On-Campus Employment as a Retention Strategy

Topics: Community College, Student Retention and Success, Student Employment, Career Services, Student Experience, Student Affairs

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Research Questions

  • How does on-campus student employment impact retention?


On-campus student employment is a winning retention strategy for community colleges. Data shows that students who work off-campus suffer from lower academic performance and are less likely to be retained than non-working peers. It isn’t hard to understand why—jobs are demanding and pull students away from the academic environment. However, on-campus employment often has the opposite effect on student persistence and academic performance. Among institutions who track employment data, retention rates of students who work on campus tend to be significantly higher than that of the general population. This brief examines student employee retention data at six institutions as well as policies governing student employment funding and eligibility.