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Ramapo College of New Jersey Recognized for Innovative Student Retention Initiative

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)July 28, 2016

Photo by Paulina Maldonado of Hobsons.

MAHWAH, N.J. — Ramapo College was recently recognized as the winner of the 2016 Hobsons Education Advances Award for its accomplishments in increasing student retention and establishing a campus-wide “success network.” The College will be named the Admissions and Student Success winner during the annual Hobsons University user conference.

“We are honored to receive the 2016 Hobson’s Education Advances Award. Over the last five years, our campus has focused on developing a culture of academic advisement and harnessing technology to foster student success,” said Christopher Romano, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Ramapo College. “This award reaffirms Ramapo’s commitment to personalized attention and developing the whole student.”

Ramapo College, which has achieved an 88 percent retention rate and 61 percent four-year graduation rate in recent years, is using Starfish Retention Solutions software platforms by Hobsons to connect staff and faculty across campus to encourage student success, ensuring that both at-risk and those on track receive they support they need to complete their studies.

“It’s rewarding to see how the technology has had such a positive impact on our students,” said Joseph Connell, Director of Student Success at Ramapo College. “Our goal is to connect the student with all parts of the College and to allow us to holistically aid those students in their educational endeavors.”

In the fall of 2013, Ramapo tapped Hobsons technology to replace its paper-and-pencil early alert system with a comprehensive early alert plan that has increased communication between the College and at-risk students, enabling advisors and faculty to support struggling students in real-time. Since then, the percentage of academic warning first-year students meeting with their advisors regularly each semester has increased from less than 20 percent to 62 percent. The College was recognized as a Rising Star by Hobsons in 2014 for its efforts.

“The success at Ramapo College reflects the importance of strong campus culture, and the thoughtful application of technology to advance institutional strategy,” said Stephen M. Smith, President of Advising and Admissions Solutions at Hobsons. “We are proud to support Ramapo College in its work to expand postsecondary opportunities for all students, and applaud the tireless work of the administration, staff and faculty.”

Said Connell, “We owe thanks to our faculty and staff who are dedicated mentors to students and who are focused on helping each student achieve their desired goal.” Romano added, “As a result, we have seen our four-year graduation rates increase due to the campus-wide commitment to student success. This work supports the College’s strategic plan to increase first-year retention to 90 percent and a six-year graduation rate to 75 percent.”

The College will be awarded a cash prize, which will go toward funding Ramapo’s student success efforts.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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