Retention Rates at BGTC
Bowling Green Technical College (BGTC) (KY) is a proud NISOD member, supporting ongoing development of its faculty and staff. With more than 70 years of educational excellence, our comprehensive community college continues to focus on student success and high expectations. Consistent with NISOD’s belief in “serving, engaging, and inspiring,” our team members maintain their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of students and the community.
Across the College, success abounds due to proven practices that move the needle in the right direction. With freshman retention rates in the top 6% nationally, and the highest degree completion rate in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, our focus on learning is intentional. To reach these high performance levels, data-informed decisions are made utilizing experience and research from CCCSE and Achieving the Dream, to name few. For example, partnering with business leaders, BGTC faculty drew upon industry human resource policies to create and uniformly implement a workplace ethics practice that requires attendance in every course. This was a result of attentive faculty responding to industry needs in addressing what many business leaders have identified as an epidemic in workplace ethics. The early results of this practice show increased proportions of passing grades, fewer failing grades, all amidst an 11% fall-to-fall headcount increase. In addition, faculty have reported fewer classroom behavioral issues, and student testimonials highlight increased levels of motivation.
As our colleague Dr. Kay McClenney states, “Students don’t do optional.” We at Bowling Green Technical College agree and have adopted mandatory orientation and advising, and have reduced the numbers of late registrants. Initially, the implementation of these practices raised eyebrows about its feared negative impact on enrollment; however, disciplined decision-making, courage, and patience held the institution strong to its commitment to do the right thing. As a result, student success in all fronts is positively increasing.
Changing practices in dramatic ways can be risky. However, maintaining a focus on doing what is right has solidified an institutional culture based on inclusion, appreciation, and investment in employee development. Despite the tough economic times, perennial budget cuts, and rapidly changing technology and student demographics, faculty and staff report the highest degree of dedication to the mission of the college. As a result, Bowling Green Technical College has been named as one of only a few dozen organizations across the state of Kentucky as a “Best Place to Work in 2012.”
Higher education is tough work. At Bowling Green Technical College, we understand the significance of awareness, knowledge, and desire for student, employee, and community success. We appreciate NISOD and Drs. John and Suanne Roueche for their lifelong dedication to “engaging, serving, and inspiring.”
Submitted by: Dr. Phil Neal, Provost, Bowling Green Technical College
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