CAS graduation rates, student credit hours reach ‘historical’ highs

As university funding becomes tied to graduation rates, the College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) graduation rates have reached historical highs, according to Dean Aldemaro Romero.

CAS graduation rates and student credit hours have reached historical highs, according to CAS Dean Aldemaro Romero. Graphic courtesy of Romero

The 2013 graduation numbers for undergraduates and graduates reached 921 and 244, respectively. Prior to 2013, the highest graduation rates were 913 in 2009 for undergraduates and 240 in 2011 for graduates.

“Those are two good numbers for the college, but in terms of the university as a whole, the [other] good news is we have the highest production of student credit hours,” Romero said. “So we are serving more and more, not only majors but also non-majors in the university.”

Student credit hours reached 168,895 in 2013, an increase from the 2012 record of 164,796.

Projections for 2014-2015 freshmen enrollment indicate the university will have a high number of students enrolling as well.

“In the last couple of years, [the freshman enrollment number] gave the appearance that enrollment was going down, but the reason for that is because we were graduating more students,” Romero said. “But the freshman class, which is our main indicator for graduation, the projection for next year shows it’s going to be higher than in previous years.”

Romero said there has been a general increase throughout the years in terms of graduation rates. The lowest rate in the past five years occurred in 2010 with 872 for undergraduates and in 2009 with 146 for graduates. The significance of the increase “means a number of things,” according to Romero, including that the university is “recruiting better quality students,” the transition to CAS advising and faculty mentoring has been successful.

CAS has been working closer with the Office of Admissions to attract high school seniors to SIUE, Romero said, which includes providing representatives who visit high schools “with better information about the kind of opportunities that we offer here.”

“Part of that better information, and we have heard some anecdotal evidence for that, has had to do with both the weekly radio show [Segue] and the weekly column that we publish in The Intelligencer because they give the human side of our faculty,” Romero said. “And so people can identify better with someone they can read about, about that person’s accomplishments…”

Romero said CAS advising has been in place for roughly three years before which professors served as advisors.

This transition, according to Romero, has “helped tremendously” in guiding students so they graduate on time. Because of CAS advising, professors have more time to mentor students.

“And when you establish a closer relationship between the faculty member and the student, the chances for retention are higher because there’s more connection,” Romero said. “The students start to even do some projects with those faculty members and that increases their chances for success in the long run.”

The university website has also been modernized, according to Romero.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: General CAS Stories

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site