By Logan Garrett, Staff Writer –
Over the past ten years, the First Year Retention Rate at UTC has been steadily
increasing due to the prolonged efforts of the department of enrollment management and student success.
Since 2008, the retention rate has grown 13 percent, with 74 percent of first year students
returning for a second year in 2017, according to Yancy Freeman, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Success.
“We want to get to 80 percent, I mean that’s our goal,” said Freeman. “Even moving that
one percentage point is a big thing, but we want to try and move one or two percentage points every year.”
In comparison to UTC’s peer institutions’ retention rates, the university sits in the middle
of the pack, with institutions such as Tennessee Tech University and UT-Knoxville holding rates slightly higher than UTC and schools like UT-Martin and East Tennessee State University being slightly lower.
The department of enrollment management and student success has developed an array of on-campus programs and initiatives targeted at enriching the first year experience, including the Mocs One Center, Center for Advisement and Center for Professional Education to name a few.
Additionally, the department manages introductory programs, such as Freshman
Orientation, Moc Speed camp and Summer Bridge program. “These programs are good bonding experiences with the students and another way to get you acclimated to campus and get you feeling comfortable with what’s available,” said Freeman. “They work to the end of making sure students can continue to matriculate.”
Despite the many offerings for incoming freshman, more than 25 percent of freshman
decide to either transfer or withdraw.
Max Faust, a former UTC student from Hendersonville, Tennessee, is one of those
students who realized college was not the right choice for them.
“On my account, passions changed and leaving school was the best emotional and
financial decision to make at the moment, but in the future I might find myself back in the
classroom pursuing a new adventure,” Faust said.
Faust continued to say that he felt like the university did an excellent job providing an
environment conducive for student success, but some students simply thrive in different settings.
To learn more information on the offerings for incoming freshmen and all UTC students
in general, visit https://www.utc.edu/enrollment-management-and-student-success/.