Summer Reading: Strategies to improve graduation rates
This summer, Education Dive will provide readers with compilations of stories on a variety of topics that we've published during the past year that provide solutions to challenges facing colleges and universities nationwide. First up: How to get more students to graduation day ceremonies.
Initiative aims to boost U.S. college graduation rates by 'hundreds of thousands'
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has a new effort in which 100 public research universities — organized in clusters of eight to 10 institutions — will work together to increase graduation rates by hundreds of thousands by 2025. The clusters will develop, refine and scale innovative practices in a way that also aims to close the achievement gap, the association said. Participating institutions will commit to sharing key data and advocating proven practices within their groups in an effort to develop models that could work on a larger scale. Read more
Does high-impact learning help students graduate?
High-impact learning practices (HIP) were once regarded as the keys to revitalizing higher education for its growing and diversifying student populations. But a new study suggests learning modules built around intensive writing training, service learning, community and group approaches to coursework and other methods may not be as intrinsic to improving student completion as they were once believed to be. Read more
Study: Online learning improves graduation rates
A study from Arizona State University suggests that online courses may be better equipped to help retain students and to keep them on the path to graduation. The university examined digital learning trends and outcomes from two public universities, two community colleges and a community college system. It found that three out of four institutions that offered in-person and online courses had higher retention and graduation rates for students who at least enrolled in some digital learning classes. Read more
Students often need help getting to graduation
Just one out of three of nontraditional students is likely to graduate within six years, according to one recent study notes. The study authors recommend tracking data on these students to pinpoint interventions and supports, and structuring any outcomes-based institutional funding policies to measure outcomes broken out by gender, race/ethnicity, and for independent students separately. Read more
Non-traditional barriers to graduation
Higher education administrators and advisors chose to look beyond surface-level enrollment and retention metrics in discussing ways to help nontraditional students to graduate from college at the annual conference of the nonprofit Achieving the Dream. Technology-assisted advising could play a role – as long as the information collected isn’t used to reinforce biases. Read more