UNCP Faculty Corner


This is a discussion of the urgent need to improve the retention rate.



  1. I can’t explain it all, Jamie, but it is my understanding that at one point, contact hours per semester hour were mandated by GA. (Remember having to have snow and hurricane “makeup” days during Molly Broad’s administration?)And while the idea of increasing hours awarded for particular courses is interesting, it seems this would be a very far-reaching and complicated change, not just a paper change. For example, it seems this change would pose problems for our articulation agreements w/CCs, it seems this change would necessitate a change in class meeting schedules, and it seems this change would mean that students would take fewer GE courses and fewer courses in their major to earn the degree. (I don’t know which courses we would want to delete in the PSY major and I would not want to give 4 hours credit for completing the same amount of work for which we now award 3 hours credit.)

    Another possibility, rather than changing the credit hours, might be simply to adopt a policy encouraging (but not requiring) our beginning students to take only 12-13 hours their first semester or two. This number of hours would equate to fulltime status and allow them to qualify for financial aid. I am aware that in order to complete 120 hours in 8 semesters, an average of 15 hours per semester is required if the student does not attend summer school. And I know beginning students are told to register for 15-16 hours. But the advantages to getting off to a better start and developing good study habits early on might outweigh the value of attempting 15 hours initially, especially since less than 13% of our students graduate in 4 years anyway. In addition, because the tuition surcharge does not apply to summer courses (and the number of hours needed to reach the surcharge point was decreased in the last NC budget process) summer school has become a better value for students. And attending summer school would allow them to “catch up” from a lower load the first year.

    Comment by Libby Denny — December 6, 2009 @ 7:36 am

  2. Can someone explain to me why most of our courses are 3 credits instead of 4 credits? I must confess ignorance on this one. At my own undergrad, more than 20 years ago, we took only 4 courses per semester because each was worth 4 credits. Did we have semesters that were longer than here? I don’t even know. Is this a SACS issue —regarding the number of contact hours with a professor? Online courses don’t even have contact hours per se unless they’re run synchronously.

    A smaller course load might help students do better, because it reduces the number of different topics that they have to study for at one time……….

    Comment by Jamie Litty — November 2, 2009 @ 1:23 pm

  3. Retention is a concern that relates to a number of variables. A systematic evaluation based on data may be helpful to the extent that it points to options that are both workable and acceptable. For a variety of reasons, some of them perhaps legitimate, the best options are now always acceptable. One variable that I believe is important, though I do not have the data, is the “intake” variable. That is, entrance criteria and acceptance decisions (as well as the timing of the admissions process) may well contribute to the admission of an inordinate number of persons likely to drop out. Just a thought.

    Comment by Robert Schneider — February 13, 2009 @ 11:30 am

  4. The students have funds to bring in whoever they so desire as long as they are legal. The Nostalgia Series is for another market and not to replace ANYONE that the students would like to bring in.

    We should have a couple of restuarants with bars by 2010, so hopefully one of those will be of the Sport Bar mode.

    Comment by ACM — February 9, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

  5. A laptop program would help with recruitment and retention.

    An alive downtown and a bar scene would also help.

    At least one or two events a GPAC that are directed at younger audience could help the on campus scene a little. I hear students joking about the old washed up bands we have there. Come on Air Supply, you think that 18-20 somethings are hip to that dady oh..The lettermen??

    How about Jack Johnson or Snow Patrol or… the list is long. The money might be a little higher, but what an investment.

    Comment by Stephen Robison — December 13, 2008 @ 7:52 am

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