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Degree Completion & Retention Plan

DCR Plan

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Factor 2: Enrollment Policies

Enrollment policies play a critical role in retention and degree completion as they set the tone in how easy or difficult the student will find navigating the system in working toward their degree.  Communication about policies and key graduation requirements is absolutely essential for students to seamlessly progress toward graduation.  In addition, who we recruit and how we support those students also play critical roles in retention and degree completion.  It is essential we have policies which maintain standards, yet don't unnecessarily burden students in order to positively impact our retention and degree completion rates.

Recommended Key Actions:

1. Evaluate Current Recruiting Strategies:  The committee recommends doing an evaluation of current recruiting practices.  Review should include:

  • Possible increases in the recruitment/enrollment of international students as they tend to have higher (and more timely) graduation rates, and also tend to live on campus.
  • Consider removing the second year requirement from this campus residency policy and keeping only the first year requirement.  This is a policy which hasn't been enforced for many years and may be deterring the interest of potential students/parents.
  • Increasing services for students with transfer credit as they apply/enroll at EMU, possibly through creation of a transfer center.  Have Transfer Center take the lead on providing clear information about transfer equivalencies (including those scheduled to occur) and ensure we clearly identify those transfer courses which meet general education requirements or are direct equivalents to EMU courses.  In addition, this center could assist with the consolidation of international and domestic tabulation of credit.
  • Explore ways to enhance relationships with key community colleges by allowing shared access to online portals to expedite the admission and advising processes.

2. Develop a comprehensive institutional approach to advising students returning to EMU after dismissals.

  • Currently students may return an unlimited number of times (by policy).  EMU should study the possibility of placing a limit on the number of returns students may make following dismissal for academic reasons.
  • Develop a range of plans students must follow if they reach academic probation status in order to return to good standing.

3. Conduct a comprehensive review of advising policies with specific consideration given to implementation of additional policies consistent with best practices.

  • Full time student earns less than 24 hours in a year.
  • Student is on academic probation (before registering for the next semester).
  • Students who have earned more than 150 credits do not have a degree (before registering for the next semester).
  • Students who change their major two or more times in a single semester (either with an academic advisor or career coach– before the change of major form is processed).

4. Clarifying graduation clearance process for students with goal of encouraging increased contact with advisors.
Students should only receive graduation clearance from Records and Registration after registering for their last course(s). Clearance/audit processes are not substitutes for advising which is more focused on individual needs and problem solving.

5. Require students declare a major by the beginning of junior year. EMU should evaluate the adoption of a policy requiring students to declare a major by the beginning of their third year of full time attendance (or equivalent credit hour total).  Advising and other support services are most effective when targeted more precisely in this regard.

6. Conduct a curricular review to ensure that all programs are offered in a way that allows for 4-year graduation.

Degree Completion & Retention Plan, Academic & Student Affairs, 106 Welch Hall 734.487.3200