Goal 2 - Graduation Rates
Increase undergraduate, graduate and professional graduation rates.
A growing focus on the cost of higher education and student debt demands delivering value in return for students’ investment of time and money. This is best achieved by striving to help more students to graduate so they access the benefits of a degree.
Four-year graduation rate for undergraduate students
Goal by 2022
Increase to 34% – based upon 2 percentage points higher than average of Comparison Flagship Universities (CFUs)
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
Straight line level of improvement from 2017 baseline required to achieve goal
Goal 2 Action Steps
Action Step 2.1.a: Execute plan for full use of Starfish advising functionality by faculty, advisors and students.
Measurement 2.1.1: Starting June 30, 2018, Starfish early alert and midterm notification tools are used by 70% of all faculty/instructors/academic advisors, increasing 5% annually through 2022.
Measurement 2.1.2: Starting spring 2018, available Starfish tools are utilized by 75% of assigned academic advisors, increasing 5% annually through 2022.
Measurement 2.1.3: Starting summer 2018, 100% of new students attending orientation receive access to training pertaining to the use of Starfish.
Measurement 2.1.4: Increase percentage of faculty/instructors completing kudos by 10% annually through 2022.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Bridge communication gap between students, faculty and advisors. Students obtain tools to succeed in course work. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates. Higher achievement rate of successful course completion.
Action Step 2.2: Standardize advisor roles and responsibilities, including robust use of optimally targeted interventions identified by analytics and that further coincides with advisor performance.
Measurement 2.2.1: By the close of spring 2018, 100% of colleges commit to baseline research based best practices as identified by UND’s Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) group.
Measurement 2.2.2: By the close of fall 2019, assigned academic advisor performance is evaluated based on adoption of research-based best practices as identified by SEM, student satisfaction through an evaluation survey (and exit interviews where appropriate), and participation in professional development opportunities.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Consistent advising across campus. More accountability for assigned academic advisors. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates.
Action Step 2.3: Develop and execute annual calendar of outbound calling activities in support of retention.
Measurement 2.3.1: By the close of spring 2019, a comprehensive list and process of outbound calling activities is developed.
Measurement 2.3.2: Each semester starting fall 2019, 100% of all colleges/departments (academic/non-academic) participating in outbound calling activities responsible parties identified for making contacts, and document action of all contact made with identified students.
Measurement 2.3.3: Each semester starting fall 2019, identified students (e.g., holds, lack of registration, non-renewal of housing contracts) are progressively contacted by digital means, then phone at a rate of 75%, increasing 5% annually through 2022.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Holds are removed; number of registered students increase. Renewal of housing contracts increase. Issues outside initial reason for contact are identified and may be mitigated. Increase awareness at the college/departmental level of items that impact students. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates.
Action Step 2.4: Implement Degree Planner so students’ “roadmap to degree” are accessible to all advisors (assuming adequate support level provided by North Dakota University System Core Technology Services).
Measurement 2.4.1: By December 31, 2017, the RFP process to select a degree planner is completed.
Measurement 2.4.2: Pilot implementation of a degree planner to commence in fall 2019 with full implementation executed for use with the fall 2020 cohort.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Assists with academic department planning. Ensure students can visualize how their choices in course selection/modification will impact their ability to register for future classes and graduation date. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates.
Action Step 2.5: Identify characteristics of courses with high D-grades, failure and withdrawal (DFW) rates (i.e., large class size, instructor’s use of Starfish, advising interventions, collaborative transfers, etc.). Determine steps to reduce DFWs.
Measurement 2.5.1: Starting spring 2019, and on a regular basis thereafter, analyses of courses with high DFWs rates are completed by University Analytics & Planning and made available to colleges.
Measurement 2.5.2: By the close of fall 2019, students must complete proactive requirements (e.g., talk with an advisor, financial aid) prior to withdrawing from course(s).
Measurement 2.5.3: Starting spring 2020, 100% of colleges develop plan to address courses with high DFW rates.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Overall reduction in the number of Ds, Fs, and withdraws across campus courses with most significant prevalence. Minimize financial aid and outstanding bill impacts by educating students on effects of Ds, Fs and withdraws on transcripts. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates.
Action Step 2.6: Create pathways and reduce barriers to increase undergraduate graduation rates.
Measurement 2.6.1: By the close of spring 2018, 100% of colleges establish an audit process to ensure degree requirements reflect the 120 credit minimum to graduate.
Measurement 2.6.2: Starting fall 2017, permit double counting of courses toward dual majors, two minors, or a major and a minor.
Measurement 2.6.3: Starting fall 2019, allow undergraduate students to take six graduate credit hours applicable to undergraduate degree that may be transferred to a UND graduate program.
Measurement 2.6.4: Pathways and barriers to graduation brought to the attention of the goal 2 captain; agreed upon by the project manager, steering team and goal captain; and incorporated into the goal 2 charter via approved process, will be addressed through 2022.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Reduce barriers to graduation. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates.
Action Step 2.7: Optimize use of financial aid and other incentives to retain and graduate students.
Measurement 2.7.1: Starting fall 2018, students who have an outstanding bill each semester (especially those with 30 or fewer credits remaining to graduate) are contacted and counseled about financial aid options at a rate of 75%, increasing 5% annually through 2022.
Measurement 2.7.2: Starting spring 2018, students who completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for current year, but have not completed for the upcoming year, are contacted and counseled about federal student aid options at a rate of 75%, increasing 5% annually through 2022.
Measurement 2.7.3: Within existing funding, increase cultural diversity tuition waivers awarded by 2% annually through 2022.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Additional financial aid counseling will reduce a student’s outstanding charges carried by the institution and may result in obtaining federal student aid for students that previously would not have procured. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates
Action Step 2.8: Develop and offer a mandatory first year experience course for all first-year students (from goal 1).
Measurement 2.8.1: By fall 2018, standard university content for an extended orientation/first-year experience course is identified.
Measurement 2.8.2: By fall 2019, a university-level extended orientation/first-year course is developed that must be taken by all first-time first-year students during their first semester at UND. Colleges may substitute an approved alternative that contains the same standard content as the university-level course.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Provide a guide for the kinds of knowledge, skills, and character needed to reach goals. Retain students and work toward increasing graduation rates.
Action Step 2.9: A strategic enrollment management plan for the School of Graduate Studies does not exist in part due to a gap in comprehensive comparison/analysis of UND graduate education data and comparison/aspirational flagship universities’ (CFU/AFU) benchmarks.
Action Step 2.9a: Develop graduate enrollment management strategies.
Measurement 2.9.a1: By the close of spring 2018, UND data is collected for number of applications and admits, enrollment, retention and time to degree for all masters-level and doctoral-level programs and compared (quantitative and qualitative) with available CFU’s and/or AFU’s data is completed.
Measurement 2.9.a2: By the close of spring 2019, at least three best practices are identified and implemented to address each deficient area (relative to benchmark data) within all masters-level and doctoral-level programs, and at least one best practice identified and implemented to improve each non-deficient area.
Anticipated Benefit(s): Strategic enrollment management strategies are developed based on accurate data from benchmarking activities