increasing student retention

anette davis, Ph.D.

September 29, 2008


A psychologist by training, Dr. Davis is an authority on student retention.  She has worked as a counselor in Howard University’s Counseling Center and taught educational psychology in Howard’s School of Education as well as Freshman Orientation in the College of Arts & Sciences.  Currently, she is the Interim Director of the Educational Advisory Center in the College of Arts & Sciences and co-author of Transitions, the textbook for the College’s Freshman Orientation classes.   

Knowing what a critical role writing plays in student retention, Dr. Davis has also spent years promoting Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)—first, as a member of the ad hoc committee that recommended WAC to the faculty and, later, as a member of Howard’s interdisciplinary WAC advisory board.  Consequently, she has applied WAC techniques in her Freshman Orientation classes to improve retention.  In addition to asking students to complete a time-management schedule, she asks them to write a journal entry explaining how they are attempting to manage their time.  In fact, she asks students to write a journal entry every week so that they can practice two other college survival skills:  communicating with a professor and writing well.

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