It was a day of reflection and hope for the future for Idaho State University.
President Kevin Satterlee addressed business leaders in Bannock County on Friday, providing them an update on the state of the school, specifically how ISU is preparing students for future careers in Pocatello.
“There’s a commitment to Idaho State University providing the education we need as a community and the chamber needs as businesses for help move our economy forward,” Satterlee said.
The university’s recently introduced marketing campaign has been successful in reaching to all corners of the state, presenting specified degree options in countless industries. However, student retention is now the school’s main priority.
“Our No. 1 initiative over the next year is going to be that student success and retention,” Satterlee said.
The university has seen a 5.6% increase in Idaho resident freshmen, but enrollment is still down from 2017. Students not finishing their degree is thought to be a contributing factor.
“There’s many reasons why students stop out. Sometimes it is financial, sometimes it’s family-based, sometimes it’s academic-based. I want to figure out how we can address all of these to meet students where they are,” Satterlee said.
That’s why an academic success and retention task force has been created to address those issues. The state has recently signed on to Complete College American, an organization that specializes in student success.
“We want to make sure we have in place the right resources so those students can be successful,” Satterlee said.
The college dropout crisis is not limited to Idaho. According to the Urban Institute’s Center on Education Data and Policy, college graduation rates are a nationwide crisis.