Colleges that help students graduate

College applicants — especially minority students — should consider graduation rates, advises Education Trust, which reports on Top Gainers and Top Gap Closers among public four-year universities.  

At Georgia State, minority students now graduate at rates higher than their non-minority classmates.

Data showed “high failure rates in introductory courses to high dropout rates between the sophomore and junior years, when students transition into courses for their majors.”

Although GSU took a campuswide approach to improving outcomes for all students, when administrators disaggregated the data, they found that some programs were particularly effective for minority students. For example, first-year learning communities—where faculty members coordinate teaching two or more courses and often serve as advisers to the same group of students—were instrumental in improving retention rates between the freshman and sophomore years by five to six percentage points for all students. But for minority students, these rates rose by ten to 12 percentage points.

University of  Wisconsin at Madison also improved the minority graduation rate and narrowed the degree gap.

About Joanne


  1. Joanne — Purdue has an interesting experiment going:

    This fall Purdue University has launched a first-of-its-kind computerized system that will track student academic progress and warn students in real-time if they need work in certain areas.

    More than 11,000 students enrolled in 500-plus introductory “gateway” course sections will know by as early as the second week of classes whether their effort is putting them on a path to success or not. All they need to do is glance at the traffic signal-like red, yellow and green lights they’ll see when they log into the course Web site on their computer or, later this year, on their cell phone.

    From Edweek

    How Data Can Help Put Students on a College-and-Career Track

    Wouldn’t it be helpful if educators could figure out, as early as 8th grade, whether a student was on track not just to graduate from high school but to go on to college or start a career? Wouldn’t it be even better if educators could also determine exactly how far behind that student was along the achievement spectrum and pinpoint which interventions were best suited to a student at that level of readiness?

    That’s not just a pipe dream, according to Chrys Dougherty, a senior research scientist at the National Center for Educational Achievement in Austin, Texas. In a paper published last week by the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research, Dougherty discusses how states and districts can use longitudinal data to create indicators that show whether 8th graders are on track to be college-and-career ready four years later. That’s a higher standard than whether a student is on grade level or on track to graduate on time.


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