IMS Global Learning Consortium and The Advisory Board Company Release Initial Study of Higher Education Targeted Retention Systems

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Initial report reveals five strategies that universities are using to mitigate the risk of attrition and enhance student retention.

The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) announced the availability of an initial report, A Survey of Student Retention Early Warning Strategies, to its member and subscriber organizations. IMS GLC has partnered with the Advisory Board Company's higher education research division (ABC, http://www.educationadvisoryboard.com) to interview North American Higher Education institutions using Targeted Retentions Systems (TRS) aimed at identifying "at-risk", first-year students and connecting them with support services early in the at-risk student identification process.

The initial report identifies five practices employed by institutions to increase retention rates of first-year students, including:
1) Course Engagement Alerts - reporting on attendance and participation in addition to grades
2) Learning Management System Usage Analyses - tracking course software usage statistics to assess engagement
3) First-Year Surveys - collecting nuanced information on student backgrounds and attitudes
4) Schedule Audits - spotting overwhelming schedules before they derail even the best students
5) Pre-Enrollment Risk Models - predicting the at-risk segment before students arrive on campus

The five practices were drawn from research interviews conducted by ABC with administrators at more than two-dozen public and private four-year research universities, master's universities, and two-year colleges. Additionally, the initial report profiles eleven colleges and universities representing variations within each practice to present educators with models that they might apply in their own institutions. Both IMS GLC and ABC will make the full report available to their member and subscriber organizations.

The initial report, A Survey of Student Retention Early Warning Strategies (http://developers.imsglobal.org/presentations.cfm), is one component of the overall work to be conducted by the IMS GLC Targeted Retention Systems project group, http://www.imsglobal.org/ia.html. Other areas of TRS research and reporting will include a summary of relevant literature, a survey of North American HE institutions to identify the adoption and application of broad-based TRS, and a final IMS GLC report on the status of TRS in North America. This report will synthesize all components discussed above and provide a baseline for these activities in North American HE, and will also provide readers with useful information to initiate TRS at their home institution.

"Improving retention and achievement of students is not only an important economic driver for institutions, but it is absolutely critical in achieving national goals, such as those laid out in U.S. President Obama's recent address to Congress," said Dr. Rob Abel, CEO, IMS GLC "We are very pleased that experts from all over the world are contributing to this critical IMS GLC effort to improve retention and student success and the timeliness of this first report."

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)
IMS Global Learning is a nonprofit member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in higher education, K-12, and corporate education worldwide. IMS GLC members are leading corporations, higher education institutions, school districts and government organizations who are enabling the future of education by developing interoperability and adoption practice standards for educational and learning technology. IMS GLC sponsors Learning Impact: a global program and conference that recognizes the impact of learning and educational technology on access, affordability, and quality - the world's most significant educational challenges. For more information, visit http://www.imsglobal.org.

About Advisory Board Company
The Advisory Board Company provides best practice research to a membership of more than 2,700 of the world's leading hospitals, health systems, academic health science centers, and more recently to a growing number of universities and colleges. Conducting research across its membership and beyond, the Advisory Board completes 75 major studies on progressive management practices and more than 10,000 member-specific research briefs each year. In general, the research focuses on the best (and worst) demonstrated practices, helping member institutions benefit from one another's learning curves.

The Education Advisory Board is the Advisory Board Company's newest division. Born from the recognized similarity between hospitals and universities with regard to their mission-based work, our research group serves three membership constituencies: provosts, student affairs executives, and university business executives. More can be found at our website: http://www.educationadvisoryboard.com.

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