The Completion Agenda in Academic Affairs

Christine Mangino, Ed.D.
Provost and Vice President

 

Dear Colleagues,

Although we have seen impressive increases in our graduation rates, I’m aware that not everyone is convinced we can increase our 3-year graduation rate to 50% by 2022. Our 20.6% three-year graduation rate was for our Fall 2012 cohort of students. While we do not have a final calculation for our Fall 2013 cohort, who would have graduated last spring or summer, preliminary results do suggest a continued increase, evidence that the 20.6 rate was not an outlier.

This past December, I asked our Institutional Research Office to provide us with the list of students from our Fall 2014 cohort who are positioned to graduate this spring if they continue to accumulate credits at the same pace. If each of those students successfully completed last semester, and take and pass the correct courses this semester, we will see a 28% three-year graduation rate for this cohort. I know there are many “ifs” in that projection but the College is not being passive in our pursuit of our 50% graduation goal.  One way we are pursuing this goal is through targeted outreach.  In December we provided our advising offices with office-specific lists of students positioned to graduate and they were charged with supporting students to help turn these “ifs” into realities. Even more exciting, we also looked students in the Fall 2015 cohort who have accumulated enough credits at the 1 ½ year mark to make it possible for them to graduate in three years. While we are 1 ½ years away from that graduation date, we were thrilled to discover that IF these students continue at this pace, we could see a 40% graduation rate in spring of 2018.

 

The other data set that demonstrates this goal is possible is related to our ASAP students. I understand they have many resources and supports the other students don’t have, but the students in the ASAP program are coming from our student body and have multiple developmental needs and outside commitments. ASAP’s last cohort of students had a 46% two-year graduation rate. If they can do that in two years, we can work to make graduation a reality for our students in three years. ASAP’s last cohort had a three-year graduation rate of 58%.
I know it will take hard work on the part of the college and each of us individually to meet this goal, but it is definitely reachable and we owe it to our students to believe in this goal. The college is requesting feedback for our next strategic plan. Please share ideas you have that will help us reach this goal. We really can make this a reality.  I look forward to reaching this goal together.

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