MACOMB -- Western Illinois University has received an award for increasing its student retention rate.
University officials say they were honored at a July 9 national conference on student recruitment, marketing and retention by education consulting firm Noel-Levitz.
Officials say the retention rate of students between fall 2013 and spring 2014 improved to over 89 percent, up from 82 percent last year.
They cite a mentoring program as one reason for Western's success in keeping students enrolled.
Western Illinois President Jack Thomas says he can personally attest to the potential of mentoring relationships "to positively impact student services and retention."
Thomas said he's proud of the initiatives the college has put in place and says he wants to continue to ensure future generations of students continue to thrive at the university.