May 9, 2023

Retain & Lehigh University

How Retain Helped Realize a Vision 11 Years in the Making

Lehigh University’s Center for Academic Success provides peer tutoring services in many first and second-year courses and study skills assistance free of charge. Its goal is to help all students, including student-athletes, become successful, independent, and self-confident learners. Kara Uhrich is the Assistant Dean & Director of the Center for Academic Success.

Lehigh’s Center for Academic Success uses Retain as a comprehensive academic support platform. Retain has helped the Center serve more students than ever before, streamline the process for tutors and coaches, increase the efficiency of the Center’s staff, and adapt the program based on how resources are used. 

“Retain is very important to the success of our tutoring program and peer academic coaching program. With Retain's services, we are able to provide accurate, real-time usage data to our campus partners.”
Kara Uhrich, Assistant Dean & Director, Center for Academic Success

The Opportunity

To empower students, the Center for Academic Success delivers a variety of services and resources, such as tutoring, learning and study skills, and academic coaching. Finding a system that could expedite sign-ups for individual and group sessions, simplify attendance reporting, and support policy compliance would save time for students, tutors, and administrators and increase the positive impact of the tutoring and coaching programs.  

“Implementing a tutor management system had been on the strategic plan for 11 years. When I started my position in 2018, we started looking for a flexible solution to support our process. One that would make  it  easy for  students to access help when they needed it and provide us with good data to evolve our program.”

The Challenge

While the Center had implemented a number of systems to digitize its processes, signing up for tutoring and tracking attendance was still time-consuming and required students and tutors to manually input information multiple times. Students were not able to schedule sessions directly and instead had to complete a Google form and wait for someone at the Center to email them a link to sign-up. This lag resulted in fewer students taking advantage of the Center’s resources. What’s more, their existing systems made it difficult for administrators to assess the effectiveness of the tutoring program and enforce policies. 

“A lot of efficiencies weren’t being realized. The tutors were very frustrated because every week they were having to collect the same data and enter it one student at a time. Ultimately, we weren't getting the process we wanted and the data we needed.”

The Solution

Retain is facilitating faster and direct sign-ups for group and individual tutoring and academic coaching. Periodic uploads send student data from Banner into Retain so there’s no need for tutors to input it one student at a time. 

“Retain makes it fast and straightforward for students to sign up for tutoring and automatically sends them a schedule via email. We also created an academic coaching program so students can sign up for an individual appointment with a coach to talk about time management or study skills. We’ve built the coaching appointments into Retain, which has become our hub for academic support.”

Retain has also simplified the attendance reporting process, saving valuable time for tutors and making it easier for administrators to track attendance and enforce policies based on reliable and consistent data.  

“The time it takes to record attendance has gone from minutes to seconds. A tutor goes into Retain, sees a checklist of who's in their group, and marks if they attended or didn’t. Simple. Retain also helps with efficiency, as we can make room for someone else if a student misses three sessions.” 
Retain Lehigh University - tablet

The Impact 

Retain has helped the Center for Academic Excellence serve more students than ever before.  Signing up for tutoring and academic coaching is fast and easy, tutors can focus on working with students because data entry is streamlined, and the Center’s part-time staff is able to complete their work in 20 hours a week. With Retain, leadership has better visibility into how the Center’s resources are used and can easily modify programs to adapt to changing student needs.

Learn More

To explore how Retain can help your organization have a greater impact on more student-athletes, contact us.

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