Student Support Services & Retention – EDUC 665

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/04/2022

Course Description

This course discusses approaches to optimizing post-secondary student outcomes, particularly in support of critical programs designed to meet students’ academic, developmental and economic needs.  Topics include orientation programming, academic support, student retention, campus life, academic advising, and career guidance, among others.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


In response to stagnant undergraduate completion rates and growing demands for post-secondary accountability, institutions have actively pursued effective, broadly applicable methods for promoting student success. For Higher Education professionals, it is critical to understand the underlying causes of student attrition in order to align appropriate student services and intervention strategies. This course examines current trends and research in student services and retention, with an emphasis on student satisfaction and improved post-secondary outcomes.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Identify key student service entities and their function in promoting student success.
  2. Understand pivotal events in the progression of student support practice.
  3. Incorporate a biblical foundation for the advancement of student outcomes.
  4. Discuss the complexities of student support and retention.
  5. Analyze student retention research and literature to determine its theoretical foundations and practical applicability.
  6. Evaluate the evolution of student retention theory and practice over time.
  7. Create a comprehensive intervention plan for improving student support and success.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussion are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150 words. Each thread must be supported by at least 2 scholarly citations, and each reply must be supported by at least 1 in current APA format. (MLO: D)

Retention Theory Timeline

The candidate will create a concise, annotated timeline presentation outlining the key events, theoretical shifts, and practical breakthroughs in post-secondary student retention thought from the 1900’s to the modern era. Emphasis will be placed on developments that specifically impacted theory and practice as noted in the textbook and targeted readings. The presentation must contain a minimum of 10 major events with support from at least 5 scholarly sources. All citations and references must be in current APA format. (MLO: B, F)

Source Analysis

The candidate will analyze key readings from a pre-determined source in order to identify the works’ theoretical underpinnings, scholarly support, and practical implications. Responses will be provided as brief essays in current APA format. (MLO: E, F)

Student Engagement Paper

The candidate will write a 5–7-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on the evolution of student engagement. The paper must include at least 5 references including the course textbook and in addition to the Bible. (MLO: B, C, D, E)

Higher Education Scavenger Hunt

The candidate will explore various university websites and resources in order to identify specific themes across modern student service departments. (MLO: A)

Student Support Proposal

The candidate will create a formal proposal for a comprehensive university student support plan including specific academic, co-curricular, and intervention strategies. A minimum of 5 sources in current APA format will be required, and emphasis will be placed on the synthesis of theory and practice. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E, F, G)

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module: week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice questions, and have a 45-minute time limit. (MLO: B, F)