Ruffalo Noel Levitz Announces Winners of 2015 Retention Excellence Awards

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Ruffalo Noel Levitz, the leading provider of technology-enabled services, software, and consulting for higher education enrollment management and fundraising, has announced the winners of the 2015 Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Awards. The awards recognize innovative campus retention programs that have encouraged students to succeed and persist through graduation.

Retention Excellence Award winners are announced.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz, the leading provider of technology-enabled services, software, and consulting for higher education enrollment management and fundraising, has announced the winners of the 2015 Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Awards. The awards recognize innovative campus retention programs that have encouraged students to succeed and persist through graduation.

The following institutions will be formally recognized for their winning retention efforts at this year's National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing and Retention, taking place July 8-10 in Boston, Mass.:

  • Edgewood College (Madison, Wisconsin): Since committing to a strategic retention planning approach and focusing on strengthening the first and second-year experiences, retention for first-year students has steadily increased from a low of 66 percent in 2005 to a high of 82 percent in 2012. Four-year graduation has increased from 27 percent in 2005 to 40 percent in 2014. Five-year graduation has increased from 48 percent in 2005 to 55 percent in 2014. In addition, students indicate higher levels of engagement and satisfaction and alumni continue to report strong employment and graduate school placement rates.
  • Grand Rapids Community College (Grand Rapids, Michigan): Focused on improving the success and retention rates of students placing into developmental education, the college implemented FastTrack, an intensive three-week, 14-hour per week learning lab in which students remediate academic skills through a combination of web-based and tutor-guided activities. Since FastTrack's implementation in 2012, 837 students have been recruited for the program and 651 students successfully completed the three-week program. Of those 651 students, 449 were successful in their retaking of the placement test and were able to avoid one or more developmental education courses. FastTrack participation saved a total of $324,000 worth of in-district tuition, fees, and books for students, as well as a total of 33,480 hours of instruction for students who bypassed their placement.
  • University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond, Oklahoma): Since the inception of Operation Degree Completion, a two-step program designed to help students and former students become alumni, the University of Central Oklahoma has awarded 270 bachelor's degrees, exceeding its goal one year early, and is on track to facilitate more than 2,000 associate degrees. In addition, the program generated an additional 10,651 credit hours, due to students returning for their last class or two to complete their degree. This represents $1.7 million in additional tuition revenue. Partnerships have multiplied from three local community colleges to partnerships and programs throughout the state of Oklahoma, and the university has been recognized for its efforts by foundations and associations.

The Retention Excellence Awards Program was established in 1989 to honor outstanding achievements in student retention by colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. Winners are selected by leading campus-based retention practitioners.

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About Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Ruffalo Noel Levitz is the leading provider of technology-enabled services, software, and consulting for higher education enrollment management and fundraising. More than 1,800 colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations rely on the company's solutions to help achieve their mission. Harnessing the power of advanced research, analytics, and multichannel marketing combined with a deep understanding of higher education and nonprofit environments, Ruffalo Noel Levitz helps clients smartly identify, efficiently reach, and meaningfully connect with their key constituents at pivotal moments—from admission and financial aid to student retention, alumni engagement, and fundraising.

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Pam Jennings
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