Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Our Real Graduation Rate?

As we all know, we get constantly beaten over the head with our poor "graduation rate." As we also all know, that rate is data collected only on students enrolling as full-time Freshmen in their first semester of university attendance. In this post, I will take a look at that group of students, our transfer students, and I'll compare our performance with another urban, public university serving a diverse student body of full- and part-time students: Metropolitan State University in Denver. The cohorts will be from 2005-06 through 2008-09.

First, during that four-year period, our full time Freshmen averaged 7.4 percent of our total undergraduate population. That means that 92.6 percent of our students will never be measured by this standard. In comparison, Metropolitan State reported a percentage of 8.6 percent of full time Freshmen. The graduation rates look like this:

FIRST TIME FULL TIME STUDENTS
For Chicago State: 20.4 percent of the full time Freshmen graduated within six years.
For Metropolitan State: 24.1 percent of their full time Freshmen graduated within six years.

TRANSFER STUDENTS
For Chicago State: 43.9 percent of our transfer students (full- and part-time) graduated within six years.
For Metropolitan State: 39.7 percent of their transfer students (full- and part-time) graduated within six years.

AGGREGATE GRADUATION RATE
For Chicago State: 33.0 percent of our Freshmen and transfer students graduated within six years.
For Metropolitan State: 32.9 percent of their Freshmen and transfer students graduated within six years.

This morning, there's another story on our former president's ethical problems in the Chicago Tribune. As usual, there a couple of knuckleheads making typical ignorant comments, including one person with the stupid comment about our graduation rate, as if it's all our students. Perhaps people might respond. All the figures I cited come from our 2015 fact book and from Metropolitan State's web site, link here: https://www.msudenver.edu/oir/institutionalresearchdatabook/graduationrates/.

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