Student Retention Resources

Helping our students succeed and make steady progress towards degree completion and a rewarding life after graduation is our principal mission at UNT, and everyone – from our custodial staff to the president – has an important role to play in this. Because faculty and academic staff spend so much time with students, you play an especially critical part. We know you already work tirelessly to help students succeed, but perhaps there are new ways we can make the student journey just a little smoother. If we work together, we can exceed the president’s retention goals. Here are a few ideas that may help you:

The President's message on student retention can be found in the "Soar for More retention initiative".

Students who do not have a successful college experience very commonly mention not having been engaged and feeling like no one really cared whether or not they stayed in school and succeeded. Many of our students suffer from the so-called Imposter Syndrome: a deep-seated worry that they really don’t belong in college. Our students can be adept at the “brave face” - recognizing that feelings of not belonging are quite common is important. The occasional pep talk can help. So too is helping them develop a growth mindset (see the following list of helpful resources on fostering a growth mindset in our students). More broadly, going the extra mile to help all students feel welcomed and included in our classrooms, labs, and offices is something all of us can do. Even seemingly small steps, such as learning students’ names or honoring their choices of pronouns, can make an outsized difference. Some curricular resources for instructional faculty can be found under "Resources for Faculty Reflection".

Faculty and academic staff can also help our students by becoming more familiar with trends in the data. UNT has a remarkable collection of data aimed at helping community members make informed data decisions. This includes an in-depth set of retention dashboards, as well as dashboards on grade distributions (including DFWI rates), enrollment trends, student demographics, and many others. Visit Insights 2.0 to learn about training opportunities so that you can be in the know!

In addition to Insights, our Navigate Student Success Platform has a robust data platform that can help identify students that may need additional support or interventions. Check out for future training opportunities or email for assistance.

An important way that instructional faculty can help students succeed and progress is by making their expectations as clear as possible. Many of us have used the same basic syllabus for many years. Why not invest a bit of time now in re-examining your syllabi? It could make all the difference to students unused to this important scholastic document. UNT’s Center for Learning, Experimentation, Application, and Research (CLEAR) has a helpful syllabus template that includes all sorts of useful tips and checklists aimed at helping you.