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Relentless Welcome

Submitted by Denise Rotavera-Krain,

Welcome to Attention to Retention, your source for what is going on in college student retention here at ATI.  We will bring you updates from the Retention Task Force, information on retention, and provide you with opportunities to participate in shaping the culture of our school. 

Relentless Welcome

“Student-faculty and student-student interactions are the most significant factors contributing to undergraduate student learning, motivation, identity development, well-being, graduation rates, and post-graduation career and civic outcomes” (Mayhew et al., 2016).

Back in August, several of us went to the Teaching Conference on main campus.  We heard a wonderful keynote address by Dr. Peter Felton of Elon University entitled “Relationships Matter”.   One of the topics he discussed included the idea of “Relentless Welcome” as a major component of student retention.  Relentless Welcome involves “creating an environment where students feel supported and cared for, so that they can prioritize their learning”(  Some simple examples of Relentless Welcome include learning student names and using them on a regular basis as well as taking the time to check in with students to see how they are feeling. 

While the main focus of Dr. Felton’s address was on relationships with students, he also made it clear that this idea applied to our relationships with each other: 

  • Student to Student
  • Faculty to Students
  • Staff to Students
  • Faculty & Staff to each other
  • Everyone to Visitors

Students are acutely aware of how they are treated by each other and by faculty and staff but are also very much aware of how faculty and staff treat each other.  Students take their cues from faculty and staff interactions and use them to base their ideas of campus culture. 

Relentless Welcome is not just for the benefit of our students.  “Work—where we spend the majority of our waking hours—is fertile ground for the development of both instrumental and friendly social bonds, (Simon, et al, 2010). Several studies show that a collegial working environment of mutual respect leads to increased feelings of self-worth and accomplishment.  Creating a Relentless Welcome work environment is a win-win for all of us. 


TAKE ACTION: How do you provide Relentless Welcome at ATI? 

Follow this link to share what you do to create Relentless Welcome with students, staff, faculty, and visitors.  We will share the results to help create best practices for our campus.  (Names will be kept confidential)

Relentless Welcome Best Practices

Form will be available until November 8th at 11:59PM.