Student Persistence / Retention of Students

Hello Program Management Colleagues,

A long-time challenge for adult foundational (basic literacy, ABE, ASE, ESOL/ESL) skills programs has been described as retention and, particularly from a learner perspective, as persistence. Its failure is often described as students "dropping out" or, if they intend to return, "stopping out," or "not completing."  Much has been written about this, including journal articles, some of which have been based on research. Program managers, instructors, professional developers, policy makers and others can gain insights from this research literature about how to improve program or school retention or persistence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for some programs and adult schools that have only been able to offer instruction remotely through the Internet, or through low- or no-tech distance education programs -- e.g. by providing hard copies of lessons and tutoring by telephone -- persistence/retention has been a huge challenge.

If the topic is of interest, this could be the first post in a vibrant and helpful discussion thread; if not, it will end here. To indicate your interest, please describe your situation, in a paragraph, or longer if you wish. If for some reason you would like to do this anonymously, email your description of the challenge to me and I will post it here for you with a pseudonym. In either case, give us enough information to understand the challenge.

Also, if there is interest and participation, I will be glad to provide examples of adult foundational skills research that you might find useful.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Program Management group