Colleges Join Gardner Institute's Inaugural Small Enrollment Retention Cohort

Six Colleges and Universities Join John N. Gardner Institute's Inaugural Small Enrollment Institution Retention Consortium Cohort to Improve Student Success and Retention Rates

BREVARD, NC. (January 27, 2017) – The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (JNGI), a national leader in helping colleges and universities improve student success, is pleased to announce the six smaller enrollment institutions that have been selected as JNGI’s inaugural Small Enrollment Institution Retention Consortium.

Drawing on JNGI’s established Retention Performance Management process, the Small Enrollment Institution Retention Consortium will help these six institutions create and then implement strategic retention improvement plans focused on specific cohorts such as first-year, second-year, first-generation and low-income students. The work commenced in November 2016 and will occur over the next two academic years. It will include institution-specific efforts as well as sharing across a broader small enrollment institution community of practice.

The following institutions join the more than 300 that have worked with JNGI to build and implement a comprehensive strategic action plan to yield a new vision for enhanced learning and retention.

  • Blackburn College
  • Catawba College
  • Coker College
  • Frank Phillips College
  • Kent State University
  • Western Nevada College

“The Small Enrollment Institution Retention Consortium is designed to help these six institutions and others like them keep more of the students they admit – an outcome critical to fulfilling institutional mission and maintaining financial wellbeing,” said Drew Koch, Chief Operating Officer, John N. Gardner Institute. “Both the institution specific plan generation and implementation process and the broader cross-institution community of practice are focused on shared decision-making that leads to making informed, data-based decisions about strategic retention and completion efforts. The shared decisions and actions have the power to transform the institution and the students they serve.”

“This collaborative can be extremely transformational for our institutions and their students,” said John N. Gardner, President, John N. Gardner Institute. “We are proud to partner with these strategically-minded organizations in assessing and planning for excellence in their entire undergraduate experience.”

JNGI’s proven student learning, success, retention and completion processes have been used by hundreds of institutions - including entire systems and/or districts - to improve the first-year and/or transfer experience.

The Gardner Institute is currently accepting applications from colleges and/or universities interested in joining the other JNGI cohorts. For more information, visit


For more information:

Julie Heller

Director, Marketing and Communications

John N. Gardner Institute 314-602-2785

About the John N. Gardner Institute

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations, educators, and other entities to increase institutional responsibility for improving outcomes associated with teaching, learning, retention, and completion. Through its efforts the Institute will strive to advance higher education’s larger goal of achieving equity and social justice.

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