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3 Eastern Kansas Universities Try to Improve Retention

This gate welcomes visitors entering the KU campus from the west.  KU, Haskell and Ottawa universities are trying to improve student retention by reaching out earlier to "at-risk" college students.  (Photo by J. Schafer)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Three universities in eastern Kansas are using new ways to improve retention and graduation rates.  The University of Kansas, Ottawa University and Haskell Indian Nations University are using student data to identify at-risk students and intervene early in their college careers. The students are offered special tutoring, academic advising and mentorship. Those programs are not new but the universities are using online administrative systems to easier identify the students.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports the effort is part a national push to improve retention and graduation rates, particularly for first-generation, low-income or minority students.  Teresa Kelley, director of the Adawe LifePlan Center at Ottawa University, says it's important to reach struggling students before they are overwhelmed and quit college.

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