Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Harrisburg University Students Run Like Forest Gump

If you read my previous post "HUST Truthful About Student Enrollment?" you know that although HUST publicly claims a student enrollment of over 1000, the actual total student enrollment is not even close to that. The truth is, HUST's total student enrollment has likely DECLINED since the Fall of 2010. Poor enrollment numbers and poor retention rates are a great big red flag that the school is failing.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that HUST has a horrifying retention rate. Retention rates measure the percentage of first-time students who are seeking bachelor's degrees who return to the institution to continue their studies the following fall. Retention rates are a strong indicator of the quality of the institution, which is why they are required statistics. This is what you'll see when you check out the National Center for Education Statistics report:

To put that 34% into perspective, top schools typically see retention rates in the 90% range while good schools see 70%+ retention rates. By the nature of their students and the type of institution, state universities, community colleges and for-profit schools all have varying levels of expected retention. Where do you think HUST falls? Here are some other local institutions (in no particular order) including an on-line school and some two year schools for perspective:

York College of Pennsylvania: 76% retention rate.
Penn State Harrisburg: 85% retention rate.
Albright College: 75% retention rate.
Central College of Pennsylvania: 61% retention rate.
Empire Beauty School Harrisburg: 81% retention rate.
ITT Technical Institute Harrisburg: 52% retention rate.
Franklin and Marshall College: 94% retention rate.
Elizabethtown College: 88% retention rate.
Dickinson College: 90% retention rate.
HACC Harrisburg: 51% retention rate.
Lebanon Valley College: 83% retention rate.
Gettysburg College: 89% retention rate.
University of Phoenix Online: 47% retention rate.

I couldn't find another four year school in the entire state of Pennsylvania that has a retention rate as bad as HUSTs. This is not an anomaly, last year HUST had a retention rate of 43%.

Not to say I told you so....but I told you so! Last year when I was crying foul about HUST, I got a lot of "Oh, that can't be true" and "you're destroying the school!" Bah! I didn't cause these problems, the problems are directly related to the leadership at HUST.

Heck, our administration says stuff like this:

How can the community work to address the problems when administration is seemingly intent on covering them up?

I'll address fixing the retention issues in an upcoming post.


  1. "'[Y]ou're destroying the school!" Bah! I didn't cause these problems, the problems are directly related to the leadership at HUST.'"

    Here, Sir, is where you are wrong. A small -- very small -- subset of teachers and faculty have engaged in (and indulged themselves with at the expense of everyone else) egregious favoritism in conjunction with a lack of communication with the entire student body. The favoritism and the lack of communication are the two largest contributors to the issues involving retention. You don't have your 'ear to the ground,' but rather, just to your 'favorites.'

  2. You write about a lack of communication and favoritism, yet your comment smacks of both.

  3. Another non sequitur from you. Bring it on! Let's name names! Let's be specific!

    A convincing analysis focuses on specifics, not on bland assertions of 'lack of qualifications.' How 'qualified' was Abe Lincoln (he was raised on a farm and taught himself to read)? The clique is dis

    appearing, and rightly so. ;)


  4. Notice how enthusiastically the students have endorsed your causes? Perhaps you might start to HEAR the silence, and begin to wonder why?

  5. The faculty and staff are constrained by their commitments to professionalism to respond to your posts, but I am neither faculty or staff. Undoubtedly he isn't perfect, but at least Dr. Darr listens to and responds (not necessarily always in ways that I would respond) to all students who request his time. Unfortunately, some of the self-centered practices by a few of the faculty and even fewer of the staff need to be checked and, without question by the large majority of the HU community, it is because of those necessary constraints due to complaints that you retaliate. I've been there. The other 99% of us see it. Cheers! PS I PASSED the GRE.

  6. {Notice how enthusiastically the students have endorsed your causes? Perhaps you might start to HEAR the silence, and begin to wonder why?}

    Dude the blog is like a day old.

  7. The blog has been technically live since October 31st, but there has been no campaign to publicize it yet.

  8. I think there are many, many good people working at Harrisburg U. But I'm transferring out as soon as I can and I know at least five other students are doing the exact same thing. The tuition keeps going up, the registrar is horrible and the billing problems are terrible. I think some of the faculty are just outright frauds. I had one professor that READ OUT OF THE TEXTBOOK for hours. I'm not paying for this shit. I'm sorry to all the good faculty that spent a lot of time helping us, but that's why the retention is so bad a Harrisburg U, you have to get your shit together.