EBI's MAP-Works Program Helps University of San Diego Achieve a 3% Increase in Student Retention Rate

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MAP-Works®, the leading student success and retention program from Educational Benchmarking (EBI), has enabled the University of San Diego (USD) to achieve a 3% improvement in student retention, EBI announced today. “USD began implementing a comprehensive retention strategy a few years ago with new programs being introduced each year. Since adding the Map-Works program, we have been extremely pleased with the results,” said Stephanie Bernasconi, Associate Director of the Center for Student Success at USD. “This year, USD reached a retention rate of 88%—the highest in our university’s history.”

“We found that MAP-Works’ ability to put vital information about every interaction between a student and our staff just a click away opened new doors for expedient action,” said Donald Godwin, Ph.D., USD’s Dean of Students

MAP-Works®, the leading student success and retention program from Educational Benchmarking (EBI), has enabled the University of San Diego (USD) to achieve a 3% improvement in student retention, EBI announced today. “USD began implementing a comprehensive retention strategy a few years ago with new programs being introduced each year. Since adding the Map-Works program, we have been extremely pleased with the results,” said Stephanie Bernasconi, Associate Director of the Center for Student Success at USD. “This year, USD reached a retention rate of 88%—the highest in our university’s history.”

“What attracted us to MAP-Works was the program’s ability to serve as a central depository for critical student information. Now, all campus stakeholders involved with our retention efforts have easy access to vital student information,” said Bernasconi. “We had many retention efforts working across the university, but we were not always aware of the outreach efforts directed at individual students. MAP-Works has been a fantastic tool to partner with other staff and programs to support each student.”

According to Bernasconi, MAP-Works prompted a larger conversation within the university about what was happening within the freshman class. “MAP-Works inspired new conversations and collaborations related to coordinating events and on-going initiatives specifically for first-year students across divisions and departments,” said Bernasconi.

“The success of MAP-Works at the University of San Diego demonstrates how efficiently managing retention efforts can lead to more effective student interactions,” said Joseph Pica, Ed.D., CEO of EBI and the designer of MAP-Works. “Retention is a team effort, and MAP-Works helps coordinate efforts across units to achieve an intelligent and successful retention strategy.”

“We found that MAP-Works’ ability to put vital information about every interaction between a student and our staff just a click away opened new doors for expedient action,” said Donald Godwin, Ph.D., USD’s Dean of Students. “If a professor came in with a concern about a student, we can pull up that student’s file and see his or her status—who was involved in helping the student, such as a resident advisor; where the student was living; what had been done already; and what other staff we might talk to,” said Godwin.

To motivate students to participate in a survey, USD promised that every student who expressed significant concerns would be individually contacted and assisted. As a result, MAP-Works now functions as a marketing asset, especially to parents.

“As a university dedicated to providing our students with comprehensive support, we see this as our demonstration of our commitment to each student’s individual success. We’re able to assure parents that staff are connected to their child, and checking in on how their transition to USD is going,” said Godwin.

The bump in USD’s student retention rate constituted a significant achievement for the university that enrolls approximately 1,150 new freshmen each year. Because of MAP-Works, USD is able to put data behind its promise of a close-knit community. Explains Bernasconi, “Whether you’re a first-year student living on or off campus, there is at least one professional staff member at USD connected to you individually who is committed to supporting your success.”

About MAP-Works
MAP-Works is a comprehensive program that enables colleges and universities to improve student retention. Designed for both two-year and four-year institutions, MAP-Works offers a suite of management tools that capture and report on student satisfaction and other issues throughout the school year. It provides an “early warning system” for students who are at risk for a variety of reasons beyond academic difficulty. The program was developed over two decades by Ball State University and has been refined by EBI, which owns and administers the program nationwide.

More information on MAP-Works is available at http://www.map-works.com or by calling (417) 429-0081.

About Educational Benchmarking
Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI)) provides comparative assessment instruments and analyses to support improvement of program quality in many areas of higher education. In addition to MAP-Works, EBI also offers comprehensive assessments of academic programs, student affairs programs, and custom assessments tailored to the needs of educational institutions.

More information on EBI is available at http://www.webebi.com or by calling (417) 429-0081.

About the University of San Diego
The Roman Catholic University of San Diego is a private university with a public purpose. USD is committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community, and preparing leaders dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service. Chartered in 1949, the university enrolls more than 7,800 students.

More information on the University of San Diego is available at http://www.sandiego.edu or by calling (619) 260-4681.

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Lisa Hickey
EBI
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