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Retention rate is key, president says

HONOLULU (Pacific Islands Report, Sept. 3, 2008) – The Marshall Islands Journal reports that enrollment at the College of the Marshall Islands has jumped 24 percent this year.

The school reported a total of 688 students enrolled this year compared with 557 last year, according to the Journal.

Wilson Hess, President of the college, was quoted as saying the key to the increase has been a ten percent retention rate.

"We are bursting at the seams and it is largely due to the increases in the retention rate of about 10 percent," Hess told the Journal. "Retention is one of the core performance indicators at colleges for student success because it translates very directly into increased graduates."

The improved enrollment is reportedly the highest since the early 2000s, when the college operated a second campus at Gugeegue Island in Kwajalein Atoll.

The college has been under scrutiny by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – which accredits schools in the region – since 2003, for deficiencies at its Majuro campus. The college has since made corrections but remains on "Warning" status.

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