The Importance of Analytics in Student Interventions

At Goldstrike Data, our primary goal when working with universities and community colleges is to utilize predictive analytics to support individual student intervention planning and development. This is used to improve freshmen enrollment, retention and finally graduation rates.

Many universities use midterm preliminary grades or evaluations to identify at-risk or struggling first year students but by that time, an intervention may be too late. With recent advances in predictive analytics, it is possible to identify students who are likely drop out of school within the first or second semester of their attendance, before they step foot on campus or even apply to the university. This information may be used to support universities in both recruitment and first year programming development processes. 

Initial research performed at Goldstike Data has also indicated that semesterly collected student data is sufficient in identify at-risk continuing undergraduates as well as for forecasting retention rates for the continuing students.

Predictive modeling results extracted from data describing demographics, departmental associations, residency, scholarships and grants, athletic and club data, admissions information, student GPA's and credits earned have resulted in accurate year ahead identification of at-risk students. These results may be used for targeted student interventions with much earlier identification than previously available. 

After identifying these at-risk students, we can provide further insight into each student's key retention factors by exploring the following areas.

  • Prioritization of student interventions
  • Identification of students most likely to be positively affected by intervention
  • Identification of key retention factors and quantifying the positive or negative effects 
  • Simulating the affect of varying retention factors
  • Developing student summaries and profiles for advising focus 
  • Describing why some students who are at-risk, actually re-enroll 
  • Prescriptive analytics to increase retention and graduation rates

Goldstrike Data works directly with university administrators to test their hypotheses regarding retention factors and how to create positive change and increase student success.