Jim, I've been on committees for retention and so concerned about the issue for the last several years. From my experience the key to retention is developing a sense of belonging, of being part of a valued larger whole. This needs to happen in the first few weeks of school. There are lots of ways to make that happen for a person but the ones I see having the best effects where I have taught have been: membership in an organization on campus that is active in service and "meaningful work" ie campus jobs. As resource and writing directors we can have an effect on retention in student assistant and tutor jobs that are often the most meaningful jobs on campus. The difficulty in this is that the students who are most at-risk for attrition are first-year students who most often do not have the skills or academic development to fill those positions. I often hire first-years for clerical support and then ease them into other jobs as their skills develop. I sure hope this is the kind of retention you were asking about. Laura Symons Academic Reource Center Sweet Briar College Sweet Briar, Virginia 24595 [log in to unmask] 804-381-6378 Warning: Dates on calendar are closer than they appear.