Undergraduate Persistence and Graduation Rates Bernadette Gray-Little Faculty Council September 15, 2006
UNC Graduation Rates • 1999 class graduated at a rate of 83.7%.* • The rate for the 1997 class was 82% and for 1998 was 83%. • Most who graduated did so in five years or less – mostly four years. *(6 year rate) Source: UNC Institutional Research & Assessment Website
4, 5, and 6-year Graduation Rates: Entering Class of 1997 • Completions by Term: • 4.0 Years 72.8% • 4.5 Years 80.0% • 5.0 Years 84.7% • 5.5 Years 85.2% • 6.0 Years 86.1% • Of Those Who Graduate: • 85% do so in four years. • 98.4% do so in five years. Source: UNC Institutional Research
UNC Exceeds the AAU Average Source: AAU Comparison Group (Public and Private)
Graduation and Persistence: Comparison with Select AAU Peers Source: Individual Institution’s Website * This is 2003 data; 2004 not yet available
Two of the Four Have a Lower Admit Rate Source: AAUDE Enrolled Freshmen Profile Report for Fall 2005
Two of the Four Have a Substantially Higher Rate of Out-of-State Admissions Source: AAUDE Enrolled Freshmen Profile Report for Fall 2005
These Two Indices are Associated with Higher Selectivity Source: US News & World Report – America’s Best Colleges, Fall 2005 *Selectivity Rank = Comprises: 50%: SAT Scores; 40%: Top 10% of H.S.; 10% Acceptance Rate – Ratio of Admitted Students to Total # of Applicants
What Happens to Students Who Do Not Graduate from Carolina? • 6% transfer to another school: • To pursue a major we do not offer; • For personal and family reasons; • To have a different college experience. • 10 -11% neither transfer nor graduate and many of these students have academic difficulties and become ineligible. • Among the students who remain in academic good standing, 90% graduate. Source: UNC Retention and Graduation Study 2004
Three Groups of Factors are Strongly Associated with Failing to Graduate • Becoming academically ineligible; low first year grades; a pattern of intermittent enrollment; • Parents’ low educational and income level; • Lower levels of academic and social engagement. Source: UNC Retention and Graduation Study 2004
Maintaining Good Academic Eligibility is the Key to Persistence and Graduation We have programs that are effective in enhancing persistence and graduation rates for students who might be expected to have more difficulty than others: • Summer Bridge • Carolina Covenant
Carolina Covenant and Summer Bridge • Both programs are aimed at students who are admitted in regular admission process; • Both programs involve very close advising and mentoring; • Summer Bridge also offers students the opportunity to take two first year courses during the summer prior to the first year.
What are the Outcomes ? • The inaugural class of Carolina Covenant students have a first year persistence rate that slightly exceeds the student body as a whole. • Summer Bridge students persist and graduate at the same rate as all students.
Recommendation #1: Expand Summer Bridge • Expand the program to include 100 student from the current level of 50 to 60.
Recommendation #2: Carolina Covenant Mentoring • Provide to first year students who appear to need it the type of advising and mentoring Carolina Covenant students receive.
Recommendation #3: Increase Academic Eligibility Standards • We require a cumulative GPA of 1.5 for continuation after the first year. This is lower than all our select peers and lower than the NCAA requirement for continued academic eligibility. • Allowing students to continue to the 8th semester with less than a 2.0 makes graduation very difficult.
Recommendation #4: Increase Academic Support Services • Increasing eligibility requirements would raise expectations, but could increase failure rates unless we offer additional support. • Move the drop deadline from the 6th week to the 8th week (to provide time for academic status reports and for students to react). • Provide better academic warning notification, including provision for faculty to provide early status reports for students.
Recommendation #5: Institute a System of Academic Probation • Require students in academic difficulty to work with an advisor to formulate a plan to restore good standing. • Students under probation would remain on the campus. • Only if probation is unsuccessful would a student become ineligible.
Upcoming Efforts • With the implementation of the new curriculum, the College will be hiring a new team of advisors. • At the same time, improved retention and graduation goals suggest that we will need more academic services personnel as well (tutors, learning specialists, academic counselors).