Initiatives established to improve retention

By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers

The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents briefly discussed freshmen retention during a meeting Friday, an issue President Steven Gamble said is an ongoing problem.

Gamble passed out a list of initiatives the campus would like to improve to increase ENMU’s freshmen retention rate. The endeavors include:

—Employing an additional math instructor for developmental and lower division math courses to help reduce class sizes.

—Implementing a tutor program that would place “peer tutors” in high-failure freshmen-level courses.

—Developing and implementing a mandatory course for freshmen that focuses on an introduction to a student’s major field of study.

—Analyzing the effectiveness of the Freshman Seminar and Learning Communities and designating a specific amount of money per community to hold a “bonding” event.

—Reviewing the approach to programming in the residence halls to make certain it is “retention-friendly.” More than 70 percent of ENMU’s freshmen reside on campus.

—Reviewing financial aid, counseling, advising, records clerks, student accounts and other services that impact retention, and determining if a “student retention hotline” should be developed.

In other business, Gamble reported:

—Pending accreditation for the social work program is progression.

—A proposed aviation management program has cleared hurdles and will tie in well with an aviation maintenance program at ENMU-Roswell.

—A search is under way for a student regent to replace Diego Espinoza, who graduates in spring.

The fall graduation list, which included 238 graduates, was approved.