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ERIC Number: EJ745697
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Improving Graduation Rates: A Simple Method that Works
Capaldi, Elizabeth D.; Lombardi, John V.; Yellen, Victor
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v38 n4 p44-50 Jul-Aug 2006
Parents, legislators, and even students worry about graduation rates at American public colleges and universities. They compare the statistics they see to their idealized memory of a time when college students enrolled in college immediately after high school and graduated with a bachelor's degree four years later. Although this enrollment pattern remains characteristic of many small private liberal arts colleges, public colleges and universities generally have much more complex patterns of student attendance, persistence, and graduation. Only about 42 percent of students now graduate within four years even at the best public institutions, and the more commonly reported six-year rate reaches a median of only 71 percent at the best publics. The average four-year graduation rate for all public institutions is 20 percent, while their six-year rate is 45 percent. This article describes how improvements in the academic and advising processes of the University of Florida (UF), which began in 196 to include all undergraduates in a program called "tracking," removed obstacles to completing degrees. Tracking improved each of the university's graduation rates by seven percent for the 1996 cohort, a level that has been maintained over subsequent years. The program also enhanced student satisfaction. The tracking methodology requires no dramatic changes in the design of degree programs and no major curricular innovations. It simply makes explicit and effective the academic expectations that students must meet.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida