Scarborough Library, Shepherd University

Academic Support Center Sees Good Results

(THE PICKET) – A majority of students who use academic services say that it is a strong part of their academic success and retention, according to surveys conducted by the Shepherd University Academic Support Center.

A total 1,568 tutoring appointments were made over the 2015-2016 school year with 61 percent of survey respondents saying that tutoring was a strong factor in their academic success and retention, according to an email from Laura Renninger, dean of teaching, learning, and instructional resources. The survey also showed that 87.5 percent of students strongly agreed that they would sign up for additional tutoring sessions.

During spring 2016 semester, 55 percent of respondents said that tutoring was a strong factor in their academic success with 89 percent of respondents strongly agreeing that they would like more tutoring sessions.

“I feel like 99 percent of students take advantage of academic services,” said Renninger.

Both academic success and student retention are important to any university. Ellucian is a company that has been providing higher education institutions  with software and services since 1968, and they say the last couple of decades have seen an increased in retention initiatives on college campuses. These initiatives include programs and services like writing centers, academic resource centers, and outreach and engagement programs.

Shepherd University currently has a freshman retention rate below the national average, according to College Factual. The average freshman retention rate in the United States is 70.9 percent. Shepherd’s freshman retention rate of 68 percent.

Westley Elkins is a staff writer for The Picket. He can be reached by email at and followed on Twitter @WesElkins.

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