AHEPPP Preview: The secret to African American and Hispanic student retention

Next week CampusESP will release its annual report on modern college parent involvement levels.  The report will be part of a formal presentation given at the 2016 AHEPPP National Conference entitled, “Measuring the Impact of Parent Engagement on Student Success”.

The CampusESP research study summarizes the results of 9,000 parent surveys from over a dozen major institutions including, Auburn University, Tarleton State University, Abilene Christian University, and Delaware County Community College.

The research covers college parent and family involvement trends, and the impact they have on student recruiting, parent giving and student success.


We decided to provide a brief preview into some of the most noteworthy insights in advance of the conference.  The full report will be released in early December.

Our research continues to indicate:

  • Parent involvement is at an all-time high.
  • Parent involvement levels are highest for certain minorities and segments that typically have lower retention and graduation rates.
  • When parent involvement is focused on academic support, it can lead to higher student GPAs,

Parent involvement is at an all-time high.

82% of parents communicate with their college students MORE than once a week.  For attendees at AHEPPP, this probably comes as no surprise, parents are the most influential people in their students’ lives.

82% of parents communicate with their college students MORE than once a week.  For attendees at AHEPPP, this probably comes as no surprise, parents are the most influential people in their students’ lives.

 

Parent involvement levels are highest for certain minorities and segments that typically have lower retention and graduation rates.

African American and Hispanic parents communicate 38% more frequently than white parents.

African American and Hispanic parents communicate 38% more frequently than white parents.

 
First-in-family parents communicate with their students 33% more frequently.

First-in-family parents communicate with their students 33% more frequently.

 
Less educated families communicate with their students the most frequently.

Less educated families communicate with their students the most frequently.

 

Parent involvement can lead to higher GPAs.

When parent communication is focused around academic advice, it shows a positive relationship with student GPA (about .5 higher). 

When parent communication is focused around academic advice, it shows a positive relationship with student GPA (about .5 higher). 

It's important to note that while high levels of parent involvement indicate potential influence, it does not mean that those involvement levels are focused on academic support.  While African American, Hispanic, First-in-Family and students of less educated parents have the highest parent involvement levels, these same segments focus THE LEAST on academic advice.

We believe this is a major opportunity for colleges and universities to boost retention and graduation.  By better informing and educating parents, they can better advise and support their students.