneth Hartman at 215.895.0501 or email (kenhartman @ drexel.edu).

About Drexel University Online:
Drexel University Online, winner of the 2006 21st Century Best Practice Award for Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Drexel University, specializing in innovative, Internet-based distance education programs for working professionals and corporations in the United States and abroad. Drexel University is continually ranked one of the best national doctoral universities by U.S.News & World Report and enjoys regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools. A pioneer in online education, Drexel has offered programs online since 1996.

Media Contact:
Stephanie Janes
(w) 215.895.0513
(c) 302.563.2431
Email: (sjj25 @ drexel.edu)

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