WSU has multiple programs aimed at helping students complete school successfully with a degree, says the university's associate provost for Enrollment Services.
"The typical student does not finish in four years, due to financial issues or family issues, or taking less than a full load some semesters," Bruce Bowen said in reference to bachelor's degrees.
Data from the 2002 freshman class indicates about 11 percent of students earned their four-year degrees in four years, Bowen said.
Within six years, 45 percent of 2002 enrollees had graduated. Within eight years, 54 percent of the original 2002 enrollees had their bachelor's degree.
For two-year associate degrees, Bowen said, 6 percent of students graduate in two years. By year three, 15 percent of the original enrollees have graduated, and by year four, 19 percent have graduated.
WSU's efforts to increase the number of graduates include:
- Adopting a full-length summer term so there are three complete semesters during the year.
"More flexibility by offering a full summer semester is working well for our students," Bowen said. "Summer will never be as large as the fall or spring semester, but it now has 45 percent of the attendance of fall or spring."
- Classes offered during day and evening hours, and options on the main campus, at the Davis campus in Layton and at WSU West Center in Roy.
- Online developmental math classes to help students prepare for college-level math, which leads to increased chances of successful university completion.
- Increasing the number of student jobs on campus, so students have less need to leave campus for work and vice versa.
- Activities of the Retention and Persistence to Graduation Committee, which Bowen chairs.
- An early-alert referral service to identify students with poor performance or attendance.
School advisers contact struggling students and refer them to campus services that may be able to help. Those services include financial and medical services, psychological services, the Women's Center and child care services.