Local colleges consider ways to increase graduation rates

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University of Miami

Amy Bergerson, associate vice provost and dean of undergraduate education at the University of Miami, said the university is proud of its graduation rate.

“But we also know there is room for improvement,” she said. “Part of what we’re doing here is trying to identify where we can make incremental improvements to this already excellent rate.”

Some students come to college unprepared and must take remedial courses, usually in math and English, which allow students to get to university standards. These classes can delay students because remedial classes must be completed before students enter their major.

For Miami students, less than 1% of freshmen need remedial classes, Bergerson said, which is extremely low.

According to a report by Education Reform NowA group of national left think tank that focuses on education reform, especially for low-income students and minority, about 11% of students used Pell Grants between school years 2014-2015 and 2017-2018. Pell Grants are federal grants that help people with proven financial need pay for their college education.

Bergerson said Miami planned to work on the widening of access to university for low-income and people of color and built infrastructure to help students feel welcome and succeed.

But Bergerson said part of the improved graduation rate will help students choose majors early. The earlier the student can establish a sense of purpose, the more likely they are to focus on that and motivate themselves, she said.

The university strives to help students identify major that might interest them during their first year and give their students a map of what might look like success in this major, she has declared.

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Wright’s State

About 41% of WSU students are eligible for the Pell Scholarship, said Susan K. Schaurer, vice president for enrollment management at WSU.

“Often we know our students arrive with the intention that their degree will take longer because they are contributing to family finances,” she said. “They pay on income earned while working full time.”

Schaurer said since the money can be an obstacle for Wright State students, the university does take the flight program available to students last fall who had average grade point of 3.2 or more and an expected family contribution of $2,000 or less on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The program will be available again this fall, she said.

Schaurer said about 51% of WSU students in the past academic year needed remedial classes.

“Wright State has tried to position his mindset so that, instead of asking whether our students are prepared to Wright State, we try to prepare ourselves as a university student loan, which means that we are ready and prepared and programming and support to ensure that students who enroll in our facility are prepared and have the resources they need to graduate, “she said.

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central state

The Central State graduation rate improved when comparing students entering the first year from 2012 to 2014 from 26% in 2012, 29% in 2013 and 31% in 2014. But in the past three years, percentage was among the lowest in the state.

Central State did not respond to questions about the college’s graduation rate. But the historically black university has a high percentage of students eligible for Pell grants. Similar to Wright State, these students will face additional financial hurdles to earning a degree.

A report by Education Reform Now, a national trend tank left thinking that focuses on education reform, especially for low-income students and minorities, the central government has the the highest percentage of students from some Ohio institutions – 87% – using the Pell grants between 2017-2018 and 2014-2015 school year. On average, about 29% of Ohio students were enrolled in Pell Grants over that period, according to the report.


Graduation rate

Percentage of students who started at this university as freshmen in 2014 who graduated by 2020

Bowling Green State University 60%

Central State University 31%

Cleveland State University 53%

Kent State University in Kent 63%

University of Miami-Oxford 78%

Ohio State University – Main Campus 83%

Ohio University – Main Campus 66%

Shawnee State University 28%

main campus of the University of Akron 46%

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 68%

University of Toledo 52%

Wright State University – Main Campus 46%

Youngstown State University 47%

Source: Ohio Department of Higher Education Six-Year Measures of Success.

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