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Columbus State Adds Financial Layer to Retention Effort

Columbus State University has implemented data warehouse and business intelligence software with the goal of improving student retention and graduation rates.

The university currently has a 29 percent first year student dropout rate. To address the problem, administrators decided to implement software that would help faculty and staff identify patterns and trends characterizing both successful and dropout students, and use that data to develop intervention programs for students at risk of dropping out. The initiative is part of the state of Georgia's "Complete College Georgia" plan, which seeks to increase the number of Georgia's young adults who earn a college degree.

The university worked with Oracle Consulting to design and implement the business intelligence and data warehouse solution using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Data Integrator. According to Oracle, the system unites the university's student information system, facility management system, and PeopleSoft applications in a single knowledge repository and enables faculty and staff to access undergraduate student retention, progression, and graduation (RPG) metrics and reports through a real-time dashboard. The system also integrates information from student surveys to help faculty and staff understand the freshman experience, identify areas of dissatisfaction, and intervene before students drop out.

The university implemented the system in two phases. Phase 1 focused on academic affairs and student performance, and was completed over a five month period. Phase 2 has just begun and will add a financial layer to the student data, so the university can link RPG data to associated costs and success rates.

Columbus State University is a public university located in Columbus, GA, serving over 8,300 undergraduate and graduate students.

Further information about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Data Integrator can be found on Oracle's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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