U grad rates go from last to … not so bad

  • Article by: Maura Lerner , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 12, 2013 - 10:00 PM

The Twin Cities campus, which once had the lowest rates in the Big Ten, is now middle of the pack but ahead of Wisconsin.

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WaterBunkerDec. 12, 13 9:56 AM

Just curious and not being accusatory, did grade inflation play a role? Easier grading could assist in moving students through more quickly.

Slider451Dec. 12, 1310:20 AM

This is encouraging. As an underclassman there in the late 80s I felt very overwhelmed, and without a lot of direction to reach my goals. I blamed myself for that, and believed in hindsight that a smaller school would likely have been a better fit for my personality and learning style. If I were a student there today it sounds like my experience would have been much different.

stjohnsonDec. 12, 1310:22 AM

I think being more selective is big. Getting students who are ready for college means fewer remedial classes and students graduating sooner. Keep it going.

bluebird227Dec. 12, 1310:38 AM

Another factor, in connection with the higher ACT scores, is that many students come in with credits earned from AP classes and CIS (college in the schools) classes taken in high school. My daughter earned over 30 college credits in high school by taking AP calculus, AP biology, AP psycholgy, and CIS literature (through the U of M) to name a few. And if you're thinking these aren't college level classes, you're mistaken. AP classes require more work on the student's part--more writing, reading and testing--than do traditional college classes. This is one reason why I get so irritated when people say that high schools are not preparing students for college. The opportunities are there if students take advantage of them.

FrankLDec. 12, 1310:43 AM

I know when we took the kids to Madison, I heard all kinds of excuses of why kids don't graduate in 4 years. From what I learned, the most likely path is coming in with a lot of AP credits. When I went to college, I had no AP credits and still got an engineering degree in 4 years with time left over in my senior year to take graduate level courses. That scenario appears to be all but dead today.

luxaeternaDec. 12, 1311:07 AM

The U. has made great progress, so congratulations to all involved. Closing General College and opening the Honors Program were both resisted by some people, but were clearly the correct decisions to make.

J_DubyaDec. 12, 1311:10 AM

Great news that should make everyone with a degree from the U happy, because this makes all of our diplomas mean a whole lot more. Also, kudos to Robert Bruininks for having the vision to make this a reality.

commonsens4uDec. 12, 1311:27 AM

Closing the General College definitely had a big part in this. When I was at the U in the late 90's, the GC graduation rate was below 10%.

commonsens4uDec. 12, 1311:29 AM

JDubya wrote: "...because this makes all of our diplomas mean a whole lot more" ----- I guess I fail to see why this makes a U of M degree (diploma is what you get for completing high school) worth any more than it was 5 years ago. Am I missing something? Could someone elaborate?

applejeffDec. 12, 1311:53 AM

commonsense, a diploma is a certificate stating that the person receiving it has successfully completed the requirements of the course(s), regardless of the level of education and including a college or university. A degree is the same thing, only limited to a college or university.


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