Monday, January 26, 2009

Retention and Graduation Rates vs. Enrollment Growth

Despite recent growth trends in college and university enrollments, retention and graduation rates remain stagnant. We need to do better!
The Quick and the Ed - Flatline

Despite piles of research showing what works in raising retention and graduation rates, more emphasis on the need for college graduates, and new instruments to measure student engagement, ACT published data yesterday showing we still lose about a quarter of college students after one year and only manage to graduate about half of our students in five years. These are nearly identical to the rates of twenty years ago.

Here's what the rates look like in a chart (because ACT's charts are designed to show year-to-year changes, the chart below utilizes their data to show how minor the change has been):


Over a period when enrollment increased more than twenty percent, it is the failure of our nation's colleges and universities to increase student retention and graduation rates that are causing our higher education stagnation.

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