Chowan’s Retention Rates are on the Rise

The University has been emphasizing the importance of retention for numerous years, and many efforts have been made to become more student-centric, create student success initiatives, and improve advising and engagement opportunities.

Retention, described as the percentage of students returning to campus for their sophomore year, is up to 59% at Chowan University, the highest since returning to 4-year status in 1992, marking the third consecutive year with an increase.  Both the sophomore and junior year retention rates improved, with the sophomore class hitting the highest since 1992, and the junior class since 2004. With these numbers, it pushed the overall fall enrollment to 1,099.

There are few metrics that demonstrate the strength of a university and its students better than retention and graduation rates, which is why these rates have been a top focus for colleges and universities across the country. In recent years, the University has made concerted efforts to support students in their progress toward graduation, including in 2018 implementing the Finish Program, First and Second Year Experience, and most recently the Chowan Fellows Program. 

The Finish Program is designed to help students finish their degrees faster and with less debt. To combat the financial burden additional semesters can place on students and parents, the Finish Program ensures that students have the tools they need to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in no more than four years. The program provides personal academic guidance, career planning, and helpful resources to create a clear roadmap for student success. Supplementing that, the First-Year Experience program is designed to help students successfully navigate the transition to college life, and the Second-Year Experience program to further assist and encourage students to complete their degrees within four years. 

The Chowan Fellows program was established to strengthen students’ leadership skills, prepare students for a life of service, and promote students’ professional preparations. This year, the students in that program returned at a rate of 88%. The Honors College at Chowan University is designed to offer attractive and challenging intellectual growth opportunities to well-prepared and highly motivated students while incorporating both curricular and extracurricular components. This year the students in the Honors College returned at a rate of 95 percent. 

Central to any college experience is student involvement. While several of the University’s academic, extra-curricular programs encourage students to push the limits of their scholastic achievement, it is Chowan’s Campus Ministry that remains at the heart of our student life. These students are selflessly driven by God’s purpose of serving others through missions. Students who participate in mission experiences graduate at a rate of 98 percent. Additionally, the University employs Campus Ministry Chaplains, upperclassmen who live and serve in the residence halls to help bring and sustain the presence of Christ to the daily lives of students. The students who serve in these roles graduate at a 99% rate. 

“The University has been emphasizing the importance of retention for numerous years, and many efforts have been made to become more student-centric, create student success initiatives, and improve advising and engagement opportunities,” shared Kirk Peterson, President.  "Through initiatives like the Fellows Program and Campus Ministry Chaplains, we are now seeing the benefits of the changes.”

Kim Sherman Bailey | University Relations |

Posts from September 2020

September 17, 2020
Chowan Campus Ministry kicked off the school year with its annual campus-wide ministry project. This popular event had to be reimagined, as the previous year involved students standing shoulder to shoulder assembling meal packets.
September 17, 2020
Each fall, Chowan University's freshman class fills Turner Auditorium for the annual Founders' Day Convocation and Ringing of the Bell Ceremony.
September 16, 2020
Chowan University's Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for upper-level management positions and expertise to further their organizations' mission.
September 15, 2020
Alan Scott joined Chowan University in 2014 as the Assistant Director of Residence Life - Careers and Programs. His primary role was to assist students and alumni as they work to meet their professional and career goals.