The Office of Retention coordinates strategic programs, initiatives, and outreach efforts, all designed to support student transition, persistence, and success. Retention staff recognize that student success is defined in a number of ways and attempts to address all aspects of college student development (academic, social, personal, etc.).
The office is concerned with keeping students continuously enrolled through completion and with contributing to the broader mission of producing in a timely fashion graduates who are capable, independent, well-rounded, and who are prepared to launch into society and into well-paying careers.
To realize this purpose, the Retention Office adopts the following core goals:
At Fairmont State University, students are not merely numbers. We make personal connections with our students and recognize that they are unique individuals with first names/nicknames, real lives, and that many of them balance multiple commitments, such as jobs and families of their own. Each has his or her own story and his or her own challenges when it comes to pursuing higher education (whether that challenge be financial in nature, related to a disability, etc.). It is crucial, as the face of higher education morphs across our nation, that we approach our students and their challenges on a personal basis and that we work to minimize roadblocks.
Many services exist for this purpose, but are unfortunately utilized the least by the students who need them the most. This is because students who need the support the most tend to be unaware of available services/assistance, reluctant to seek out those services, or both. The challenge is to inform all students of the help available, encourage them to use existing resources when needed, and to become fully engaged in the campus environment.
Many of the office's initiatives are based on student development research that correlates student success with the following factors:
The three-part approach utilized by the Office of Retention - Transition, Persistence, Success - reflects these factors and is designed not only to support students, but also those who support and care about them (parents and family members included).
Charlie M. Watson, MBA
Retention Program Coordinator