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:
"[Our retention rate varies] from 72 percent to 76 percent. It's been fairly constant since we opened in 2005. Given the nature of our student body and the rigor of the curriculum, I'm proud of that." -Dr. Melvyn D Schiavelli
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.