A powerful new student support framework for academic, welfare, and engagement is now available to improve student retention  in educational programmes. Founded upon research at a leading UK academic institution, the framework offers a guided process for support teams, teachers and academics to follow, to ensure high student retention rates and successful learning outcomes.

To address the key issues of early ‘drop out’ and low retention, this research has created and implemented an intervention process. The intervention process helped and supported students who were identified as high risk from dropping out early. The ‘at risk’ students came from wide and varied backgrounds and not just specific to age, gender, demographic or ethnicity.

This framework, known as the 4 E’s model, applies four lenses to understand and evaluate how students are adapting to new courses. It considers how Engagement, Environment, Esteem and Efficacy have a bearing on the emotional well-being of each individual student, at the beginning of the academic year.

Evaluation from more recent research has informed the development of an intervention programme to improve retention rates within one UK university.  This has been achieved by using academic personal tutors to support students on the first year of study, who are at high risk from dropping out from their course. Pastoral care and support has been provided   to improve student engagement and retention. Intervention strategies have been widely used within Higher Education to support and enhance student retention.

The Student Retention model can be seen below, showing Institution and Students as co collaborators. Students enter University with a level of self esteem and self efficacy, the university has a responsibility to provide a ideal learning environment and engage students through a varied  array of teaching styles.

Figure 1 Student Retention Model

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Learn more about how the model has been successfully used in The 4 E’s Model, or how you could use the Toolkit yourself at your institution.