Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Student Affairs Programs Increase Graduation Persistence
Data from three Student Affairs departments shows consistent increases in first-year student retention and graduation rates when compared with University of Nebraska-Lincoln peers who did not participate in the program or service. Learn more about the programs from Student Support Services, Services for Students with Disabilities and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Part of the TRIO Programs, Student Support Services (SSS) offers an entire suite of services to students. Popular activities include academic tutoring, advising and specialized instruction with smaller class sizes for core courses. The SSS program aids undergraduates who are first-generation, low-income or have a disability.
The average first-year retention of students who qualify for SSS programs is below that of average students. However, with the help of SSS programs the achievement gap narrows. In comparison to the average Nebraska student retention rate of 83.9%, data from 2015 shows that SSS participant retention was only slightly less at 81.6%. Conversely, the retention rate for Nebraska students who are eligible for SSS programs but do not choose to participate is only 70%.
Similarly, SSS programs help this student cohort achieve a higher likelihood of graduating. The chart below demonstrates the consistent increase in the average graduation rates of students who chose to participate in SSS programs.
To ensure equal access is provided for curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students with disabilities, the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office coordinates and implements reasonable accommodations for students. In 2015 only 5% of students with disabilities who used SSD services left the University. Meanwhile, 15% of those who qualified for SSD services but did not use the services left the University. Thus, the SSD services retained students at a rate three times higher.
The impact of the SSD services remains strong in relation to graduation rates where 65% of students who used SSD services graduated within 6 years as opposed to 61% of those who did not use the service.
In contrast to the negative stereotypes that often accompany members of fraternities and sororities, this cohort of students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln continues to regularly outperform their peers in grade point averages, retention and graduation.
With a solid all-sorority grade point average of 3.422 and all-fraternity grade point average of 3.132 from Spring 2016, the nearly 4,000 Greek members lead the campus academically.
The following chart breaks down first-year retention by gender to demonstrate how each group of students performs in comparison to their peers. As visible by the top two bars of the graph below from 2015, the male retention rate tends to be lower than females. However, fraternity members are retained at a rate higher than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, sorority members raise the bar with a retention rate of 95 percent, 8 percentage points higher than the average female student.
Likewise, fraternity and sorority members have higher four- and six-year graduation rates than the average student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Each fraternity or sorority chapter has academic requirements, study hours, peer mentorship programs and workshops to help members achieve their highest scholastic potential. Some organizations also have scholarships available to members who model academic achievement and chapter involvement.