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American Sentinel U Adopts Web-based Retention Program

To combat distance students dropping out before completion of their classes, American Sentinel University has implemented EducationDynamics' Adult, Online and Continuing Education Retention Program. This Web-based communications tool is designed to keep students connected to their instructors, peers, and institutional support services. The program provides system triggers that perform real-time updates, allowing administrators to track at-risk students and intervene before a student drops out.

"Research shows that students benefit personally and academically from relationships with peers and instructors just like their traditional counterparts, and such personal relationships can be cultivated through interactive, strategic online communications," said Mary Adams, president of the university. "Through EducationDynamics' Adult, Online and Continuing Education Retention Program, we are able to connect online students with mentors through first-person perspective videos, e-communities, blogs, and other interactive forums."

Designed for current students and first-time enrollees, the service features live alerts or customized communications that allow targeted messages to specific audiences; administrator tracking and reporting access; institution-specific survey and assessment features; online portfolios to help students showcase their skills and experiences; and social networks with an academic focus.

Founded in 2000 by a former professor who received start-up capital from his school, Vanderbilt University, American Sentinel has 1,200 students and 75 faculty and staff members.

EducationDynamics clients include the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Westwood College Online, and the University of Vermont in Burlington.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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