CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Administrators and faculty members representing all of the state’s two and four-year colleges and universities are in Charleston for the West Virginia Momentum Academy focused on student retention.


Corley Dennison

“We’re going to talk about a series of best practices to improve student retention. We’re going to talk about co-requisite delivery of math and English to improve pass rates for those courses and we’re going to talk about best practices for advising,” state Higher Education Policy Commission Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Corley Dennison said about the Wednesday and Thursday gathering at the Charleston Marriott.

The state’s college and universities have been concentrating more on attainment and retention efforts in recent years. Work that begin in 2011 is beginning to show some results, Dennison said.

“We have increased pass rates in math and English. We have an uptick in our year-to-year retention rates and we’re really pleased with those results,” Dennison said. “This meeting is to going to encourage the campuses to pull all of those things together in a comprehensive strategy.”

Those in attendance heard from a content expert panel Wednesday afternoon made up of higher education officials from other states that concentrate on things like student success, academic success and advising. Break-out sessions are scheduled with members of the panel Thursday morning, Dennison said.

“Each institution will be able to break-out with their own team members from their campuses and have time with these content experts to talk about how to make these things to work or to work better on their campuses,” he said.

Keeping college students in college is an important for the state moving forward, Dennison said, adding there’s been some momentum and they want to keep it going with events like the momentum academy.

“We need to keep these efforts moving forward and keep tweaking these efforts, so that it compounds and as these students come in it keeps improving and these students come back every year and that will lead us to our attainment goals,” Dennison said.

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