ResearchPaper-RetentionRate (2)

ResearchPaper-RetentionRate (2) - Matt Phares WVUs...

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Matt Phares WVU’s Retention Rate: A Growing Problem 12/4/2008
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Matt Phares English 102 November 16, 2008 WVU’s Retention Rate: A Growing Problem In 2005, West Virginia University had a retention rate of 81% which was 6% above the national average of 74% according to the official West Virginia Website (www.WVU.edu). Since 2005 West Virginia University has seen an enormous decrease in the retention rate. Today, the retention rate for first year freshman is in-between 65% and 70% according to www.WVU.edu; this astounding low rate is due to many factors such as students living in temporary housing, overcrowding due to large admittance into the school, the lowering of standards to get accepted into the 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 the rate will be at risk of dropping even lower during the 2008-2009 school year. As a student at West Virginia and a former Resident Assistant (RA), I have seen several factors such as the ones listed above that affect the retention rate; as a result I have numerous ideas that can help fix the problem of the waning retention rate. Throughout this school year I have seen many students set themselves up for success and many others for failure. As a former RA, it was my job to guide the 48 students living on my floor in the dorms. I was in charge of these students for an entire year and was to make sure they had a good first year experience which included helping them succeed and make it into their sophomore year at West Virginia University. As a RA I worked very closely with Ale, Bob and Dara Whitmore, Ernesto Waines, and Rhonda Hall. Ale is the towers retention officer and Bob Page | 2
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and Dara are Braxton Tower’s Riffles which means they are in charge of the entire tower. Ernesto is a Graduate student and Braxton Tower’s Residence Hall Coordinator. Rhonda is the Program Coordinator for the University 101 program. She organizes this program which is a required course for all first year students and transfer students with less than the required credit hours to be a sophomore. These mentioned people and I all work very closely with the freshmen and have the best understanding of not only themselves but their problems too. Unfortunately we are not asked for our input on how to fix the retention rate but the freshmen are. They take a survey at the end of the year about the resident halls which lead to the majority of the changes in the halls. This is a poor indication of what the true problem is; the big problem is the low retention rate and there are many little problems that are causing this dropping rate. In my opinion,
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ResearchPaper-RetentionRate (2) - Matt Phares WVUs...

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