July 29, 2014

Eastern Michigan University undertakes broad effort to improve student retention and graduation rates

Effort includes special initiatives to improve outcomes for single parents and men of color

by Geoff Larcom, Published December 10, 2013

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 YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is developing a comprehensive plan to enhance support for student retention and degree completion at the University.

The program, overseen by the office of the provost, is an extensive, campus-wide effort that seeks not only to improve student outcomes at Eastern but contribute nationally to understanding what support strategies work for two specialized groups: men of color and single parents.

The plan, which was presented to the EMU Board of Regents Tuesday, focuses on five areas that research has shown to have significant impact on degree completion and retention. The five areas are student preparedness, enrollment policies, financial aid policies and incentives, advising and student support and curriculum structure and delivery.

“There are few goals more central to our campus than supporting student persistence and successful and timely graduation,” said Kim Schatzel, EMU provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs. “While EMU can point to a number of past and ongoing efforts that have been successful in fostering student success, the time is right for us to develop a comprehensive, coordinated plan that focuses campus-wide energy, attention and resources around improving our performance in these areas.”

The plan also features special initiatives aimed at two demographic segments of Eastern’s student population: men of color and single parents.

“Research has shown that targeted programs addressing the unique circumstances/attributes of theses two groups realize extraordinary results,” Schatzel said. “Many on the Eastern campus already champion these two populations. We are hopeful that this process will not only yield results for our students, but will also move the university towards challenging itself to be recognized as a national thought-leader in these two special initiative areas.”

EMU is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse institutions in the Midwest. From 1992 to 2012, its Hispanic/Latino population has grown 126 percent, from 320 to 723, while African American students have increased 158 percent, from 1,822 to 4,717.

More details on the plan can be found at:

http://www.emich.edu/academic-student-affairs/retention_graduation/index.php

Geoff Larcom

glarcom@emich.edu

734.487.4400

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