Improving the College Graduation Rate

Introduction

The majority of colleges have been suffering a decline in their graduation rates. One of the reasons as to why the rates are decreasing is the relevance of college education. Many of the students find themselves asking why they go to colleges rather than starting to generate income. Knowledge is power, and learners should have an interest in higher education. Rising tuition fees has also been another contributing factor besides the appealing idea of generating income. College education tends to be one of the most significant expenses that a person encounters. Individuals without college degrees have restrictions on employment in areas like the service industry, construction services, and manufacturing industry. In this way, they do not increase their reasoning and communication skills.

There are other reasons for the significance of college education. Every graduate can further study by listening and examining the highest ranked experts in the field and reading books. However, the simulation motivates learners to think, question, and critically dig into great ideas. As Nelson Mandela pointed out, education is the most crucial weapon that individuals can utilize to bring changes worldwide. Therefore, it is the idea that students learn from colleges that enhance additional growth and edge in the market. Other benefits involve acquiring self-discipline and networking chances (Chan, 2016). It is therefore crucial that every student attends and graduates from the college because of non-exhaustive reasons.

Reduced rates of college graduation tend to be expensive. Reduced graduation rates lead to continuous little tax revenue, low salaries, and inadequate workplace professionalism. Based on the most prevalent university system in the United States, the California State University (CSU) has recorded a reduced graduation rate, which has significantly impacted the state and the students. This paper discusses the strategies that individuals can apply to improve the graduation rate in colleges. The document provides various practical steps that colleges should take to address the problem.

Logistical Adjustments

Making logistical alterations is one of the ways that can address the problem of decreased rates of graduation. For instance, students may find courses overlapping due to poorly executed scheduling that makes it hard for a significant number of learners to have classes. A schedule enhances flexibility, and handling the issue makes life more prosperous for learners. The second logistic alteration that colleges should consider is having dual-enrolment programs. The changes allow high school students to earn college credits. In some cases, colleges should offer college courses for free based on the state’s ability to provide special funding. According to Huerta and Watt (2015), college credits learners in their secondary program tend to complete college.

Colleges should redesign remedial education to improve the rates of graduation. Most students from community colleges need remedial training at the start of a college career drop out before they complete a degree course. In this way, various investigations indicate that many students from the community college need remedial training for college coursework preparation rigors. It is an indication that it is essential to redesign remedial training instead of eliminating to make learners get adequate development and support they require without sacrificing the success odds.

Developing Counselling Programs

The majority of college institutions that report high graduation rates have faculty advisers and integrated academic counseling where learners get a distinct concept on the course framework needed for graduation. They meet their counselors for advice before registering for their classes. In scenarios where students need to attend colleges in their families, they need to get assistance and support to strengthen their odds of success and completion. Lack of adequate counselors in colleges can make learners source advisers during their college courses, which can help overcome challenges and help learners persevere until they complete their studies.

Focusing on Potential Dropouts

It is imperative to investigate and examine dropout risks. If individual students have a combination of characteristics such as lack of involvement on the campus, drugs and alcohol abuse, being far away from home, first-generation collegegoers, and skipping classes, advisers should reach out, even though the learner may not show signs of poor academic performance. However, individuals should manage the potential dropout with the above features by keeping in touch and helping them maintain a focus and a positive attitude towards academics. In this way, the issue of reduced graduation problems will decrease.

Undertaking and analyzing student’s data can help colleges proactively identify students at risk and take action on a student’s behavior and performance. A low percentage of students at risk tend to be confident that they will attain the goals, while a high rate indicates that the students at risk do not meet their objectives. The solution to this is introducing courseware, which offers faculty easy access to every learner’s performance data. It assists the institution in identifying struggling students, pinpointing certain regions where they require more attention, and critically assessing students’ activities and participation. Self-assessments and interactive activities can help students at risk of attaining greater success. In this way, they will retain higher rates of learners in class and increase the graduation rate.

Improving Accountability Standards and Financial Obstacles

According to the American Council for Education, economic issues have been why most students are not completing their college education (Chan, 2016). Based on this perspective, community colleges need to offer support to every eligible student through economic aid. Besides, initiatives can make sure that when applying, only qualified learners benefit from financial help. Mainly, this needs a countrywide strategy to train learners about available aid and assisting them when it comes to the process of application.

Colleges can set national accountability standards to improve students’ outcomes in colleges. It is also crucial to establish a framework that includes readiness of coursework, employment, training, and completion of college programs. In this way, every community college will be held accountable for the success of students. Individuals can introduce initiatives for measurable data to improve students’ progress, particularly in regions of minority and low-income students.

Online Learning Improves the Rates of Graduation

According to Shea and Bidjerano (2014), well-equipped online courses help learners retain and allow them to be on the graduation path. The results of Dimeo (2018) indicate that three out of four colleges, which provided online courses and in-person courses, had increased graduation and retention rates for students who at least enrolled in various digital learning classes.

Improving Course Material Access

To enhance the achievement and academic success of students, it is vital to prepare them in class. Based on the VitalSource study, most students tend to postpone or fail to buy the necessary course materials. The main factor that prevents them from having the required documents is cost. However, innovative solutions such as courseware and inclusive access may offer colleges with options that can raise the affordability of course materials and provide students with convenient access to learning resources. Having inclusive access, institutions include the course materials’ cost in student tuition or charge, ensuring that the funds are available during the first classes of the class. On the other hand, courseware solutions offer affordable and accessible digital course content, which is simple to use and interactive.

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Student Success Initiatives

Initiatives for student success can assist improve the overall rates of graduation. For example, colleges can narrow the achievement gap and improve graduation rates. Institutions can introduce a series of educational reforms, add classes to the student, and use systemwide data so learners can get into the courses they require to graduate and programs that will make sure that many students start school with a degree plan. The initiative of student success, even though challenging, with an appropriate strategic partner, any college can improve the achievement of a student and success, which will increase graduation rates.

Conclusion

To improve college graduation and retention rates, institutions should concentrate on enhancing the student success initiatives, improving course materials access, enhancing online learning, improving financial obstacles and accountability standards, focusing on potential dropouts, developing counseling programs, and making logistical alterations. This paper had concentrated on several critical approaches that colleges should do to improve graduation rates. However, it is essential to conduct more investigation to know better some of the institutions and economic issues, societal, and personal challenges, which will make it easy for students in colleges to graduate and savor the benefits arising from a college education.

 

References

Chan, R. Y. (2016). Understanding the purpose of higher education: An analysis of the economic and social benefits for completing a college degree. Journal of Education Policy, Planning, and Administration, 6(5), 1-40.

Dimeo, J. (2018). Summer Reading: Strategies to improve graduation rates. https://www.educationdive.com/news/summer-reading-strategies-to-improve-graduation-rates/524865/

Huerta, J., & Watt, K. M. (2015). Examining the college preparation and intermediate outcomes of the college success of AVID graduates enrolled in universities and community colleges. American Secondary Education, 43(3), 20.

Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. (2014). Does online learning impede degree completion? A national study of community college students. Computers & Education, 75, 103-111.