The Relationship Between Student And Staff Retention

The Relationship Between Student And Staff Retention

The Relationship Between Student And Staff Retention

In a recent survey, career education institutions ranked staff retention as a greater challenge in 2023 than student retention. Here’s how this one strategy can improve both. 

Student retention has always been one of the most critical measures of success in career education. It directly impacts compliance and your bottom line. But most critically, when students drop, they’re left with debt and no certificate or long-term prospects. 

But on the heels of the “Great Resignation,” staff retention has become just as critical. In a survey of 150 career education professionals, from instructors to C-Suite, respondents ranked staff retention as a more significant challenge than student retention for 2023. 

Fortunately, data shows that one of the best ways to retain students is also an excellent strategy for staff retention. 

How Schools Plan To Retain Students in 2023

According to our survey: 

The top ways schools plan to retain students in 2023 are: 

  1. Improved communication
  2. New courses
  3. Better engagement tracking
  4. More instructors
  5. Upgrading facilities


The top changes that schools want to make in 2023 to power student success are: 

  1. Better placement services
  2. Faster intervention with at-risk students
  3. More one-on-one time with instructors and counselors
  4. Smaller classes
  5. More customized coursework 
  6. Increased opportunities for engagement


There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to student retention, but key trends emerge. Improved communication, more instructors, smaller class sizes, and more one-on-one time with instructors and counselors show that many schools believe the best way to retain students is through direct staff support and relationship building. 

How Schools Plan To Retain Instructors and Staff in 2023

On the staff side, according to our survey: 

The top ways schools plan to retain instructors better in 2023 are: 

  1. Better salary
  2. Better benefit packages
  3. More remote classes
  4. Automating repetitive tasks 
  5. Reducing administrative work 
  6. More one-on-one time with students


The top ways schools plan to retain administrative staff better in 2023 are: 

  1. Better salary
  2. Better benefit packages
  3. Using better technology
  4. More remote classes
  5. Automating repetitive tasks


Regardless of your industry, the best—and most expensive—way to retain staff will always be improving salary, benefits, and job flexibility. Second to investing in pay and benefits is ensuring that your staff feels fulfilled. 

For instructors, reducing administrative work and automating repetitive tasks like attendance and grade entry gives them more time to spend with students. Chances are, they didn’t get into vocational education because of their passion for data entry but to pass down wisdom directly from their field. Brian Scott, Instructor at Bellus Academy, says when a student learns something, “It feels great. Seeing the realization on their face is the reason I do this job, for the students.” 

Administrative staff may feel slightly more excited about student data but don’t want to be bogged down by repetitive data tasks and clunky technology. In fact, 85 percent of staff members think they could do their jobs better without repetitive manual data entry. Freeing up administrative time from repetitive tasks gives them more time for student coaching and support. 

Retain Both Students And Staff With More One-on-one Time

Students are more likely to persist in their educational journey if they’re engaged with instructors and staff. Instructors and staff want to support students the best they can, and they feel a sense of pride when students achieve success. While they understand that administrative work is part of the job, they’re most fulfilled when working directly with students. 

To improve retention across the board in 2023, examine how you can reduce administrative burden and repetitive tasks from instructor and staff workload. For example, do instructors need to calculate attendance manually? Or is there a system that can automate that process? 

Is administrative time best spent physically walking down to a classroom to see if an at-risk student is absent? Or is it better spent working directly with at-risk students to get them the resources they need to continue their education? 

With technology, your school can reduce many administrative tasks that pull instructors and staff time away from students. Ultimately, instructors and staff gain more time to do what technology can’t: Build meaningful relationships with students and coach them to graduation. It’s a retention win-win for all. Students get the support they need to succeed, and staff gets to focus on the parts of their job that are most fulfilling to them. 

“When I see students graduates and go out into the industry, I’m so proud,” said Brian. “This industry is a family, and they’re part of the family. I’ll be in contact with them for the rest of their lives.” 

Request a demo if you’d like to learn more about how CourseKey reduces administrative burden, giving instructors and staff more time to focus on student success.

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