For decades, the major focus of those working in the areas of college student success and retention has been to raise overall retention and graduation rates. While these continue to be the most critically important measures, this paper argues that the traditional measures of fall-to-fall retention and graduation rates within "x" number of years are insufficient on their own. Because measuring retention and graduation rates—on their own—isn't enough.
What is also needed is a more systematic, complementary approach to measurement that puts educators in closer contact with students—an approach expressed by a new paradigm: The college student success funnel.
This paper describes the college student success funnel and shows how to use it to monitor students' progress, more precisely set goals, and plan more effectively.