Graduating college in four years has become the exception and not the rule in recent years. Just 53% of college students are graduating in the recommended four years, according to recent studies.
Benedictine University has a unique student make up of incoming freshmen, transfer students, and continuing education students. Jon Miller, Associate Dean of Student Success at Benedictine says, “Some students just run into challenges.
It could be health, it could be family issues.”
He also mentions that the current state of the economy has had an effect on why students are not graduating as quickly, “some of these students are working to help support their families and help pay the mortgage and it becomes increasingly difficult to balance school and work life.”
Benedictine has taken steps to help ensure students are given the tools to track their educational path. When they start taking classes each major is given a recommended schedule of classes to take. There is an online administrative website where students can see all the classes they have taken and what still needs to be fulfilled. “It’s almost like students can get an audit of where they’re at, at any time,” said Miller.
Benedictine also gets personal with the students. Advisors and teachers know them by name and track their progress so they cannot fall through the cracks.
Students are getting the message and have started to utilize the tools the university has provided them. Jessica Szewczyk, a sophomore at Benedictine, says she sits down and plans all the classes she is going to take every semester until graduation. Julian Ocoha, a new transfer student, says he has talked to advisors about classes he needs to be taking for his major.
Benedictine hopes all of this preparation will help their students beat the statistics.
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