college students

Ceicei

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Questions for instructors of martial arts teaching at colleges/universities as well as those who work in dojos nearby:

What percentage roughly of your students continue on for more martial arts classes beyond the first quarter/semester? What percentage of them then transition to a regular dojo/dojang/studio [off campus] for continued study after leaving or graduating from college/university?

The reason I'm asking is that I had a discussion with another martial artist who has the opinion that students starting out in a regular dojo/dojang/studio stay in their arts longer than a student who started with a college class taking martial arts "for fun" or "physical education credit" before switching over to a dojo outside of college/university.

He thinks the retention rate is roughly 2%-10% starting in college and 48%-52% starting in a regular studio.

Opinions and observations?

- Ceicei
 

7starmantis

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I teach at a branch of the University of Texas and I do have to say the retention rate is small. I have only begun my classes recently but our school is just down the street from large junior college in that area as well. I think the reason for the small percentage is that the college class allows those who have had no exposure to the martial arts or your particular style, experience the art commitment free. They can just try it and see if it is something they can enjoy and stay with. This is a big responsibility for the teacher to teach true to their system.
Another big factor I believe, also being a college student, is a financial and time issue. Being a broke college student changes things you want to do, simple because you can't afford them.

just some thoughts,
7sm
 

Zepp

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I'm not an instructor, but since my instructor has better things to do with his time than play around on message boards :), I thought I'd contribute to this disscussion by giving a picture of our class's situation.

Our instructor teaches two non-credit classes each quarter at our our university through the Rec Center; a beginning class, and an intermediate/advanced class (for anyone who sticks with it longer than one quarter). Typically, out of the 15-20 people who show up to the first beginning class of the quarter, about 4 or 5 people come to class regularly until the end of the quarter. Our instructor is happy if as many as two of those people show up for the advanced class the following quarter. I was only half-joking when I told several new white belts the other day that the yellow belt is whether or not you keep showing up.

Out of the, maybe, five new people we gain during a school year, about one or two of those end up becoming addicts like myself and sticking around until life forces them to give it up or take a break. A few of our regulars are undergraduates like myself, but graduate students and community members make up the bulk of our advanced class.

7star, I'm inclined to agree with everything you said.
 

7starmantis

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Yes, and also, the % of students who stay at the school longer than 2 or 3 months is not very high either. That may contribute a little to the low % of both.

7sm
 

stickarts

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We aren't far from a major university but even after advertising in their telephone directory, we have never gotten many students from there or retained many.
 
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