The Two Keys to Student Retention: A Discussion with Aaron Basko

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Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • Why Aaron Basko thinks we are looking at student success backwards.
  • How asking alums why they stayed at a school often tells us more about student needs than asking the students who are withdrawing why they leave.
  • What the “Big Six” for student success is.
  • What two things to evaluate as you decide which college or university will be the right “fit” for you.
  • His advice to parents and incoming students.

Our guest is: Aaron Basko, who currently serves as Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services at the University of Lynchburg, in Lynchburg Virginia. With 25 years of experience serving as an enrollment growth specialist and student success strategist for multiple institutions, Aaron has been part of the leadership team that engineered historic growth comebacks at three different colleges and universities. Aaron specializes in creating cross-functional teams for strategic enrollment planning and retention success. A thought leader and author, Aaron has written for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Times Higher Education, and the State Department’s Fulbright blog. As a 2015 Fulbright International Education Administrator and capacity building specialist, Aaron also assists institutions with student mobility and international partnership initiatives. Aaron loves to create “a-ha moments” and to help institutions clarify the distinctive voice that will resonate with the right students.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who holds a PhD in American history. She is the co-producer of the Academic Life.

Listeners to this episode may also be interested in:

  • Aaron Basko’s article in Inside Higher Ed on how to attract more liberal arts college students to campus : Liberal arts colleges need new strategies (opinion)
  • “Have We Gotten Student Success Completely Backwards?” and Aaron’s other articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Aaron Basko (chronicle.com)
  • This discussion about the college admissions process.
  • Get Real and Get In: How to Get Into the College of Your Dreams by Being Your Authentic Self, by Aviva Legatt
  • This conversation about navigating the ups and downs of student life:
  • How To Human: An Incomplete Manual for Living in a Messed-Up World, by Alice Connor
  • How to College: What to Know Before You Go (and When You’re There), by Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Hope Schwartz
  • This conversation about rejection-recovery and dealing with mistakes

You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. We reach across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Here on the Academic Life channel, we embrace a broad definition of what it means to be an academic and to lead an academic life. We view education as a transformative human endeavor and are inspired by today’s knowledge-producers working inside and outside the academy. Wish we’d bring on an expert about something? DMs us on Twitter: @AcademicLifeNBN.

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