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RestedTraveler

South Carolina Student Retention Survey

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Results from the South Carolina Student Retention Study Released

"Attracting young talent is becoming a key driver in economic development. The Competitiveness Council, New Carolina, has determined that a critical measure of South Carolina

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Aside from the lack of Midlands representation, I think the report wasn't too far off as it regards the post-graduation plans of our college students. But frankly, I was a bit surprised that Charleston ranked #1 for the city that most would like to relocate to or remain in, in the case of CofC and the Citadel. I would have thought that either Atlanta or Charlotte would have been #1 (especially Atlanta). One thing is for sure: the vast majority of our students plan to remain in the South after graduation.

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That doesn't surprise me at all. At USC and even here at Clemson, Charlestonis the most frequent place you hear people say they want to go. the ironic thing is that the professional jobs are not as plentiful as they should be to support this demand... not that that don't exist however.

Personally, as a college student, I want to stay in SC, and Charleston is high on my list of places I want to go...

It is irritating that USC did not participate in that study. That would have definitely impaceted the outcome in some way. I think if they had, Columbia would have had better feedback.

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^But I wonder if USC declined to participate or if they were not invited to participate? That's not clear. At any rate, it would have been good to have more support from the Midlands. This study was definitely "top heavy" in terms of regional representation.

I also think they should do a follow-up survey to see where students actually end up after graduation. That would be interesting to see, because I highly doubt that most college graduates move to Charleston, even though that may be their desire. Money talks, and currently Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, DC, etc. offer more of it than any of our cities.

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All excellent points. I would be that most people don't end up where they want to.

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Lord knows I don't want to be in Rock Hill right now, but the next leg of my journey will hopefully lead me to one of my top relocation choices which I've shared on here in the past. :)

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One thing that is worth mentioning is that it is often good to get out of your comfort zone and experience a new place - even if it's just for a year or two. I think a lot of people who attend college in the same state in which they grew up have a desire to do this (even people from large cities like New York, Boston, Atlanta, etc.). Think about it...you're young, you're fairly flexible about where you can go (especially if you are single), and you're curious to see what the world has to offer. I don't think it necessarily means that young people hate SC or never plan to come back. I know many who plan on living somewhere else and experiencing new things for a few years, and then coming back to SC to settle down.

As many of you know, I lived in DC for graduate school after having grown up in South Carolina and going to college in South Carolina. For me, it was not that I hated SC, but I certainly wanted to live in a big city and experience new things. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned a lot about the world, and perhaps more importantly, about myself. An interesting thing happened while I was away, though: I gained a greater appreciation for what South Carolina (more specifically, Greenville) has to offer.

If it takes our young adults moving away to realize the good things about SC, is that such a bad thing? After all, we want people here who truly want to be here. They are the ones who will enjoy life and make our state more desirable - not people who stay here and resent it because they feel trapped.

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Greenville, I agree with you 100%. I feel exactly the same way. I love my native state and do indeed plan on being in SC for the long haul, but for the moment, I need to experience something different for a few years. I suspect that at some point I might tire of it and long for home and that's when I'll make the move back.

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Alot of people leave their homestate, at least for awhile, after they graduate. It's only natural to want to spread your wings. That was a weird survey, though, it wasn't random or balanced at all and not a single college in the Columbia area was involved.

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I read in one of the subtexts that the study will have future iterations and will include more schools like USC. I think its interesting that only one school in Spartanburg was polled when we have 6. Wofford and USC Upstate are very significat schools that were left out and probably would have altered the polls, especially on opinions of Spartanburg.

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Not to mention all the schools in the Midlands that were left out, which made half of this survey completely bias.

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If it takes our young adults moving away to realize the good things about SC, is that such a bad thing? After all, we want people here who truly want to be here. They are the ones who will enjoy life and make our state more desirable - not people who stay here and resent it because they feel trapped.

Here is another thought for you. When I graduated from college I took a job where I got to travel a great deal and experinced much of the USA for weeks and even months at a time on assignments in other locales. The great thing about it is I got to travel like this on the company's dime. The best thing about it is that I got to come home to the Carolinas. We really do have it good here.

