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Wiley University Support Services

Student Retention

Competing priorities and life events can challenge students, sometimes knocking them off course. But we aim to prevent that. How? Using learner-focused, data-powered strategies, we’ll address the challenges learners face and support them to graduation and beyond. While student retention services are part of our full-service Revenue Share, we can also support your retention needs on a project basis with our Fee-for-Service approach. Either way, we’ll help your learners persist through their career-connected education to high-impact job outcomes.

Enhancing on-campus and online student retention

Online learners have different needs than on-campus students. And you can’t rely on cues like eye contact or body language to recognize when a student is struggling. But we understand what it takes to keep them motivated and on track to graduation.

We use a different way to connect. Combining theories from both psychology and counseling to fully engage with students online, we create a vital support line. And it’s working. Programs using our compassionate retention solutions have a 78.3% student retention rate after one year. That equates to over 155,000 online learners who’ve persisted and attained career-connected credentials.

Wiley Impact Fact

Our Retention vs. Comparable Non-Profit Online Universities*
After 1 year

78.3% Overall retention of Wiley-supported programs

62.1% Comparable programs

Engaging students online and on-campus

Once a learner enrolls in a program, one of our advisors contacts them to identify their strengths and motivations for pursuing their degree. Those conversations allow us to provide personalized support that keeps learners on track through graduation.

Using a combination of our learner success resources and personal coaching, we’ll help you boost persistence rates, so your learners stay on track to graduation.

Here’s what we’ll do:

  • Improve persistence with proven retention strategies

    Learners need understanding and encouragement to help them balance their priorities and overcome challenges.  We’ll improve the likelihood of their success by communicating proactively and monitoring their activity in the learning management system.

  • Provide consistent support to meet retention goals

    We’ll work with you to develop standard procedures to achieve your retention goals. These will define how we help students tackle the academic challenges they face online and on campus.

  • Build on outcomes for student success

    Academic performance data allows us to continuously refine the ways we propel your learners toward high-impact outcomes. We’ll use this information to improve how we support students as they face and overcome their unique challenges.

  • Provide clinical and field placement support

    For programs that require placements, we can provide learners with the support they need to find and secure successful roles. With our robust placement network, we’ll take on the  challenge of placing your learners in  practical fieldwork so you can dedicate your focus elsewhere.

Find out how our Clinical and Field Placement Support can streamline this process for you.

Blue Quotes
My advisor is absolutely amazing! She has been attentive, knowledgeable, proactive, and responsive—and that alone has allowed this process to be an easy one.
Wiley-supported Student
Blue Quotes
My academic advisor is the reason I have continued [in my program]. He was the key at the beginning, and then everything else fell into place. I feel like he ‘has my back.’ I appreciate his attention and promptness very much.
Wiley-supported Student
Outside a young graduate with mortar board is joyous with her arms in the air.

Preventing student attrition

Education is a long and sometimes challenging journey. Many learners will face hurdles along the way. But our student services team is here to provide support and prevent them from dropping out. We’ll help them stay on track as they first add courses until they graduate. 

How do we do it? With the Online Learning Advising Model (OLAM). It brings together four different areas of theory and research to create a new approach to supporting online students. These areas include:


  • Appreciative advising

    This stems from the psychological principles of positive reinforcement. Early in the relationship, our advisors help learners understand their strengths and use them to overcome obstacles.


  • Proactive advising

    This is a great way to reach “atrisk” students who are less likely to ask for help on their own. By building supportive relationships with students, our advisors can help dismantle self-doubt. Instead, they build up learners’ self-confidence and help them achieve their learning goals.


  • Shame resilience theory

    Shame is the primary emotion contributing to disengagement. It’s often linked to depression, anxiety, and anger. To combat that, our advisors create a safe, judgment-free environment so students can talk about and recognize these issues. This environment allows learners to feel protectedempowered, and reconnected with their education goals.


  • Cognitive behavioral theory

    Distorted perceptions are the biggest trigger of difficult emotions and behavior. Following a gentle questioning process, our advisors help students identify and re-evaluate their perceptions. This realigns their thinking to match reality. In turn, this relieves stress and refocuses them on what’s important.

How we support students in practice

When we use OLAMlearners feel supported to persist through graduation. So, how do we do it? With what we call the five C’s.

The steps below may seem simple, but theyre vital to keeping students positive, engaged, and focused, especially in an online environment.


  • Connect

    First, wstay connected. We check in regularly and really listen to learners’ concerns when they arise.


  • Create

    If a student is facing a problem, whelp them envision a positive outcome to each of their problems. We remind them of and play to their strengths and motivations, helping them recalwhy they started their education in the first place.


  • Challenge

    Next, we challenge misperceptions and tackle defeatist attitudes headon, offering a safe space for students to explore alternative views and solutions.


  • Collaborate

    Then we work together to make a plan. We brainstorm strategic and achievable milestones and break down obstacles into manageable steps.


  • Commit

    Once everything is in place, we encourage students to commit to the plan we’ve created and remind them we’ll support them every step of the way. Once theyre on track, we hold them accountable and gently encourage them with regular checkins.

The 5 Cs in practice

24/7 technical support for learners

Tech problems are always distressing, but in remote environments, they can cause serious trouble. That’s why were available 24/7 to alleviate potential challenges with the learning platform. Anytime. Anywhere.

Our 24/7 technical support staff is also equipped to direct learners to financial aid resources and student services as needed.

* Graduation and retention rates at comparable universities weighted based on student counts reported by College Scorecard.

Are Your Learners Staying on Track to Graduation?

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