Columbia professor researches retention rates

By Carleigh Turner After four years of research, Pegeen Reichert Powell, associate professor in the English Department and director of programming for the Writing and Rhetoric courses, has published her first book “Retention and Resistance: Writing Instruction and Students Who Leave.” The book uses student narratives and a critical analysis to explore the topic of retention in colleges and universities, which has intrigued Reichert Powell since she started teaching 20 years ago. The book, published Feb. 2014, is geared toward English. “The problem with retention in higher education should be addressed well before a student sets foot on a college campus. High schools need to drop the self-serving practice of listing all the colleges their graduates earn admissions because it just draws attention to the short-sighted goals they have set for their students. Rather than making every effort to advertise which universities your graduating students enter, how about posting the list of schools where they ultimately graduated? (We guess it would not be such a sexy list for most high schools.) Are high schools helping their students to graduate from the universities they enter or does a secondary education usually equate to a temporary, say, six month, vacation on a college campus where students just end up dropping out or transfering to another college? To be clear, this issue is not with just public education. Independent private high schools are often the greatest providers of this disservice to their students.” Read the entire article here:

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