Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary E. Batiuk


Decreasing retention rates have become a serious issue at several universities in the United States. At a university in middle Georgia, retention rates have been steadily declining for the last several years. The purpose of this study was to explore how the faculty at this university might implement more educational services on campus to increase retention. Bandura's theoretical framework of self-efficacy was used in this qualitative case study. Key questions for the study asked faculty about what programs or instructional strategies they believe currently offer support to retaining students at this university, how faculty at the university perceive that they contribute to retention and graduation, and what factors faculty observe that affect student retention and graduation. Ten faculty members at the university were randomly sampled and participated in face-to-face interviews. The data was analyzed by hand using themes. The data analysis revealed that faculty believed student retention might be increased through improved student engagement, building better faculty and student rapport, developing concrete retention goals, and implementing a mentoring program. A 3-day professional development training program was designed for faculty members to increase their knowledge of student retention, student engagement, goal attainment, and services that could be beneficial in student retention. The project resulting from this research may encourage the faculty and the university to implement more resources and services for students so as to increase the retention rates. This study promotes social change by providing faculty members the results of the study and illuminating the ways to strengthen and increase the services on their campus.