Student Retention Rate Improves at Central Michigan University by Using MAP-Works Program

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MAP-Works®, Educational Benchmarking’s (EBI) student success and retention program, has been the driving force behind a 3.5% improvement in student retention at Central Michigan University, EBI announced today. According to Jason Bentley, Director of First-Year Experience at CMU, each one percent increase in the retention rate results in at least one million dollars in additional revenue each year.

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MAP-Works has allowed us to allocate our resources in a more strategic way

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MAP-Works®, Educational Benchmarking’s (EBI) student success and retention program, has been the driving force behind a 3.5% improvement in student retention at Central Michigan University, EBI announced today. According to Jason Bentley, Director of First-Year Experience at CMU, each one percent increase in the retention rate results in at least one million dollars in additional revenue each year.

Based on their first year using MAP-Works, CMU’s retention rate improved from 76% to 80% between September 2009 and September 2010. It is now at an all-time high. Bentley attributes the increase to the adoption of MAP-Works. “MAP-Works has allowed us to allocate our resources in a more strategic way,” he said. “We now know what students need, can direct support services to them and understand who we have and haven’t assisted. The integration of an early alert, communication, management, and data analysis platform makes all the difference in our work to support student success.”

“We’re very pleased that MAP-Works has proven to be so effective at Central Michigan University, as it has in many other institutions of higher education,” said Joseph Pica, Ph.D., CEO of EBI the designer of MAP-Works. “The program has been researched and perfected over a twenty-year period, so it has been thoroughly tested and proven. It really works.”

Central Michigan is concerned that their first-year students feel engaged as learners and members of the university community. MAP-Works helped the university meet this concern. “Though CMU is a large university, we provide a personal experience,” said Bentley. “Now we can spot students who may be struggling—socially, academically, or even financially—before their issues start to overwhelm them, and then make sure they connect with our caring staff and faculty.”

Getting better information earlier in the school year allows CMU to personalize support to students. “By using MAP-Works,” Bentley said, “we can contact students directly through the system’s built-in email and send ‘nudges’ customized to each student’s needs. The university can also act on information acquired through the MAP-Works surveys of incoming students,” he added.

For example, CMU discovered that a surprising number of students were seriously worried about paying for their education. In response, the university broadened its array of payment plans, increased need-based aid and added more work-study jobs for students. “Before MAP-Works,” said Bentley, “what we knew about issues and concerns resided in different offices. Today, we are able to connect the dots and make this information easy to understand so we can respond.”

Overall, reported Bentley, MAP-Works has allowed CMU to make progress toward the top priority of engaged teaching and learning. With MAP-Works, he said, “anyone who works with students—including professors, academic advisors, student personnel professionals, and many others—receives access to information and strategies that support students.”

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 Central Michigan University

Established in 1892, CMU is one of the nation's 100 largest public universities and offers more than 200 academic programs at the undergraduate, master's, specialist and doctoral levels. Its main campus is in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, with 60 off-campus centers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, and online.

More information on Central Michigan University is available at http://www.cmich.edu.

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Lisa Hickey

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