The story of how Wayne State University reversed its faltering graduation rates in 2012 and doubled the rate over the next six years has been told in a case study issued by The Chronicle of Higher Education, considered the nation’s most prominent and widely read publication dealing solely with higher education.
Titled “One College’s Path to Student Success: How Wayne State raised its graduation rate,” the case study details the many steps the university took to reverse its falling graduation rate and build it back up through a series of strategic administrative and programmatic initiatives.
Seven years and more than $10 million later, the university has turned its graduation rate from a low of 28 percent in 2012 to its current robust rate of 47 percent. And Wayne State is not stopping there. Plans are in place to maintain the upward surge in the graduation rate through a commitment to student service and support.
Monica Brockmeyer was hired in 2011 as associate provost for student success after the Wayne State Board of Governors passed a plan to increase the university’s retention and graduation rates. Brockmeyer quickly identified specific areas that needed upgrades in order to maximize student success. This included a reorganization of the academic-advising department and a total revamping of the general education curriculum. “It wasn’t a perfect plan,” Brockmeyer said. “But it was noteworthy for being comprehensive and attacking the issue from multiple perspectives.”
As a result of these positive changes, Wayne State’s improving graduation rates have garnered national accolades. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named Wayne State University the winner of its 2018 Project Degree Completion Award
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