The Charles Sturt University Retention Team has developed, tested, evaluated, and refined a retention model through 14 action-research cycles from 2017-2021. The project has expanded from a small pilot in one faculty to monitoring the engagement and submission of an early assessment item for over 70% of all commencing undergraduate students across the University. The Retention Model synergistically overlays curriculum design and student support and ensures academics embed best practice transition pedagogy and learning engagement activities into key first-year subjects. By monitoring the submission of early assessment items, the team can accurately identify and proactively contact students who are not engaged in their studies prior to their first census date. Every aspect of this program supports equity student groups that are over-represented at our regional university. This work has significantly improved commencing progress rates across the institution.