29.5% of 2012 freshman graduated in 2016
RICHMOND, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2016) — Of the freshmen who entered Eastern Kentucky University in the fall of 2012, 29.5 percent graduated this year, compared to 15.7 percent of 2006 freshmen who graduated in four years in 2010.
The five-year graduation rate has increased from 33.2 percent to 45.2 percent, and the six-year rate from 38.3 percent to approximately 45 percent. The numbers are unofficial but not expected to change significantly before official numbers are announced later this fall.
In all cases, the current rates meet (six-year) or easily exceed (four- and five-year) goals set by the Council on Postsecondary Education for EKU.
Dr. Eugene Palka, associate vice president for student success, attributed the dramatic improvement to several factors, including additional financial resources in the form of merit scholarships and need-based financial aid, improved awareness of students with academic challenges, programs aimed at facilitating academic recovery, academic enhancement programs and resources, and degree completion initiatives.
EKU’s academic recovery programs include a fourth-week progress report each semester, mid-term recovery workshops and probation recovery workshops.
Academic enhancement programs and resources include tutoring centers; EKU GURUs, a student group recognized in 2015 by University Business magazine as a national “model of excellence” for enhancing student success; and learning communities, groupings within residence halls around common academic majors and interests.
Degree completion initiatives include a requirement that all students register when they reach 90 hours in order to facilitate “a greater sense of awareness” among advisers and students as the latter near graduation. “A missing course can delay graduation for as much as a year,” Palka noted.
Another degree completion initiative is the Project Graduate program, a statewide program that assists adults with at least 80 credit hours as they strive to complete their studies.