"We’re at a point now where people want to be a part of the MAP-Works project because they can see the results."
Springfield, MO (Vocus/PRWEB) April 05, 2011
MAP-Works®, the leading student success and retention program from Educational Benchmarking (EBI), has enabled the University of Indianapolis (UI) to achieve a significant increase in retention, EBI announced today. “We saw a fall-to-fall retention increase of 3%, and a great deal of the credit goes to MAP-Works,” said Dan Stoker, Executive Director of Student Services at the University of Indianapolis.
“For a long time, we’ve had a goal in our strategic plan to reach an 80% retention rate. Yet for many years, our rate hovered around 72% or 73% without any movement. MAP-Works helped us jump to 76%,” said Stoker. Based on this success, UI is piloting surveys for upper class students and is considering expanding the deployment of MAP-Works to create a campus-wide connection for all undergraduate day students.
“The success of MAP-Works at the University of Indianapolis demonstrates how a power theory/research based management platform can positively impact the student experience,” said Joseph Pica, Ed.D., CEO of EBI and the designer of MAP-Works. “When retention efforts are driven by an early, systematic, and comprehensive identification of student issues, colleges can increase retention and student success.”
Stoker said that the UI administration intentionally rolled out the MAP-Works system over three years, demonstrating its capabilities to gain buy-in from different groups. “In addition to being a powerful yet easy to use management tool, the outcomes reporting allows us to track student retention and success” Stoker said. “And the product updates have been great: the addition of the talking points has greatly facilitated our conversations with students by highlighting what specifically we need to follow up on, instead of having to pore over the data. MAP-Works really makes it easier for faculty and staff to intervene and send alerts about specific students.”
According to Stoker, the data uncovered by MAP-Works has not only revealed facts about UI’s student population, but it has also allowed the school to adjust its retention efforts to better fit students’ needs. “The data has shown us what we knew anecdotally—and it gave us the hard numbers we needed to get changes made,” he said. While UI staffers are still in the early stages of parsing the data and identifying populations at risk, they have already begun to adapt. “We saw that commuters are at a higher risk, and one of our solutions was to bring in the athletics staff to keep them involved. As we’ve seen pockets of opportunity, we’ve been adjusting our structure and initiatives,” said Stoker.
Before the MAP-Works deployment, no specific office “owned” retention at UI. For the moment, staff members are making room for retention efforts on top of their regular duties. “People are absorbing the extra work by making their roles retention-focused. Based on our recent success, we’re hoping to add staff for an additional layer of oversight,” Stoker shared. Fortunately, he said, “we’re at a point now where people want to be a part of the MAP-Works project because they can see the results.”
Although bringing student retention into the spotlight has involved a significant push, Stoker said seeing the increase in retention has helped justify the effort—as has a focus on helping students. According to Stoker: “People are starting to see that it’s not just numbers, but individual students. That makes it easier. We struggle, but each conversation we have with students is worthwhile. Overall, this process has been very fulfilling.”
MAP-Works is a comprehensive program that enables colleges and universities to improve student retention. Designed for 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 University of Indianapolis
Located in the heart of Indiana, the University of Indianapolis is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. With 5,000 students, including more than 3,000 undergraduates, it offers 22 master’s degree programs as well as nationally acclaimed doctoral programs. The University of Indianapolis produces more physical therapists, occupational therapists, and clinical psychologists than any other university in Indiana.
More information on the University of Indianapolis is available at http://www.uindy.edu.
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