MAP-Works helps retention

Kate Russell/The News Retention specialist Ben Stinnett awarded Spencer Ray, freshman from Evansville, Ind., the MAPWorks award for a $1,000 housing scholarship.
Kate Russell/The News Retention specialist Ben Stinnett awarded Spencer Ray, freshman from Evansville, Ind., the MAPWorks award for a $1,000 housing scholarship.

Kate Russell/The News
Retention specialist Ben Stinnett awarded Spencer Ray, freshman from Evansville, Ind., the MAPWorks award for a $1,000 housing scholarship.

On Oct. 3, the Racer Retention Office hosted its MAP-Works fair in the Curris Center Ballroom. The MAP-Works fair was intended to bring new students, prospective students and faculty together to explore student interest in various majors and exchange information intended to help students get an idea of what degree they would like to seek during their time at Murray State.

The program identifies “at-risk” students from data collected through surveys and provides the retention office with the information they need to help these students and keep them in the hunt for higher education. It takes in factors such as performance and expectations, behaviors and activities and test anxiety. From this information, the Retention Office can design personalized plans for each individual student.

James Mantooth, director of Retention Services, said he wanted to take a proactive approach to student retention at the University and has embraced the MAP-Works program.

The program has been used at more than 1,500 universities nationwide. Since its implementation in 2012, the Retention Office has reported positive results.

Renae Duncan, associate provost of undergraduate studies, said by identifying these at-risk students, they are able to make sure they receive the support they need to be successful.

“When students take the MAP-Works survey, they receive an individualized report which shows their personal strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “The report also tells students where to find help on campus that will help them address those areas of weakness.

Duncan said although MAP-Works has only been at Murray State since 2012, there have already been positive results. She said more of last year’s freshmen returned as sophomores than in previous years.

 

Story by Alex McLaughlin, Contributing Writer