Promoting Faculty Involvement
in Student Retention
Presented by Joe Cuseo
Dr. Joe Cuseo
Professor of Psychology
Three Key Questions
1. The Why of It
* Why is faculty involvement in retention important?
* Why is faculty involvement in retention lacking?
2. The What of It
* What forms of faculty involvement are likely to have the
greatest impact on student retention?
3. The How of It
* How can faculty be educated and motivated to become
involved in student retention initiatives?
The Why of It
Why is Faculty Involvement
Why is Faculty Involvement
Potential Positive Outcomes of
* Student retention/persistence to graduation
* Academic achievement/performance
* Critical thinking
* Personal and intellectual development
* Educational aspirations
* Satisfaction with faculty
* College satisfaction
* Perceptions of college quality
(Sources: Astin, 1977, 1993; Kuh, 1991, 1995; Kuh et al., 1991, 1994; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991,
2005; Tinto, 1993).
Probable Causes for Lack of
* Lack of Preparation in Graduate School
* Lack of Orientation upon Entering the
* Lack of Professional Development
* Lack of Professional Recognition & Reward
The What of It
What forms of faculty involvement
have the greatest impact on
Faculty Use of Active & Interactive Pedagogy
in the Classroom
Faculty Use of Success-Promoting Teaching
& Grading Practices
Outside the Classroom
* Student-centered academic advising (versus
perfunctory course scheduling)
* Faculty participation in new-student orientation by
leading small-group discussions relating to summer
reading or short reading given during orientation.
* Faculty interaction with students at a reception
following new-student convocation to provide students
with information about their disciplines and careers
related to their disciplines.
* Faculty mentors or coaches for first-year students.
* Faculty sponsors/moderators of student clubs or
* Faculty sponsors of departmental clubs for new
students interested in or majoring in their field.
* Faculty sponsor service-learning experiences for
students in areas relating to their academic discipline.
* Faculty members visit student residences to conduct
small-group discussions relating to course content,
test-review sessions, tutoring, or academic advising.
* Faculty make themselves available as interviewees for new
students. For example, students interview a faculty member
in their major or a potential field of interest as an
assignment in their first-year experience course.
* Faculty-student contact on college committees, taskforces, or
councils (e.g., student retention committee, student
retention advisory council, or student involvement
* Faculty-student research teams (e.g., student research
assistants whose work culminates in a product for use as a
senior honors thesis; joint conference presentation with a
faculty member, or professional publication co-authored
with a faculty member).
The How of It:
How can faculty be educated and motivated
to become involved in student retention
Involvement & Support of
* Public Comments & Communiqués
* Visible Presence at Retention-Related
Meetings & Events
* Provision of Retention-Related
Structures & Functions
* Designated Retention Task Force or
* Designated Retention Director or
Programs & Policies
* Faculty Recognition & Awards
* Faculty Incentives & Rewards
Faculty Recruitment & Selection
Faculty Recognition & Reward
Boyer, E. L. (1991). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ:
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Cuseo J. (2007). Promoting faculty involvement in first-year experience programs and student
success initiatives. Unpublished document, available by request. (Contact Joe Cuseo:
Cuseo, J. (2008). Got faculty? Promoting faculty involvement in FYE programs and initiatives.
ESource for College Transitions (electronic newsletter published by the National Resource
Center for the First-Year Experience), 6 (2), pp. 3-5.
Cuseo, J. (2009). Got faculty? Promoting faculty involvement in FYE programs and initiatives,
Part II.. ESource for College Transitions (electronic newsletter published by the National
Resource Center for the First-Year Experience), 6 (3), pp. 3-4, 6.
Cuseo, J. (2009). The faculty portfolio: A vehicle for stimulating student-centered, mission-
driven faculty behavior. Unpublished document, available by request. (Contact Joe Cuseo:
O'Meara, K., & Rice, R. E. (2006). Faculty priorities reconsidered: Rewarding multiple forms of
scholarship. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.