2015 Success Stories: Indiana University South Bend

At Indiana University South Bend, student retention is driven by strong faculty-student relationships.  Student Body President Hannah Van spoke with us about the marketing video she put together touting these efforts, and how these relationships are vital not just to retention rates, but to total success in college. You can view the final project here.

What problems did your project address?

We wanted to increase student retention by encouraging Faculty to believe in students. I support the idea that students are much more likely to continue their education at a University if they have a Professor who believes in them. People natural surround themselves with people who appreciate them.

How did you approach implementing your project? What were your goals? Who did you involve?

In order to develop this relationship, student should display how impactful a professor’s “belief in them” is. My project goes to show how much a student really values a Professor’s belief in them. There is something motivating about another person recognizing your potential, especially when that person is a Professor who we look up to. The same goes for professors: there is something motivating in the fact that another person appreciates what you do!

How did it go? Were there any challenges or surprises?

I was surprised by how responsive the students were. My favorite part was seeing the students light up when they thought about that special professor who has believed in them and had such an impact on their life. I only got the chance to share the video with a small group of faculty from the campus with a video I put together with a few of the recorded interviews.

Thankfully our campus put on a Marketing Campaign which gave me an excuse to get a bunch of views and share the video with the entire campus. I would like to share this video with campuses all over the US because professors all over the world should know how their belief in us impacts our attitude towards our high education.

What were the results? Did you meet your goals?

No data shows that there is an increase is student retention. It is too soon to tell. The video is spreading quickly and I hope it continues to spread , and I hope students take the opportunity to “mention” a professor who has believed in them. We must first recognize all the professors for what they do for us before we ask for even more support.

What are your 3 tips for other students to replicate this project?

Thank the professors on your campus. Encourage students to share their story with others. Stay focused on why you are replicating this project.

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