Within a non-academic unit

Many students spend a considerable amount of time in extra-curricular activities and form close relationships with staff. This page describes some retention strategies that can be employed by staff in non-academic units.

Identify ways to cut through "red tape": Are there any procedures, practices, or forms that your office uses that place a burden on students? Look for ways to eliminate redundancies, move paper forms to the cloud, reduce the number of offices that are involved or forms that need to be completed, or reduce penalties.

Give kudos to student workers: Help make students feel seen and appreciated, and create a sense of community by acknowledging their hard work and contributions. Some ways to do this include:

  • Submitting a post to Intercom to highlight student accomplishments
  • Post about students' successes on your social media account
  • Highlight student contributions in your newsletters
  • Create a physical area in your office to showcase student workers

Create regular holistic wellness check-ins: Supervisors of student workers can have regular formal or informal conversations with individual students to ask how they are feeling and whether they are dealing with any academic, financial, social, or emotional obstacles or sources of stress.

Connect students to resources: In your discussions with students, brainstorm additional resources and opportunities that already exist on campus that could further engage or support the students, and help connect the students with these resources.

File referrals for students in distress: Utilize available resources to support distressed students, and file referrals if warranted:

  • If a student is experiencing significant academic difficulties, submit an academic alert.
  • If a student is exhibiting significant signs of emotional or behavioral distress, submit an iCare referral.

Is a student talking about transferring?: Students have many reasons for wanting to transfer, including social isolation, not liking the academic environment, financial difficulties, academic struggles, and wanting to attend a school with a particular major or athletic program.

  • The key is to connect a student with resources that might address these  issues, particularly if they don’t have a specific plan in mind yet. Those are the  students who you can encourage to pursue other opportunities but keep an open mind until later in the semester.
  • Also notify the student's Dean's Office about their interest in transferring.