On average there are an estimated 20 million students that enroll in either college or university in America every year. The sad reality is that there are high numbers of those students that fail to make it to graduation. There are studies indicating that only 45% of enrolled students complete their studies within six years of starting classes.
The reasons why a student drops out of their education are many, but for those teachers looking for ways to reduce their falling student numbers, there are some clear and practical ways to prevent college dropout. Combining these methods can keep your class size static, and that will mean that you are making a significant difference to the lives and futures of your students, and becoming a better teacher as a result.
Using technologies to reduce dropouts
Technology has become an integrated part of every area of our lives. Teaching is no different. Every good teacher has learned the value of using technology in the classroom, but it can be used in much more direct and productive ways outside of the classroom too.
Data analysis is a proven way of identifying those students who are likely to drop out, and that identification can help you to focus your attention on their needs. It’s a fact that college retention software is able to help not just your attendance rates, but highlight those students that need the help that you can provide, without disruption. Use technology to help your students, and your classes will improve as a result.
One of the most common reasons for college dropout is financial limitations. Mature students are especially prone to this, but it is an issue across every age range. This can be a frustrating issue for teachers because seeing a promising student fall behind due to money problems has seemingly few solutions.
One thing that you can do is to research financial help options, with some states already having in place retention grants that can help struggling students to get access to help with their finances. Grants are in place, so check with your state to see if these are applicable in your case. These retention grants are just that, and they are not loans that will need to be paid back. The more that you learn about potentially life-changing financial resources, the more that you can help your students and reduce your dropout rates.
Recognizing what the problem isn’t
When discussing the reasons for college dropout, it’s essential to look at the problem in a practical way. The fact is that not every student should be in college. There is a minimal work requirement that not every student is going to be capable of, and pushing those students who lack the commitment means taking your time and focus away from those that will put the work in.
Forcing work onto students who simply don’t want to be there is a waste of both time and money and does neither the student nor the teacher any favors in a very real sense. If you identify those students who have simply chosen the wrong course or the incorrect career pathway, then discuss their alternative options clearly. Give them advice on their options, and you reduce their chances of struggling on a course that they have no interest in.
There’s no disputing that America has a problem when it comes to high dropout rates. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to ensure that your students have the resources and help that they need to take full advantage of their education. Take your time and find the best ways to help your students, and your dropout rates will be vastly improved.