Retention & Student Success Review

Support and Foster Student Outcomes

Attracting the right students is only one part of the solution to student success. High retention and graduation rates speak volumes about the quality of your institution’s educational programs and experiences. Many institutions work hard to enroll students, only to see those students leave before earning a credential or degree. Having an effective retention plan remains a critical component of Strategic Enrollment Management, and of reaching your enrollment goals while reducing enrollment costs.

Our Retention and Student Success Review provides a comprehensive examination of your institution’s overall approach to student transitions and support. Working together, we’ll get to the core of the issues impacting your student outcomes.

Strategy for Student Success

Customized for your specific challenges and goals, the engagement begins with a detailed review of your institution’s retention and graduation rates from first term to six years. Armed with this insight and from interviews on your campus, we’ll help you develop and implement a practical plan to:

  • Take a more strategic and integrated approach to student success
  • Create a retention plan that works within your unique institutional culture
  • Deepen understanding of your student profile, including transfer and high need students
  • Identify and address barriers that impede student retention and success
  • Improve student satisfaction rates
  • Enhance programs and services designed to help students succeed
  • Increase the number of students taking advantage of these programs and services
  • Make sure appropriate offices and departments are well prepared to support student success and satisfaction
  • Put you on the path to more Strategic Enrollment Management

Contact AACRAO Consulting today to schedule your Retention and Student Success Review and build your strategy for improved retention and completion rates.

Related Resources

State University of New York at Fredonia (Fredonia)

Location: Fredonia, NY


A comprehensive, public, liberal arts university in Western New York, Fredonia serves more than 4,600 students on its beautiful residential campus that blends intimate learning with a wide range of academic programs. In 2015, Fredonia contacted AACRAO Consulting to guide them through the process of taking a more strategic approach to its enrollment efforts. Beyond improving enrollment numbers, Fredonia wanted to align enrollment with the university’s overall vision and mission.


Fredonia had a strategic plan in place; however, it did not include any cohesive or complementary strategies around enrollment. After multiple years of decline in enrollment  numbers, the university knew it needed to reassess the way it was approaching recruitment and enrollment. To date, the university had been chasing the latest trend-of-the-moment in an effort to boost enrollment numbers. But without a cohesive strategy in place, these one-off efforts had generated few positive results.

Fredonia realized it needed a new model for enrollment management. Familiar with AACRAO Consulting’s expertise in Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM), Fredonia reached out to the organization for help in paving the way for SEM planning that would support sustainable enrollment gains for long-term institutional vitality.


AACRAO Consulting came to the Fredonia campus to conduct a series of interviews with faculty and staff to gather feedback as well as make a case for a SEM approach. AACRAO Consultants additionally analyzed years of the university’s enrollment data to develop a clearer picture of trends, challenges, and opportunities. Once the interviews and analysis were complete, AACRAO Consulting developed and presented a report outlining actionable recommendations around expanding the university’s enrollment reach beyond the current service area; clearly differentiating Fredonia from the competition; and ensuring the university remained an affordable option for prospective students.

AACRAO Consulting also provided recommendations for increased retention, including engaging all faculty and staff in supporting student success; re-evaluating policies that were inhibiting student success; engaging all students in the university experience; and revising the curriculum to simplify choices and provide clearer degree pathways.


Following AACRAO Consulting’s report, Fredonia established a SEM Steering Committee comprised of leadership, faculty, and staff. Additional committees focused on recruitment, retention, and data-sharing were also formed to ensure a cohesive, collaborative, and unified approach to implementing a SEM plan.

Fredonia has already seen positive results from AACRAO Consulting’s recommendations. Enrollment and student services have improved. Recruiters have also been able to respond more quickly to prospective students with faster decision times.

In fall 2019, Fredonia experienced a 2 percent increase in applications, while other universities in the SUNY family experienced decreases. The Fredonia student body is diversifying to include more first-generation college students, and the university is now focusing its efforts on improving retention for the new students they’ve attracted.




Our experience with AACRAO Consulting has been excellent. Our consultants were  knowledgeable, professional, and collegial. As an institution of higher learning that believes in  the value of expertise, we recognized the value of bringing in AACRAO Consulting’s experts in Strategic Enrollment Management. They’ve helped us understand the barriers to our enrollment, and more importantly, created a framework we didn’t have to overcome those barriers. The knowledge they imparted to us has stuck. And it’s also worked.

Terry Brown, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, State University of New York at Fredonia