ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group1

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Charge: To discuss methods, best practices, and assessment for developing case-by-case and programmatic efforts related to student retention.
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  • 1.  Active Learning Environments Contribute to Student Success and Retention

    Posted Dec 12, 2014 01:15 PM

    Another good article from Inside Higher Ed on the impact of classrooms designed for active learning.

    At some universities these rooms may be referred to as SCALE UP - Student Centered Active Learning Environment (see

    From the article -a key finding from the research:

     After controlling for demographics and academic backgrounds, researchers found at-risk students who took the course in classrooms that promoted active learning (which included some rooms other than the renovated ones) were 2.8 times more likely to succeed -- that is, to earn a grade higher than a D -- than students in traditional classrooms.

    I know the libraries at Purdue and Virginia Tech have SCALE UP type classrooms, but I don't think it's a trend just yet. 

    Perhaps more of us could find a way to add a classroom like this to the library and invite faculty to make use of it...another way for the library to help promote better retention through student success.

    Steven Bell

    Temple University



  • 2.  RE: Active Learning Environments Contribute to Student Success and Retention

    Posted Dec 18, 2014 04:59 PM

    The article was interesting.  I thought it provided perspectives that went straight to an analysis and critique of why students discontinue college.  Although I agree that economically advantaged students have less financial concerns than disadvantaged students, I do not see low income as the main reason why many fail to complete their education. Students from advantaged homes usually have parents that have college degrees. I believe this knowledge of the college experience and parental support is more of an impacting factor for their success over students that do not have parents that have a college degree. First generation students must believe that their degree will change their position in life as they fulfill a personal dream of what they will become.  The advantaged student knows how their parent's degree has resulted in the advantages they experience.  Again, the disadvantaged student's family hopes they will continue to graduate, while the advantaged student knows they will graduate because it has always been expected of them. If we as librarians wish to impact disadvantaged students we can do this through sharing our own academic experience that led to our graduation.  We must continually reinforce that a better life is attainable with a college degree.  Colleges too, must affirm their delivery of programs that help students become gainfully employed. Simply stated, the degree will lead to a better job and a professional identity.  In my library, I have a banner that is a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King and it quotes him saying, "I have a dream..." Student ask, "Is that for Black history month?" I share, "No, it is the vision of the library. We want to help you reach your dream.  What's yours?"  And they smile and share what they will become with delight in their eyes.  They do not have another dream that leads them from where they are now. This is their dream and we as librarians can help them have the support they may not have at home. Thank you for the interesting article you shared. I enjoyed reading it and the many excellent point it made on retention.