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This paper describes the activities, assessment results, and improvements to increase the retention of first- time first-year students in Western Michigan University's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Retention strategies consist of student learning community to build connection among students and between students and the college, and faculty learning community to improve mentoring of students and student success. The student learning communities consisted of placing ~20 students into the same 3-to-4 courses together with an anchor class taught by the faculty mentor. Placement of students into learning communities is based on mathematics placement or program of studies. The 2005-2007 results indicate 2nd year retention rates have improved 8 to 17% over the weighted average retention rates of the college of the past five years. Student satisfaction surveys indicate the objectives of creating connection among students and between students and the college have been achieved. Success of the project led the university to implement several institution-wide-policies on student success.