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No Benedict College, Allen University, USC, Columbia College, Claflin University, Newberry College.... biased on some things

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Well I don't think it's realistic to expect the study to get every single solitary college in the state. I do think it would be good to have all schools in the state with over 5000 students surveyed however. It would also be good to look at the percentage of native South Carolinians who plan to stay in the state after graduation and the number of non-native South Carolinians who plan to stay. And perhaps even those who plan to move away for a little while in the beginning and return later on, perhaps once they start a family, a business, or even retire.

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The original goal of the retention survey was to look only at Clemson students. However, as we moved into the development stage, more universities throughout the state heard about the effort and wanted to participate. The original study was intended to be a pilot, and not an analysis of all students throughout the state.

By the time the largest schools in the state were contacted, many were already on summer vacation.

However, among the schools participating, the largest public universities in the state (except for Carolina), the responses have been weighted to reflect the mix of the state. Thus, results are an accurate reflection of the schools who participated. I would have loved to have had the participation of Carolina. Maybe next year.

We also agree that we would like next year's version to be much more comprehensive. We would also love to conduct a study of alumni to find out what true, rather than intended, behaviors are. However, there are some cost constraints here, as well as the longer alumni are out, the less likely we are to have accurate email addresses.

Other suggestions to improve this effort are welcomed and suggested. We want to learn a lot more from next year's efforts.

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The original goal of the retention survey was to look only at Clemson students. However, as we moved into the development stage, more universities throughout the state heard about the effort and wanted to participate. The original study was intended to be a pilot, and not an analysis of all students throughout the state.

By the time the largest schools in the state were contacted, many were already on summer vacation.

However, among the schools participating, the largest public universities in the state (except for Carolina), the responses have been weighted to reflect the mix of the state. Thus, results are an accurate reflection of the schools who participated. I would have loved to have had the participation of Carolina. Maybe next year.

We also agree that we would like next year's version to be much more comprehensive. We would also love to conduct a study of alumni to find out what true, rather than intended, behaviors are. However, there are some cost constraints here, as well as the longer alumni are out, the less likely we are to have accurate email addresses.

Other suggestions to improve this effort are welcomed and suggested. We want to learn a lot more from next year's efforts.

Thanks for posting this. It's refreshing to hear that people aren't out to destroy Columbia and USC. :P

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Quite the contrary. If Greenville and the Upstate are to prosper, we must act and think regionally. We are only as successful as the rest of the state and western North Carolina. We have to come up with ways to continue to make this an attractive place for our most creative people, including young professionals and those who are starting families.

I, personally, would encourage my kids to go see the world after graduation from college. However, I would love for them to want to come back after sowing a few of those oats.

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I think that is why its important to get these smaller colleges too. I understand not geting evey tiny college, but efforts should be made to get some of the mid sized ones in the state. I'm thinking specifically of USC Upstate and smaller colleges in Spartanburg, Carolina and other smaller colleges in Columbia, FMU in Florence, and the dozens of other institutions in the more rural parts of the state. I read your previous post though. I am looking forward to reviewing (and possibly participating in) the next survey :)

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A new study released earlier this month shows that more than two-thirds of graduates from South Carolina

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Good find. I wonder how many leave the state after college but come back later?

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That's a good question. I also wonder if there's a correlation between field of study and retention rates. That could prove to be very informative.

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And getting back to a topic within this topic that was brought up early in the thread, the study you are referring to, Krazeeboi, said that the students graduating from the state's largest universities for the most part end up living in the metro where the university they graduated from is located. Of course, there are many exceptions, but at 26,000+ USC students, Columbia has been and will continue to get the largest number of these new college graduate residents.

And even more will be coming through this new tech-school-to-USC transition program. As Andrew Sorensen says, "Y'all come."

http://uscnews.sc.edu/ADMS326a-07.html

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Bridge programs are becoming more common these days, and I think its a pretty good thing for the entire state. People were doing it anyway, there just wasn't an official program for it.

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There's an interesting article today in the "Post and Courier" about growth issues in the area. At one point it talks about young people leaving the area for college with few returning. I wonder how this relates to the recent study talked about in another forum that said the majority of South Carolina college students who are from S.C. are now staying in the state after graduating, with the majority of them staying in the urban areas where the university they attended is located? USC - 27,000 students, Clemson 13,000 students, etc.

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2008/ja...discussed27136/

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