csMentor, an online technology tool, has created an online platform to help incoming college freshmen avoid dropping out in their first year. According to the company, 30% of freshmen do just that.
The platform acts as an accountability partner than an education tool. According to the site’s research, most of the students drop out within 7-to-10 weeks of their first year. The technology alerts students and their parents of potential academic problems through mentoring videos called Mentoring Interactive Programs (MIP’s). The student answers “Check-In” questions, which are summarized the edtech, reviewed by the csMentor team, and then reported to the student and parent.
The company has no official launch date set, but has made subscriptions available. The program is being piloted by approximately 100 students from the College Success Foundation in Washington D.C., according to one of csMentor’s developers, Steve Wattenmaker. The pilot is being funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Wattenmaker said other methods have been attempted to retain college freshmen, “yet the drop-out rate remains a national embarrassment.” He said csMentor itself is still in its early stages and that it is too soon to evaluate its impact.
“We are convinced that csMentor, using a radically different approach, can begin to move the needle in the right direction,” he said.
csMentor costs $29.95 per month, but the first month is free.