Retention and Student Success: An Update on 2011, 2012 and 2013 Cohorts

At this time of year, the concentration of outreach toward increasing the one-year retention rate of the Fall 2013 cohort transitions to proactive methods at engaging the Fall 2014 cohort.  However, before we move completely into Fall 2014 cohort initiatives, let’s applaud the many retention successes we have achieved (listed below).  These successes are a result of your continual dedication and support, both individually and collaboratively.  Thank you:  your efforts are truly appreciated.


First to Second Year Retention (Fall 2013 Cohort)

  • Second highest retention rate in UK history:  82.1%
  • Preliminary rate is 0.6% higher than the 81.5% predicted rate for the F13 class (based on academic preparation)
  • Largest number of students (3,793) retained in UK history
  • Second lowest Spring to Fall melt (10.8%)
  • Held August melt to 0.4% (compared to 0.9%)

First to Third Year Retention (Fall 2012 Cohort)

  • Highest retention rate in UK history:  74.9%

First to Fourth Year Retention (Fall 2011 Cohort)

  • Highest retention rate in UK history:  70.6%

The preliminary retention rate of the Fall 2013 cohort is 82.1%, which is 0.9% behind our goal of 83.0%.  There are 3,793 Fall 2013 cohort students enrolled for Fall 2014 (41 additional students were needed to reach 83.0%). The preliminary retention rate of 82.1% is 0.4% behind the Fall 2012 rate of 82.5%

On Monday, the Office of Student Success will distribute to each undergraduate college a list of its (preliminary) Fall 2014 cohort students.  Because we know the first few weeks of the fall semester are critical to student success, we ask that you proactively reach out to all your cohort students.  It is especially important to reach out to those students who have declared a major in your college, but have not yet enrolled in major courses.


Faculty and instructional staff will be receiving an email introducing/reminding them of The Student Alert System.  This system  is an early intervention tool that allows faculty and designated university personnel to submit information regarding academic and behavioral issues that usually present obstacles to student success.

  • The Academic Alert System (attendance, homework, poor grades on quizzes, etc.) is overseen by Undergraduate Education.  Once an academic alert is submitted, an email is instantaneously sent to the student and their academic advisor.  The student is instructed to contact their advisor and/or their instructor to resolve the academic issue in question.  The academic advisor contacts the student promptly to discuss the issue.  Last year, there were approximately 5,000 academic alerts submitted, with 2,900 in the fall semester alone.
  • The Behavioral Alert system focuses on safety, disruptive behaviors, personal/non-academic issues. Reports are handled via the Community of Concern group led by Student Affairs. Once a behavioral alert is submitted, an email is instantaneously sent to the Community of Concern team, which determines whether immediate action or continued monitoring of the situation is required.  Last year, there were approximately 550 behavioral alerts submitted, involving 350 unique individuals.

Alerts can be submitted at any point during a semester, although submissions are recommended as soon as an academic or behavioral issue arises, to allow ample time for outreach, intervention, and resolution.

You have been great partners in increasing student success.  Thanks again for your dedication and hard work:  we are looking forward to the upcoming year.


Bethany L. Miller, Ph.D.
Office for Student Success
(859) 257-9025


About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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