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Old 06-03-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Michigan
29,391 posts, read 55,406,019 times
Reputation: 22042

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Even as colleges nationwide celebrate commencement season, hundreds of schools are failing to graduate a majority of their students in six years, a report says today.

4-year colleges graduate 53% of students in 6 years - USATODAY.com
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:41 AM
 
13,248 posts, read 33,363,767 times
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I'm not sure why that is news. A six year graduation rate has been the reported number in the big fat college search books for years.... I guess because it's over 50% now, it means the majority of students. Funny thing, I don't know anyone except adults that went back to school, that really took more then 5 years.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:39 AM
 
10,629 posts, read 26,632,749 times
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I don't fully understand why these statistics are always held up as a problem (although the article does, at least, caution against using them as a "sole" indicator of quality of the education). Reading articles like this and many others make it seem as though the numbers are driven by traditional students who simply move at glacial speed and who can't get their act together - or are actively thwarted by school policies, or not given support, etc. - to get through in four years. I went to a very large school with lots of students who took longer than four years, but you could, for the most part, peg at the very start who would be taking four years and who would be taking longer. The traditional students who entered intending on the stanadard four years made it through just fine. Those who took longer were mostly those working full-time, with kids, or with other obligations or reasons. It didn't have anything to do with the school itself. Yes, some people took longer because they bounced around from major to major, decided for unwise decisions to take low course loads, etc., (and not for more "noble" or unavoidable reasons) but that's not the college's fault. It's the trade-off you get for a school willing to accomodate the needs of thousands of students, and for a school that, while offering support and plenty of checks and balances to make sure students knew what they were doing (mandatory annual meetings with advisors to discuss what needed to be done to meet graduation requirements, etc.) also expected that students were adults and could handle selecting their courses and developing their own personal graduation timeline (or to obtain help when necessary) Those who took five or six years to graduate, for whatever reason, had no negative impact on my own education or schedule.

Also this article says that schools with similar admission criteria can have different graduation rates, like that's a surprise - maybe those who know they're going to be taking longer go to schools where their "alternative" schedule will be more easily accomodated?) In any case, if I were a current student I wouldn't look at those numbers and think "oh no, if I go to school X then, looking at the numbers, although I'm planning on graduating in four years it seems unlikely, given the numbers." Maybe if I needed someone to hold my hand and treat me like a high schooler than I'd be more concerned.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Huntersville/Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC
26,680 posts, read 41,533,415 times
Reputation: 41302
Quote:
Originally Posted by John1960 View Post
Even as colleges nationwide celebrate commencement season, hundreds of schools are failing to graduate a majority of their students in six years, a report says today.

4-year colleges graduate 53% of students in 6 years - USATODAY.com
I dont really see this as bad. As someone who works 28-30 hours a week, even twelve credits (minimum full-time) can be really difficult to handle along with work. I think it's perfectly sensible to take 6 to 9 credits at a time so you can concentrate on getting high grades while working as opposed to taking 12-15 credits and barely passing with Cs and Ds. I'll probably be a 5 year grad, but better late than never.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 13,228,604 times
Reputation: 1734
A lot of guys that I went to school with did co-op programs. Here's a picture of what that could look like.

Freshman
Fall Class
Spr Class

Sophomore
Sum Co-op
Fall Co-op
Spr Class
Sum Co-op
Fall Co-op
Spr Class

Junior
Sum Co-op
Fall Co-op
Spr Class
Sum Co-op
Fall Co-op
Spr Class

Senior
Sum Co-op
Fall Co-op
Spr Class
Sum Co-op
Fall Co-op
Spr Class

Graduate

The result was they were pretty well rounded....but it would take almost twice as long to get finished with their Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years! I know of one guy in particular that went to school 7 years because he co-op'ed every year. The cool part is you make enough money to pay for school in cash. But 7 years for a Bachelors degree...ouch. I did it in 5 yrs...and that was painful enough.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:33 AM
 
Location: USA
3,966 posts, read 10,661,485 times
Reputation: 2225
Oh noes its taking longer to graduate, it is the end of the world!
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 5,366,165 times
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Most students change their major at least once. If it's a drastic enough change, that can delay things, even for a 15 credit per semester student.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:18 PM
 
8,652 posts, read 17,185,896 times
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If they are on a sports team it's probably 1% in 10 years...
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,725 posts, read 11,664,916 times
Reputation: 9828
The study eliminates transfers. So a student who starts at CC and transfers into a four-year college and finishes within the 6 years doesn't count. And a student who spends a semester at School A and transfers and graduates in 4 years from School B counts as a miss for School A but not as a success for School B.

It's a flawed study that yields misleading results, so the accompanying analysis is suspect.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,316 posts, read 120,209,612 times
Reputation: 35920
Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
The study eliminates transfers. So a student who starts at CC and transfers into a four-year college and finishes within the 6 years doesn't count. And a student who spends a semester at School A and transfers and graduates in 4 years from School B counts as a miss for School A but not as a success for School B.

It's a flawed study that yields misleading results, so the accompanying analysis is suspect.
So I guess my daughter, a transfer student, hasn't really graduated. I knew it!!!

I know the University of Colorado gets a lot of transfer students who went out of state for a while and then want to come home. Similarly, about 40% of the freshman class at CU is generally from out of state, but only about 30% of the senior class.
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