This strategy aligns with CCG’s 15-to-Finish initiative and meeting this high-impact goal will increase the institution’s on-time graduation rate and reduce the student financial obligation
Beginning fall 2014, Academic Support Counselors began registering new students before their scheduled orientation session. Most of the students are registered for 15+ hours. Academic advisors review the schedules and make adjustments as appropriate. Advisors have begun advising students that 15 hours per semester is a full-time load as opposed to 12 hours, and that 15+ hours per semester are required to graduate on time.
Progress can be seen in the data. In Fall of 2014, 389 of 863 new freshmen (45%) were registered for 15 or more credit hours. Also, 1027 (29.72%) of all enrolled students fall 2014 were enrolled in 15+ hours. For Fall 2015, 410 of 849 new freshmen (48%) were registered for 15 or more credit hours while 1082 (31.88%) of all enrolled students for fall 2015 were enrolled in 15+ hours.
The Academic Support Counselors continue to pre-register new students before each scheduled orientation session. The five-year stretch goal is to have 75% of all full-time new students registered for 15 credit hours by 2021. The importance of 15-to-finish has been incorporated into new faculty advisor training each Fall and financial aid counselors are now encouraging students to take 15 hours a semester to graduate on time. In addition, marketing materials are sent to all students and their families showing the financial benefit of graduating on-time.
Percentage of the student body enrolled in 15+ hours, completing 30 hours within first year, and graduating in 2 years for an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in 4 years.
Among fall 2012 cohort, 96 (64.86%) earned an associate degree in 2 years.
Among fall 2010 cohort, 37 (62.71%) earned a bachelor’s degree in 4 years.
Interim Measures of Progress:
1027 (29.72%) of enrolled students fall 2014 were enrolled in 15+ hours; that was an increase from 736 (21.7%) in fall 2013; 389 (45%) of enrolled new freshmen were enrolled in 15+ hours.
Only 176 (18.16%) of the fall 2014 cohort successfully completed 30+ hours during the 2014-15 academic year; however, that was an increase from 163 (15.64%) the previous year.
1082 (31.88%) of enrolled students fall 2015 were enrolled in 15+ hours, an increase from fall 2014 of 5.37%. 410 (48%) of enrolled new freshmen were enrolled in 15+ hours. Currently, ABAC is still on track to meet the target projection of 35% of enrolled students to be enrolled in 15+ hours by Fall 2016.
254 (23.67%) of the fall 2015 cohort successfully completed 30+ hours during the 2015-2016 academic year. This is an increase of 44.3% from the 2014 cohort. The projected target given for the 2014 CCG plan update was 20% for the fall 2015 cohort.
71 associate-degree-seeking students from the fall 2014 graduated on-time in 2 years. This goal is 4% below our projected target of 74 on time graduates from the fall 2014 cohort.
53 baccalaureate-degree-seeking students from the fall 2012 cohort graduated on-time in 4 years. This goal is 32.5% over our projected target of 40 on time baccalaureate graduates from the fall 2014 cohort.
Measures of Success:
Increase the number and percentage of students enrolled in 15+ hours each semester.
Projected target: 35% of fall 2016 cohort will enroll in 15+ hours.
Increase the number and percentage of first-year students successfully completing 30+ hours of collegiate credit hours in their first academic year.
Projected target: 25% of the fall 2016 cohort of first-year students will successfully complete 30+ collegiate credit hours in their first academic year.
Increase the number of students who earn an associate degree in 2 years or a bachelor’s degree in 4 years.
Projected target: 75 associate-degree-seeking students from the fall 2015 cohort will graduate in 2 years, and 60 baccalaureate-degree-seeking students from the fall 2013 cohort will graduate in 4 years.
Cultural changes are difficult to overcome; however, ABAC is starting to see significant gains with each fall’s new student cohort taking 15+ hours. Sending out timely communication, pre-registering students before their orientation, discussing 15-to-finish with financial aid counselors, and training new faculty advisors on the importance of 15 credit hours has pushed our student body toward taking 15 hours each semester. The following are barriers/obstacles that ABAC must consider as we move forward with this strategy:
- Increasing the number of upperclassmen who take 15+ hours a semester
- Starting Fall 2016 targeted communication will go out to upperclassmen explaining the benefit of taking 15 hours and the financial impact. Also, faculty advisors will be sent information on encouraging their advisees to continue with 15 hours.
- Providing enough support services to give each student the opportunity to successfully complete 15 hours each semester.
These challenges are addressed in other high impact strategies. Services created or enhanced include Early Alert, milestone reports, and timely and targeted advising intervention.