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MU's 6-year graduation rate hits record high in 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 | 4:37 p.m. CDT; updated 11:03 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 29, 2012

COLUMBIA — The MU 6-year graduation rate reached an all-time high of 70.7 percent in 2012.

The 6-year rate has been on the rise for years, said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies. Twenty years ago, in 1992, the comparable rate was 59.8 percent.

"The graduation rates fluctuate, but there has been a very steady improvement over the last 20 years," Spain said.

Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, said the record graduation rates can be attributed to several factors.

"We attract great students," she said. "Also, administrators and faculty care about student success, and MU provides excellent academic advising services."

Spain credited MU programs such as Summer Welcome and Freshman Interest Groups.

"Student Affairs has expanded and strengthened programs that help students get connected and involved on campus," he said.

Four-year  graduation rates at MU are on the rise as well. The 2011 4-year graduation rate was 46.9 percent, in comparison to 1997's rate of 28.5 percent.

Although 4-year rates are not as high as 6-year rates, there are many reasons a student might not graduate in four years. Korschgen said that taking fewer than 15 credit hours per semester, internships, study abroad and work can all contribute to a later graduation.

MU has started programs to help students graduate and succeed. The Commission for Student Success was created to give a wide range of perspectives on student services, Spain said. He also said that an early alert system for struggling students and an assessment program for academic advising are in the works.

Spain said the improving graduation rate can be attributed not just to the effectiveness of MU's efforts to ensure student success, but to the students as well.

"Improving student success as measured by graduation rate demonstrates that MU's students are capable and motivated," he said.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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