Texas Tech University has not only been able to report record-breaking enrollment figures in 2014, but now lists high retention rates.

According to the university, 83.4 percent of fall 2013 incoming freshman returned to Tech in the fall of 2014. This is the highest one-year retention rate since 83.9 percent of incoming fall 2004 freshman returned in the fall of 2005.

Texas Tech University President Duane Nellis said record growth is important, but the academic integrity of the university must remain unsullied.

One way to achieve that goal is to increase our retention rates, and I applaud Provost Lawrence Schovanec, Senior Vice President Juan Muñoz, and the other members of our administration, faculty and staff who have helped make that happen.”

Schovanec said the retention rate reflects hard work being done by the university’s advising staff as well as by those working in the many transitional programs provided to incoming students including Mentor Tech, Upward Bound and the Military Veterans Program.

In addition to Tech’s current programs, two new retention tools are being employed to retain students.

The first program, the Provost Retention Task Force, was created by Schovanec and is chaired by Senior Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equality and Community Engagement Juan Munoz. According to Texas Tech, the task force is comprised of approximately 30 administrators, faculty, staff and students.

Munoz said the group is highly diversified with members representing most departments within the system. He said they are tasked with, “analyzing the policies, activities and decisions that are used throughout the institution so the university can determine the best practices to improve retention and academic success for [its] students.”

The second new initiative is a predictive software program called Student Success Collaborative obtained through the Education Advisory Board.

The SSB will collate data from individual students as they work towards a degree and show what classes students took that lead to a higher graduation rate. Students will also be able to quickly see how changes to a degree plan would affect their course load and graduation date.
Accoring to Munoz, similar schools that have implemented the software have seen up to a two percent growth in graduation rates. He went on to say Tech plans to implement the software for the upcoming spring semester.