The Detroit News recently reported the 6-year graduation rates at Michigan's colleges, in its article " College Graduation Rates Lag in Michigan" .
Eight of the fifteen 4-year public universities had 6-year graduation rates less than 50%. We can do a lot better. The top three universities were the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a 90% graduation rate, Michigan State University with a 78% and Grand Valley State University with a 70% 6-year graduation rate. The universities with the lowest graduation rates were Wayne State University with a 32% graduation rate, and the University of Michigan-Flint and Eastern Michigan University were tied with a 38% 6-year graduation rate.
I repeat, We can do much better. Usually universities with low graduation rates start with a low freshman retention rate, so reviewing the culture for freshman success often yields patterns that can be improved. Having a culture of continuous improvement throughout the university is key to improved graduation rates and should have a high priority. Each university is different and requires different strategies for improving graduation rates. More focus on continuous improvement and a student-focused culture will yield higher retention rates.
Cindy Veenstra, PhD