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Discovering Strategies to Remove Barriers to Student Successful Retention and Successful Persistence

This case study explores a Catholic, Jesuit high school’s efforts to systematize a long-term strategic process to explore student attrition, retention, and successful persistence. Schools tend to do an exemplary job of gathering data on these issues, but investing staffing, resources, and time to do a regular deep dive analysis of the data, identifying the barriers contributing to attrition, and then determining next action steps to improve on retention and successful persistence efforts can prove elusive. A long-term strategy for the school involves key constituents, offices, and departments in the school working in collaboration with one another to address issues of student attrition and retention. School mission, school finances, ideal student enrollment number, academic expectations/requirements, student support systems, student culture/climate, post high school experiences etc. are all linked to issues of student inclusion, attrition, retention, and successful persistence. While a case-by-case approach has been successful, a macro strategic approach is needed that addresses these efforts overall on a larger scale with equitable policies, resource allocation, and processes in place that are transparent and accessible to anyone in the community. This case study studied a school’s attempt for a more large-scale, mission centered strategic approach to gather data by exploring the barriers students face in their successful persistence at the school, data analysis models that can inform and address these barriers, and to determine an ongoing process for discussion, analysis, and action steps for the school to embark on. This includes schools looking at student attrition, retention, and successful persistence through a mission focus lens, the demographic trends of the clientele the school is serving, and its long-term sustainability.

Student Attrition, Student Retention, Student Successful Persistence, School Mission Focus, Class Profile, Collaborative Leadership, Strategic Leadership

Sajit Kabadi. (2023). Discovering Strategies to Remove Barriers to Student Successful Retention and Successful Persistence. International Journal of Secondary Education, 11(3), 63-73.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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