Nebraska: A statewide push to improve freshman retention

Bite-sized higher ed news from a campus near you

Facing budgetary and performance pressures, Nebraska colleges and universities are bolstering freshman student-success initiatives to keep students on the path to graduation. 

Among the initiatives:

  • Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) split off its counseling center from the career center to improve student access to mental health care;
  • The University of Nebraska Omaha launched a Success Academy this year and asks all freshmen to complete a self-assessment;
  • The University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) has expanded learning communities of students who live on the same dorm floor and take some of the same classes;
  • Creighton University uses a Family Calling Initiative to connect faculty with parents of freshmen;
  • The College of St. Mary has expanded its Mothers Living and Learning Program to support single mothers and their children; and
  • University of Nebraska System President Hank Bounds asked institutions this year to join a Commit to Complete campaign that connects students to advisors and provides set course loads and schedules.

"They say it's cheaper to keep a student here than to recruit a new one," says NWU Provost Judy Muyskens. "We're not doing anyone any favors by bringing them here if they're not going to be successful" (Ruggles, Omaha World-Herald, 12/7).

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