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FAU graduation rate unacceptable

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It is certainly possible to graduate in four years and people do it all the time.

However, more people are probably on the 5-year track for various reasons that we've discussed before. We've had some improvement with Student Instruction (SI) sessions to help students pass things like College Algebra, but we need to be looking at both ends of the student experience, admissions and last semester, to make a real impact.

For admissions, it's not just about GPA/SAT but also about reducing our part-time student population and improving our full-time student population. The problem is that students may come in as full-time and drop to part-time as personal/professional obligations arise and once they're in we don't kick them out because they're not taking enough classes…. although we could, though that may cause more bad blood than it's worth. I heard vague rumors about UF requiring you to take X number of hours a semester to ensure you graduate on time so maybe we should consider it.

On the other end we have very limited class offerings at the upperclassmen levels, and students are often in the situation whereby they're willing to take classes they need to graduate but the classes simply aren't there. For instance, there may be 50 sections of College Writing (which is important, don't get me wrong) but then only 4-5 classes for, say, Mechanical Engineering. I know a lot of people who had this problem and to fix it we need more professors and more classroom space. Admin may try to squeeze blood from a stone to get professors to teach more classes but that's ultimately a losing strategy because then they neglect their research, they can take on fewer graduate students and they may even just take jobs at other institutions that aren't so hard-pressed for resources.

In theory that's why you have administrators: to find the happy medium. Right now it's not working.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Is our investment into lifelong learning hurting these numbers? Or is it largely driven by transfers and non traditional students?

As the campus continues to grow and we bring in more students who will live on campus and attend full time, then we'll go in the right direction but there is plenty of catch up to do.
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As a former college professor at a large university outside of Florida I can share a few challenges that all universities share.
There are a lot of great people at FAU and other universities however generally speaking these are the issues you will find at most large universities in America today!

Remember these are not just FAU's challenges - these challenges exist for all universities - if FAU can find some solutions to these challenges they will become a great university.

1. Professors are not held accountable for their teaching -for example - who in their right mind asks their students to step on Jesus or any other famous person or religious leader - there are a lot of ways to accomplish the learning objectives without being offensive or stupid

2. Too many TA's teaching classes who cannot speak English

3. Not enough advisors to help students

4. Too may course requirements that do not pertain to the major area of study that causes students to have to stay an extra semester or year or two years - all to make money not to necessarily educate the students

5. We ask 18 year olds to make a commitment to a college before they understand much about life - this is why they change majors and colleges and this is why it takes 5 to 6 years for most students to graduate now.

What can be done?

1. Universities need to care more about the students learning and less about the professorsUniversities were created to educate people not employ professors

2. If you are not a clear, effective communicator you should not be allowed to teach.

3. Reduce the fringe requirements and do not penalize students who change majors

4. Create financial incentives to end finish in 4 years for the students by tuition discounts

5. Provide caring knowledgable advisors who really help, guide and encourage the students during their time at the university
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It took me four years to do 2 back in the late 70's due to a major change and some REAL BAD ADVISEMENT on course selection. So I can see that as an issue and the back then the lack of couse availability forced you to take other unneeded courses to remain a full time student AND prolonged the time to graduate. WHICH I DID!

I sure hope there is MUCH better course availability today, if not our graduation rate will NEVER improve.

Lifeleng Learning is a very good thing but I beleive people (adults) who enroll in this, almost always a a part-time student, does really affect our graduation rate. Those who enroll in this should not have to count agaist us - there is ZERO logic to having to do so.
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I am assuming LLL is a profitable revenue stream for the university and an extrememly good way of keeping the local community involved with FAU which hopefully turn into donations. People generally do not give to a university that is not their alma mater. Offer LLL courses and people then feel some connection to the university.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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Good for money flow and local tie building but awful for that  graduation rate I would guess unfortunately.
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Guest said

As a former college professor at a large university outside of Florida I can share a few challenges that all universities share.
There are a lot of great people at FAU and other universities however generally speaking these are the issues you will find at most large universities in America today!

Remember these are not just FAU's challenges - these challenges exist for all universities - if FAU can find some solutions to these challenges they will become a great university.

1. Professors are not held accountable for their teaching -for example - who in their right mind asks their students to step on Jesus or any other famous person or religious leader - there are a lot of ways to accomplish the learning objectives without being offensive or stupid

2. Too many TA's teaching classes who cannot speak English

3. Not enough advisors to help students

4. Too may course requirements that do not pertain to the major area of study that causes students to have to stay an extra semester or year or two years - all to make money not to necessarily educate the students

5. We ask 18 year olds to make a commitment to a college before they understand much about life - this is why they change majors and colleges and this is why it takes 5 to 6 years for most students to graduate now.

What can be done?

1. Universities need to care more about the students learning and less about the professorsUniversities were created to educate people not employ professors

2. If you are not a clear, effective communicator you should not be allowed to teach.

3. Reduce the fringe requirements and do not penalize students who change majors

4. Create financial incentives to end finish in 4 years for the students by tuition discounts

5. Provide caring knowledgable advisors who really help, guide and encourage the students during their time at the university
Posted On: Jan 18th 2014, 9:44 AM #326382

 :Yawn:

Great post.
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I seriously doubt if the lifelong learning program has any impact at all on the graduation rates.  The program offers lectures, non-credit courses, and audit only capability.  Zero impact on graduation rates.
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bb said

I seriously doubt if the lifelong learning program has any impact at all on the graduation rates.  The program offers lectures, non-credit courses, and audit only capability.  Zero impact on graduation rates.
Posted On: Jan 18th 2014, 3:49 PM #326393

This.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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