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Research Paper-Retention Rate - Matt Phares English 102...

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Matt Phares English 102 November 16, 2008 WVU’s Retention Rate: A Growing Problem In 2005 five West Virginia University had a retention rate of 81% which was 6% above the national average of 74%. Since 2005 West Virginia University has seen an enormous fall in the retention rate. Today in 2008 the retention rate for first year freshman is 65%-70%, this astounding low rate is due to many factors such as students living in temporary housing, the school is overcrowded, over admittance into the school, the lowering of standards to get into West Virginia University, West Virginia’s party school reputation, and the amount of noise in the resident halls. These issues are just a few of the reasons that the retention rate has seen such a decline, if the school does not take action to fix these issues I believe that the rate will see an even bigger drop during the 2008-2009 school year. In this paper I am going to explore what the school as a whole can to fix this problem and what I can do as a former Resident Assistant to fix this problem. Throughout this school year I have seen many students set themselves up for success and many students set themselves up for failure and as a former RA, resident assistant, it was my job to guide the 48 students on my floor. I was in charge of these students for a whole year it was my job to make sure these students had a good first year experience and would succeed and make it into their sophomore year at West Virginia University. As a Ra I worked with very closely with Ale, Bob and Dara Whitmore, Ernesto Waines, and Rhonda Hall. Ale is the towers retention officer. Bob and Dara Whitmore are Braxton Tower’s Riffles. They are both in charge of the entire tower. Bob has been at WVU for thirty-three semesters now. Ernesto Waines is Braxton
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Tower’s Residence Hall Coordinator as well as a Graduate student and Rhonda Hall is the Program Coordinator for the University 101 program. She coordinates University 101, a required course for all first year students and transfer students with less than the required credit hours to be a sophomore. These people and I all work very closely with the freshmen and have the best understanding of the freshmen class and their problems. Sadly we are not asked for our input on how to fix the retention rate, the majority of the changes come from a survey that the freshmen take at the end of the year about the resident halls. I believe that this is a bad indication of what the true problem is; I believe that the big problem is the retention rate and it has many problems which are causing the low retention rate. I believe that the problems which are causing the retention rate to be so low are that the school is overcrowded, the school is over admitting students which is causing student to live in the lounges of towers and the medical apartments, and with students living in the medical apartments comes the problems of transportation, the over admitting of students has occurred due
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