Study to Focus on College Graduate Draw and Retention

UCA LEAD program to collect data for City of Conway

CONWAY, November 25, 2013 – Students and faculty of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership program at the University of Central Arkansas are partnering with the City of Conway, Conway Chamber of Commerce, Hendrix College, and Central Baptist College to investigate ways to improve Conway’s draw and retention of college graduates.

The researchers are seeking data on the preferences of college graduates as well as how the city goes about identifying and addressing these preferences. Also, researchers seek data on how and by whom community development decisions are made in attempts to draw and retain college graduates. LEAD students and faculty aim to find out whether attempts to attract and sustain college graduates are leveraged with other forms of community capital like the natural and social environment.

Lonnie Jackson is a member of the student team from UCA’s LEAD program that is conducting the study. Jackson says the data gathered in the study can provide vital information for economic developers and city planners. “This information can be utilized by developers and city planners as decisions are being made concerning new business development and opportunities for college graduates. This information can also encourage development of those quality of life factors graduates seek out when deciding where to locate as they begin their careers.”

Interested parties can learn more about the research project at


Rhonda McClellan
Director-LEAD Program