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New IU office aims to boost graduation rates

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Indiana University has started a new office aimed at helping more students graduate on time at all the school's campuses across the state.

The Office of Completion and Student Success that started this month aims to have more IU students earn bachelor's degrees within four years.

While the push is for students to graduate in four years, a six-year option is included because some students also are working 30 or 40 hours a week or have family obligations, office director Rebecca Torstrick told The Herald-Times.

A major element of the initiative are required degree maps. The online mapping tool allows students to see what classes they need to graduate.

It will be used on all eight IU campuses so students can adjust the map if they transfer to another campus or take a summer class at a campus near home, Torstrick said.

"The degree maps are just an academic road map," she said.

A state Commission for Higher Education report this year found that about 50 percent of students at IU's Bloomington campus were graduating on time, while the regional campuses were at 10 percent or less.

Purdue University's West Lafayette campus was at 38 percent, with Ball State University at 33 percent and Indiana State at 21 percent.

Completion rates factor into state higher education performance-based funding, which is recommended by the commission. A higher on-time completion rate means more state money for the university.

Torstrick said that previously students with multiple majors and minors worked with advisers in different departments who only focused on the courses of study in their departments.

Now, those advisers are in communication with each other and the students, she said. That allows for students to easily see where they can double-count classes, and helps keep them from taking classes they don't need.

"All of this is geared toward supporting and improving the most meaningful component of the adviser-student relationship, that is, one-on-one meetings," Torstrick said.

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  • Do you know other schools but Purdue?
    So the rest of the state schools aren't known for anything? I recall a well known broadcast program at BSU, a well known business school by the name of Kelley at IU... Not to mention the IU law/med/dentist school that might have a few successful people coming through their program...
  • regional campus rates are pathetic
    I must say, the regional rates are pathetic and Purdues rate of 38percent in 4 years is rather low. This indicates that financially, the students run out of resources. The closer to graduation, the more the University should help/guarantee that students graduate on time. If they become a Junior or Senior, there is no excuse for the University not assisting in financially helping them with the last 2 years. Also, Purdue tends to have much harder classes than IU so flunking out students or making it very difficult and weeding out students who cannot cut it becomes more of a factor. The fact is Purdue Engineering, Science, Life Science, Pharmacy, Vet. School, Business are much more difficult academically than IU and the other state schools. Literally, anyone in Freshman year preparing to go into Engineering, Science, Vet., Pharmacy, etc. many will be flunked out by Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, in essence, Purdue does this to maintain academic rigour and reputation as one of the best Engineering schools in the world, world renowned. IU and other schools have no such reputation as Indiana schools in Science, Engineering, Purdue is known globally.

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