Grand Canyon University has launched a pilot program to try to boost student retention. The school has hired full-time instructors to teach online learners who are most likely to drop out.
Grand Canyon recently hired 60 full-time faculty members with masters and doctoral degrees, said Brian Mueller, the university’s chief executive officer. Those instructors, who make $60,000 annually, have been teaching for three months, he added. Full-time faculty members earn roughly one-third more than part-time instructors.
Usually, online students are taught by one of 2,000 part-time instructors.
The new teachers are leading classes that tend to have online students that are at the most risk of dropping out: students with little prior college experience, who are taking their first online classes. Preliminary data shows that online Grand Canyon students who have full-time instructors are less likely to drop out, Mueller said.
Grand Canyon University’s parent company, Grand Canyon Education Inc. is based in Phoenix. It has about 37,000 online students and 3,000 students who attend classes at its 3300 W. Camelback Road campus in Phoenix, a company spokesman said.