Social connectedness has a direct effect on college student retention, according to Allen, Robbins, Casillas, and Oh (2008). Evidence also suggests that it has a positive correlation with achievement motivation (Walton, Cohen, Cwir, & Spencer, 2012), which may impact academic achievement. Social connectedness has also proved to be an important factor in maintaining student retention rates (Allen et al., 2008). Research suggests that supportive faculty members can have a significant positive impact on a student’s intention to persist after the first year (Shelton, 2003). You can help your students by connecting with them or by helping them connect with each other!
I like to go in early and talk with students before class starts. We don’t talk about class content. We just talk about life stuff. It makes you more human in their eyes. I also like to stand outside the classroom door and say hi to students or tease and joke with them as they’re walking by to other classes. These small things build connections between me and students.