At least that’s what I would have had as the headline to the story in mLive “Eastern Michigan University brings 6-year graduation rate to 38.4%.” A graduation rate up 1.2% over last year’s rate isn’t exactly “bringing up” that percentage. Really, the trend has remained pretty unchanged for a long time; to quote:
EMU’s graduation rate has been hovering in the mid- to high-30s for the past eight years.
- Fall 2007: 38.4%
- Fall 2006: 37.19%
- Fall 2005: 39.55%
- Fall 2004: 37.7%
- Fall 2003: 39.73%
- Fall 2002: 35.68%
- Fall 2001: 38.84%
- Fall 2000: 39.9%
EMU has one of the worst graduation rates of Michigan’s 15 public universities. In 2011 the average six-year graduation rate among all 15 schools was 60.8 percent, according to the most recent data on Open Michigan.
Two quick thoughts on this. First, there are a TON of problems with graduation rate as calculated by Federal rules, including the fact that transfer students do not figure into this calculation at all– and we have a lot of transfer students.
But perhaps more important, I think it would be useful for the powers at be at EMU to find out where are graduation rates are at comparable institutions in the state– I’m thinking WMU, CMU, NMU, Wayne State, maybe Ferris– and what they’re doing differently from us to get higher graduation rates. It would be a hell of a lot more productive than floating strawmen proposals to turn the place into a business/finishing school.