The four-year graduation rate of students in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin increased from 65.9 percent to 81.4 percent from 2016 to 2017. The college now ranks second among colleges and schools at the university, behind only the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. This represents a 19.4 percent increase since 2013. The university’s overall graduation rate increased to 65.7 percent during the same period.
Says Dean Manuel J. Justiz, “The College of Education and the university are committed to increasing the four-year graduation rate for all UT students, so I am particularly pleased with the college’s success in this area. Our substantially increased rate of graduation is a testament to the exceptional efforts of the leaders and teams of our Office of Student Success and Recruitment and Academic Advising, as well as the college’s entire faculty and staff.”
The college’s efforts to increase the four-year graduation rate began in fall 2013 in conjunction with a university-led initiative. That year, the college hired Veronica Vasquez, its first director of student success and recruiting, who worked in concert with the college’s advising team led by Antoinette Stanley Hart (the college’s current director of student success and recruiting), and administrative associate Matthew Stearn to assist in student success efforts. Richard Hogeda is assistant dean for student affairs, and Assistant Dean for Teacher Education, Outreach, and Recruitment Sherry Field has overseen this team for the last two years.
The team subsequently implemented several programs that continue to help students stay on track for graduation in four years:
- Regular advising and reinforcement of four-year graduation messages each time advisers meet with students, individually and in groups
- Required transfer advising and orientation sessions
- Implementation of POWER program, which reaches students on or near probation. Students in the program meet with an adviser every two weeks to report academic progress and enroll in a class that meets weekly to discuss topics such as study skills, time management, organizational skills, communication, and writing.
- Software developed to assist students, advisors, and administrators in best planning for courses, sections of courses, and tracking advances toward degree completion
For more information about the university’s efforts and graduate rate improvement, read the university’s latest news story.