While so many schools focus on identifying and dealing with at-risk students, one of the most oft-ignored opportunities to increase retention is dealing with at-risk employees.

In exit interviews that go deeper than accepting, “I can’t afford school AND work”, “I lost my daycare provider” or “my car broke down,” we have found that when the person the student has connected with at the school has left, the student is more likely to quit.

The admissions rep, student services coordinator or instructor with the greatest influence on the student can often help the student deal with the inevitable roadblocks associated with finishing school.

When they have quit or been fired, the student is more likely to drop out without discussing options with a trusted mentor/advisor/friend.

When looking at employee retention and student retention, we have found an absolute correlation.

Hire right, treat your staff like gold, create a culture that is more powerful than the pay increase offered by the competitor, and both staff AND student retention will improve.

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