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Rhode Island CC Cranks Up Connect 2 College Program To Bolster Retention

A community college in Rhode Island will be trying out new applications to help students to take advantage of its student services and manage their academic lives. Warwick-based Community College of Rhode Island received a multi-year grant to run a new "Connect 2 College" (C2C) project designed to identify and address academic, social, and motivational deficiencies in its new students. The overall goal: to improve student retention. The college has about 18,000 students.

The initiative is working with ConnectEDU, an education technology company that has a number of programs and consulting services for increasing retention and student engagement in schools. The project will also use IBM predictive analytics software to identify at-risk students.

"The power of the ConnectEDU and IBM partnership brings learner-level data into an actionable format for our counselors and advisors to truly impact student success, in real-time," said Ray DiPasquale, president of the college. "This platform is a scalable solution for our C2C team, using technology to identify at-risk students before they're truly at-risk."

Through a C2C Web portal, students will be able to access content and learning modules for life skills, such as time management and career planning. They'll also receive reminders for upcoming deadlines and have access to mentors. The program will use IBM's SPSS predictive modeling and analytics software to guide advisors in making recommendations to students.

"In collaboration with partners like IBM, we produce recommendations for students that are grounded in real-time, actionable data," said Craig Powell, CEO of ConnectEDU. "Through our proprietary learner-level data capabilities, we are dedicated to ensuring that each learner's education, career and financial decisions are data driven and aligned to ensuring them a future of possibilities."

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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