Colleges Encourage Students To Return After Drop Out During Pandemic

The global pandemic changed the way everyone lives and works with schools experiencing a massive impact with an increased college dropout rate as many students were missing out on the true college experience. Many students transitioned from classes on campus to online classes with many opting to drop out eventually, but colleges are working on encouraging dropouts to return to graduate. 

Some colleges in the state of California are implementing new policies in the hopes of encouraging dropout students to return while supporting current students to graduate. The entire 23-campus California State University system along with San Francisco State University (SFSU) is introducing unprecedented policies with the goal of helping current and returning students.  

One of the key pillars in this plan for progress is re-enrollment as campuses focus on targeting students who stopped attending classes with an emphasis on students of color and with a low-income background. Another pillar in boosting graduation rates is overhauling large, required courses in which there is a higher percentage of students receiving Ds and Fs for grades. 

The idea of changing grades has raised some concerns for controversy as lecturers and professors may be pressured to ease up on grading. Students with lower grades are more likely to drop out if they earn a D or F in two or more early classes that greatly impact their GPA and can result in preliminary academic probation. 

The initiative is pushing re-enroll students by reducing the chance of early Ds and Fs, therefore, reducing the chance of students dropping out. SFSU launched an outreach campaign to bring back 302 students in good academic standing who enrolled in 2019 but dropped out in 2020. 

So far 60 students have since come back generating a 20%return rate and surpassing the goal of re-enrollment with 10% with some students claiming they probably wouldn’t have returned if the university didn’t reach out to them. It seems that the initiative is meeting and exceeding goals as the university system works to try and help students return to school.