Colleges and universities that have effective collaboration among their academic, student life, financial aid and career services supports for students have better retention and completion rates than do peer institutions that don’t mesh those functions, according to a new survey.
The survey was produced as part of Driving Toward a Degree, a student support initiative involving Tyton Partners, an investment and consulting firm, and the Babson Survey Research Group in conjunction with Achieving the Dream, NACADA: the Global Academy for Academic Advising and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
The groups sought opinions from 3,300 administrators and instructors at 1,100 colleges, including provosts, deans and officials in student affairs, financial aid and career services. Among the findings:
- Academic advisers who describe their colleges and universities as having integrated their supports for students were almost twice as likely as those at institutions with self-described “siloed” services for students (28 percent vs. 15 percent) to report that they have regular interaction with career services staffs.
- Institutions where officials believe they have a high level of collaboration and communication among different layers of student services are likelier than colleges without such cooperation to have retention rates over 85 percent and completion rates over 60 percent.
The survey also provides a portrait of the landscape of corporate providers of student services, estimating the market to be $560 million, with academic advising to make up $360 million of that total.