Florida A&M University Increases Student Persistence and Retention

How a top-ranked HBCU leverages Modern Campus Register to improve student enrollment and advising

About FAMU

 

 

~ 10,000

students

 

80%

of students receive financial aid

 

60%

of students are Pell Grant eligible

in this case study: Agatha Onwunli, University Registrar

We adopted Modern Campus Register because it helped us take care of our students. With Modern Campus, I can comfortably say our students take their required courses.

Agatha Onwunli

The Challenge

Lack of clarity around degree pathways led to dropouts and excess credit hour charges 

Across the higher education industry, hundreds of thousands of students are enrolling in degree programs without completing their credentials. In fact, 39 million Americans have some college credits but no degree. 

At Florida A&M University (FAMU), they realized their students were able to enroll in courses that didn’t contribute to their degree completion. 

Students just enrolled in courses whether they related to their degree program or not, which caused all kinds of problems. Some students would end up withdrawing from those classes or they would be charged additional tuition dollars for their excess credit hours.

Agatha Onwunli

At an institution where more than 75% of students are using financial aid, wasting money on courses that don’t contribute to degree completion can be damaging to the learner—contributing to possible dropouts and potentially leading them to enter a cycle of debt.

The Solution

screenshot from the video of two students working together

In the video above, University Registrar Agatha Onwunli reflects on how Register has supported FAMU students and staff.

Students were guided toward taking the right courses at the right time 

To ensure students were enrolling in the right courses at the right time, FAMU adopted Modern Campus Register, course scheduling software designed to streamline enrollment and registration processes for students. 

With Register, students have visibility into the exact courses that will contribute to their degree completion when they’re selecting courses to enroll in. What’s more, the system automatically restricts freshmen and sophomores—who don’t have electives until their third year—from taking courses that don’t contribute to their degree path. This way, there are no surprises. 

We added restrictions to ensure students pick courses in a certain order—so freshmen pick freshman courses, second-year students pick second-year courses, and so on. It’s so simple. Students just log into their academic advisement module (My Requirement), pick their classes and enter the scheduler.

Agatha Onwunli

The advising office gained significant operational efficiency

What’s more, since students are now able to use Register to select the right courses directly from the academic advisement report, there’s less pressure on academic advisors and the registrar’s office to ensure students are on track to degree completion. 

Before we integrated the academic advisement report into Register, advisors had the curriculum on a piece of paper.

Agatha Onwunli

They would then check each students' courses against their paper-based record of the curriculum to ensure every single student was on track. 

Now, since students are restricted from registering for courses that don’t contribute to their degree progress, academic advisors don’t have to spend time and energy manually ensuring each student is on-track to completion. That means they can make more effective and efficient use of their time, providing personalized service and support to students who need help.  

“There has been quite a bit of improvement in the advising experience,” she said. 

The university is on track to meeting performance-based funding requirements 

Ensuring students are on-track to earning their degrees has a larger impact on the institution as well. Since Florida is one of the 41 states who’ve adopted performance-based funding for public higher education, degree completion plays a role in their funding allocation. 

We had students earning more than 120 credit hours, which is mostly what's required to graduate in most bachelor of science degree that we offer, but without earning a degree.

Agatha Onwunli

By streamlining the pathway to completion, the university is better positioned to drive degree completion and maximize their funding going forward. 

 
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About Modern Campus

Modern Campus is obsessed with empowering its 1,200+ higher education customers to thrive when radical transformation is required to respond to lower student enrollments and revenue, rising costs, crushing student debt and even school closures.

Powered by Omni CMS, DIGARC, Presence, Signal Vine and Destiny One, the Modern Campus modern learner engagement platform enables innovative institutions to create a “learner to earner” lifecycle that engages modern learners for life.

 

Delivering massive personalization, AI-driven recommendations and a modern e-commerce engine, Modern Campus creates a student-first digital experience and removes silos across campus. Presidents and provosts, marketing and IT teams, admissions, registrars, student affairs and CE divisions can partner to attract, enroll, empower, retain, credential and re-engage students with pathways for lifelong learning.

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