Retention Efforts are "Thriving"
Within a few weeks of starting her new job as retention advisor for the Jerry & Vickie Moyes College of Education, Natalie Struhs BS ’07, noticed that a professor had raised an attendance flag for a student in Starfish, a technology tool that supports student success by facilitating communication between faculty, students, advisors and support services.
Struhs followed up. “When I called, the student said, ‘I mostly moved to Utah for the snow. It hadn’t snowed all winter, so when it finally did, I went to the mountains instead of class,’” Struhs said. “The student laughed, and admittedly, so did I, but by the end of our conversation the student said, ‘Thanks for calling. I’ll prioritize class over snow. I guess professors really do miss me when I’m not there.’”
The addition of retention advisors like Struhs and the implementation of new technology like Starfish is part of the Weber Thrives endeavor, which is aimed at growing enrollment and support, retaining students and, ultimately, seeing students graduate.
In addition to addressing concerns like attendance, advisors reach out to students to assist with registration and academic advising, and to offer resources for financial aid, counseling, tutoring and more.
“Students are glad to know we care so much,” Struhs said, “and, as for me, I’m glad to know that I can make a difference.”