Retention Committee


This memorandum formally creates and charges an advisory committee on student persistence.  

As our student population has grown, there is increasing need for institutional coordination of activities and initiatives that support students in building pathways for educational success from first through senior year.   National research and benchmarking show that lack of coordination can lead to challenges around retention, time-to-degree, student engagement, and both student and institutional costs.

We know that currently 34% of the students we admit as first-time students will leave our institution without graduating.  22%, or two-thirds of that group, will leave before their second year while another 8% will leave before beginning their third year.  While 66% of our admitted first-time students will eventually graduate from UW Bothell, only 41% will graduate in four years or less.  In addition to these nationally reported aggregated statistics, we know that sub-groups of both our first-time and transfer population may be at additional risk of attrition and may disproportionately benefit from additional support.  For the purposes of the committee, persistence will be defined at the retention of students from acceptance of UW Bothell’s offer of admission until graduation.

Our 21st Century Campus Initiative prioritizes building a campus that is student-centered. Numerous programs, units, and individuals have worked in targeted ways to realize this goal. To support the alignment, focus, and furtherance of these and other efforts relating to student persistence, I have created a committee on student retention.  This committee, along with a separately charged Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning, will build on the formative efforts of the Assessment and Retention Committee through the timely completion of the charges below.

Charge (with time deadlines relative to the initiation of the group listed within parentheses)

  • Set ambitious but attainable goals for student persistence of first-time students based on historical trends and peer analysis.  Specific goals should be set for 1 Year and 2 Year retention, 4 year and 6 year graduation (1 month).
  • Identify subgroups of interest for further analysis by the Office of Institutional Research.
    • Based on previous analysis, these groups should include at minimum: “Summer Melt” students (those indicating plans to enroll but leaving before census date), ATP students, provisionally admitted students, students not admitted to their first-choice major, transfer students admitted to the pre-major status, and students in the extended pre-major status.  
  • Select appropriate metrics for persistence and time-to-completion of transfer students (2 months)
  • Catalog existing campus persistence efforts (4 months)
  • Provide context and feedback for retention analysis performed by the Office of Institutional Research (continuous)
  • Review relevant research and case studies on persistence (continuous)
  • Based on internal analysis review of external research, make recommendations for the support, alignment, focus, and assessment of existing persistence efforts and continue to engage and or make recommendations for the piloting and assessment of new persistence efforts, including both direct interventions and structural or policy changes (7 months)
  • Publicize the results of the committee’s work broadly to the campus and engage relevant stakeholders (continuous)   
  • Based on the work of the committee, provide recommendations for a general charge and set of charges for 2015-16.

The committee will serve as advisory to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Achievement, Dr. Leslie Ashbaugh, and the members of the advisory group will be:

  • Terryl Ross, Director of Diversity
  • Jill Orcutt, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
  • Dorothy Baumgartner, Director of Student Success Center
  • George Theo, Dean of Students
  • Russ Cannon, Director of Institutional Research
  • Claire Fraczek, Director of Integrated Learning

Appointed contacts within the Schools,  IT/Library, the EC of the GFO and Advising will receive quarterly updates about the work of this committee and the Office of the AVCAA retention initiatives and activities.

  • Executive Committee, GFO
  • Sarah Leadley, Library/IT
  • David Allen, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Dana Bigham, School of Education
  • Kim O’Neil, School of Business
  • Laura Avila, School of STEM
  • Rachel Foote, School of IAS
  • Advising Advisory Council

Additional members of the campus community may be regularly invited to advise the group, to serve as part of focused sub-groups, and develop initiatives as relevant.

It is recommended that the committee meet every two weeks for 1.5 hours, with members charged with assignments between meetings