Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
College's fall-to-fall retention at highest rate in history
Miami Dade College officially began reporting on fall-to-fall retention rates in 1990. Since that time, the College has found that intervening early in a student's career is pivotal to success and, in response to this information, has developed strategic methods for reaching out to students most likely to abandon their studies before earning an associate degree.
I am pleased to announce that the College's recently released 2008-2009 Fall-to-Fall Retention Report indicates the highest new-student-retention rates in nearly two decades. At 68.4 percent, MDC has succeeded in retaining more students than at any other point in the history of our measurements.
To achieve this important milestone, the College launched several initiatives to target first-year students, collectively referred to as the First Year Experience. Leading the way, each of our campuses became much more proactive and consistent in the orientation of new students by offering freshman convocations, mentoring services, and reaching out via e-mail and the Call Center.
A focal point of these efforts was Student Life Skills (SLS) courses, which aim to address the non-cognitive factors associated with success in college. Coping with stress, study and test-taking skills, selecting a major, among others, are important components. These courses are required for students placing into college-prep courses.
In addition to SLS placement compliance, the College has concentrated on the development of IEPs (Individualized Educational Plans) for first-year students. Other accomplishments to note:
MDC's 2009 new-student retention rate is 7.4 percentage points above the state trend and 14.4 percentage points above the national trend for two-year public college students.
Rates were up or remained stable at seven of eight MDC campuses and increased for both male and female students.
The retention rate for black non-Hispanic students increased the most (up 3.7 percentage points to 62.9 percent) and retention rates for Hispanic students remained stable at 70 percent, exceeding the collegewide rate.
I would like to recognize the special efforts of the directors of retention, the SLS faculty, student deans, and all of student services for their contributions to the success of our students. I would also like to thank David Kaiser, director of institutional research, and research associate Steven Folsom for the consistent review of data and for compiling MDC's 2008-2009 Fall-To-Fall Retention Report.