Guest post by Kirt Shineman


I’m sure you’ve heard of the Gordian knot. Gordias was born a peasant. Gordy was a fisherman, and everyone in the village ignored him. Even the fish paid him no mind. One night, Zeus visited Gordias in a dream and told our young chap to ride into town on his oxcart. So, Gordy pulled on his sandals, washed his face, and cut his nails and hitched up his wagon to ride into town. When Gordy neared the town, he saw the national flag flew at half-mast. Gordy stopped a local poet and asked, “Who died?” The poet chocked out his words, “The king. And an oracle has told the people that their new king will be arriving soon … by… Oh, my! By an oxcart!” The poet swiftly dragged Gordy to the local Senate, and within a few days, the Senate confirmed, voted, elected, and crowned Gordy King.  After being crowned, Gordias returned to his oxcart and tied it up in the town square in honor of Zeus. The knot he used is so complex that it inspired a legend. The man who unties/undoes the Gordian knot is destined to rule over all of the country.

The Gordian knot is like the student retention challenge. Higher education institutions across the country struggle to untie the reasons (or solutions) to the student departure problem. Watching the Go2Knowledge “Improving Student Retention: Data, Planning, Interventions & Assessment” video, Dr. Dale Tampke offers a theory-based, data-centered approach to the Gordian knot. I watched his thorough lecture and discovered new retention theories, how important is the need to define retention at GCC, and the data sources we need to get started. Dr. Tempke presents a comprehensive approach to improving student retention. He gave specific retention interventions that have proven to be effective. I highly recommend watching his in-depth analysis of retention as our college works to undo the Gordian knot.

Wondering how to sign up for Go2Knowledge and get free access to this video? Reach out to the CTLE, and we will help you get set up. It only takes five minutes!

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