BOARD OF TRUSTEES October 29, 2020
Executive Summary – University-Wide Goals to enhance Retention, Sustainability & Workforce Diversity In October 2019, the president announced three, five-year goals for the university: 1. to increase freshman-to-sophomore retention rates from 71 percent to 80 percent in five years, 2. to increase the diversity of the university’s workforce by five percent in the next five years, and 3. to reduce CWU’s carbon footprint by five percent in the next five years.
Following outlines progress toward these goals over the past year.
RETENTION - Retention from freshman to sophomore improved 0.3% over fall 2019 , in spite of the pressures created by the pandemic. In the months preceding fall 2020, national predictions for student enrollment in higher education institutions projections was projected at 80-90% of the typical year’s enrollments due to the COVID Pandemic. The enrollment trends over the summer mirrored these national predictions. CWU initiated two comprehensive outreach campaigns: • Retention of upper-level continuing students who had not yet enrolled (coordinated by the Division of Enrollment Management); • Retention of 2019 first-year and new-transfer cohort students who had not yet enrolled (coordinated by the Office of the Associate Provosts). These efforts and the continued support of Registrar Services, Advising, and academic department chairs resulted in increased retention rate gain of the fall 2019 cohorts and sustained continuing-student enrollment as measured over a three-year period. The following retention and continuation data were supplied by the Department of Institutional Effectiveness. 1. 2019 First-Time Student Retention Rate: 71.6% up from 71.3% for the 2018 First Year Cohort 2. 2020 Sophomore class (the returning 2019 First year Cohort) is the largest in history: 1504 students 3. 2019 New Transfer Continuation Rate: 82.7% up from 81.7 for the 2018 New Transfer Cohort 4. The number of continuing undergraduate students (neither new First Year or Transfer) enrolled in fall has remained flat over the last three years: 7719 for fall 2020. The CWU environment that students are engaged in this year is vastly different from anything in our recent past, especially for our new students. In order to maintain and increase first-year retention and new transfer continuation rates, it is essential to increase personal interactions between CWU and
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