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Office of Student Retention

Established in July of 2020, the Office of Student Retention implements targeted advising interventions for students in need of additional support to be successful. Through collaboration with cross-campus partners, the office identifies these students and provides academic case management, advising students and connecting them with campus resources.

The office also collaborates across campus to coordinate and measure existing initiatives to support student retention and persistence, with a focus on retention efforts beyond the first year.

Appeal of Academic Suspension 

Statement of Academic Intent

Collaboration with Faculty and Staff

The Office of Student Retention welcomes any opportunity to collaborate with faculty and staff to support students as we identify those in need of additional advising or resources and recruit students to initiatives designed to increase retention. One current such initiative is the Academic Success Coaching initiative, a virtual coaching program to help students adapt to and prepare for changing instructional modalities necessitated by COVID-19, funded by a UNC System grant.

Student with an advisor

 

How to Refer a Student

Faculty or staff who have identified a student needing additional outreach from Office of Student Retention advisors should submit an Issue Alert about the student within the Navigate system (previously GradesFirst) and select “Retention Outreach” as the issue alert reason, in addition to any other applicable reasons for the alert. 

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Student recieving her diploma

 

Academic Success Coaching initiative

The Office of Student Retention is coordinating WCU’s Academic Success Coaching initiative. This initiative supports students in need of additional resources to be successful in online learning environments necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Student recieving her diploma

 

Academic Standing and Other Policies

In response to the UNC Board of Governors' Fostering Student Success initiative, WCU will update policies pertaining to academic standing, course withdrawal, and grade replacement. The changes are meant to create policies that keep students moving forward to the successful completion of their degrees.

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About Our Staff

Portrait of Dan Torrington

Dan Torrington

Director, Office of Student Retention

dtorrington@wcu.edu
828.227.2959
1st Floor Killian Annex Cullowhee, NC 28723

Dan brings a decade of experience supporting students from diverse backgrounds to achieve academic, social/emotional, and professional success. Before joining the Office of Student Retention, Dan served as an academic advisor in the Advising Center. Dan is originally from Hazelwood, Missouri, and has supported students at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and as a middle school humanities teacher. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Ithaca College and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Dan is passionate about connecting students from diverse backgrounds with the resources to help them succeed and believes such work can only be achieved through meaningful collaboration.

 

Portrait of Diamond Brown

Diamond Brown

Retention Advisor

diamondbrown@wcu.edu
828.227.2956
1st Floor Killian Annex Cullowhee, NC 28723

Diamond joins WCU from Salisbury University in Maryland, where she earned her M.A. in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution and her B.A. in Sociology. Diamond brings experience advising students through supplemental instruction, tutoring programs, and peer support programs with Salisbury University’s Center for Student Achievement. Diamond is dedicated to inclusive excellence, having served on the Salisbury University President’s Diversity Taskforce, where she advised the president on the formation of the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Diamond has also worked to create and lead workshops supporting diverse student groups, including students who identify as LGBT and students from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups.

 

Portrait of Christopher Foster

Christopher Foster

Retention Advisor

cfoster@wcu.edu
828.227.2957
1st Floor Killian Annex Cullowhee, NC 28723

Christopher joins WCU from the University of West Georgia, where he earned his M.Ed. in Professional Counseling: College Student Affairs and his B.S. in Sociology. Christopher brings experience advising students with UWG’s African American Male Initiative, where he also planned and coordinated programming for student groups affiliated with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Through his work, Christopher has demonstrated his passion for inclusive excellence, having contributed to an increase in student participation with UWG’s African American Male Initiative and collaborated on special projects with UWG’s interim Chief Diversity Officer and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

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