One of the unfortunate realities of higher education is that not everyone who enters the academy leaves with a degree. The percentage of students who drop out and never receive a diploma varies among institutions, but at nearly every college and university in the country, it’s considered a serious problem.
Educause’s report on the top 10 IT issues of 2020 highlights this problem, ranking it as the number six issue in their report. Of course, this report was released before the COVID-19 pandemic moved most higher education online—exacerbating the problem of student retention even further.
Now, you may be wondering why Educause would list student retention and completion as an “IT issue” when it seems to be more about studying, test-taking, and writing papers – the things students actually do to graduate.
The reason is simple: early intervention for students who are struggling is one of the best ways to increase retention and graduation rates. And by using machine learning, institutions can greatly increase their chances of figuring out which students are at risk, intervening early, and keeping them on the path to graduation.