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ASCEND to Higher Retention Rates: Practical Strategies for Increasing Student Retention, Completion, and Student Success

In this book, Dr. Tippets and Dr. Kirby outline why a focus on retention and completion is so important, why previous retention efforts have not always worked, and discuss how we can successfully "ASCEND" to these great expectations. Along the way, innovative ideas, creative initiatives, and best practices are described as well as strategies that campuses have used to achieve results. This book has intentionally been written in a quick-tip, bite-sized format where the reader can skip from section to section to find ideas, initiatives, and solutions that may be helpful in the moment.


“Tippets and Kirby offer a resource desperately needed in the field: a practical manual for creating a campus culture of student success. Clearly written and straightforward in approach, their book provides practitioners with dozens of concrete ideas for creating a university centered on the support and success of students.”

Timothy Renick, Ph.D. - Executive Director of the National Institute for Student Success, Georgia State University

“Tippets and Kirby have written an excellent practitioner’s guide that provides valuable insight into applying and refining a variety of student success strategies. The book details how Southern Utah University applied evidence-based practices to significantly improve student retention rates.”

Andrew K. Koch, Ph.D. - Chief Executive Officer, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education 

“Tippets and Kirby's book provides easy-to-read, practical strategies that can be implemented at other higher education institutions struggling with student attrition. The reader will benefit from the format of this must-read book by using it as a quick resource by topic, or by reading it cover to cover as I did.”

Sandra Whalen, M.Ed. - Director, Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE)


“ASCEND to Higher Retention Rates is permeated with practical, actionable strategies that can be readily replicated on other campuses. Tippets and Kirby have created “home grown” practices rather than relying on expensive “store bought” programs purchased from external vendors. The book embodies a truly student-centered approach to undergraduate education that will do more than boost institutional retention rates and revenues; it will also enhance student learning and personal development."

Joe Cuseo, Ph.D. - Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Director of the First-Year Seminar, Marymount College

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