The University’s efforts to combat attrition are overseen by a Retention Steering Committee, responsible for implementing the Student Transition and Retention Success (STARS) Plan (PDF, 337.42 KB), a subset of the Learning and Teaching Strategic Pillar Plan, working to achieve the following targets:
- a rise in the HE student retention rate to 75% (non-Indigenous) and 60% (Indigenous), with a long-term aspiration to reach parity, and
- consistent student satisfaction ratings over 80%.
CDU’s student population has a large proportion of high-attrition-risk students, characterised by learners who are part-time, from one or more target equity groups, mature aged, and/or online. The STARS Plan describes five pillars for retention success:
- Transition for early success, with effective orientation and onboarding for all learners
- Risk Management with early interventions in target courses and cohorts
- Teaching for retention with a focus on assessment design and quality feedback
- Careers focus that links current learning with future goals and industry readiness, and
- Customer service excellence for rapid enquiry management and resolution.
The target courses referred to in pillar two have been determined by the Steering Committee and are high volume programs with low semester-to-semester retention rates, including Education (UG and PG), Psychology (UG), Law (UG), Arts (UG), and Nursing and Midwifery (UG). There is only one target cohort for the next two years: Indigenous students in HE programs (with a focus on both success and retention).
Working groups have been established to focus on
- improvements in assessment design and student feedback for the target courses, ensuring that students have accessible, fair, relevant assessments and provide timely and high-quality feedback that provides guidance on how to improve their performance, and
- Indigenous student success, in collaboration with the PVC Indigenous Leadership and Dean of the College of Indigenous Futures.
Retention is being tracked week-to-week by the Steering Committee, who formally report to the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee, a sub-committee of Academic Board.
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