A recent analysis by Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY ranks Kent State University 14th on the â€œBest Performing National Universities: Actual versus Predicted Institutional Graduates Ratesâ€ 2011 list. It indicates that Kent Stateâ€™s actual graduation rate of 50 percent is 10 points higher than what would be expected given the preparedness of its students.
â€œThis analysis confirms that we are doing an excellent job in helping our students succeed,â€ said Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton. â€œOur students are outperforming their predicted graduation rate, and itâ€™s important to highlight that Kent Stateâ€™s graduation rate ranks highest among public universities in Northeast Ohio.â€
The research letterâ€™s analysis uses data on actual graduation rates for 197 national universities and 189 national liberal arts colleges collected by U.S. News for its 2011 Best Colleges rankings. U.S. News calculates an expected graduation rate based on the characteristics of the incoming freshmen along with institutional data. Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY re-ranks the lists based on the difference between actual and predicted six-year institutional graduation rates.
â€œThe analysis done by Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY shows that the reported graduation rate does not provide a complete picture and does not reflect the efforts put forth by institutions and the varying levels of preparedness of the students enrolled,â€ Lefton said. â€œThe expected graduation rate compared to the actual graduation rate does take into account these varying factors.â€
There are several factors that affect graduation rates. It is six-year data that tracks students at one single institution. If a student transfers and graduates from another college, that student does not count in either institutionâ€™s graduation rates. Some students are more prepared for college, and other students may take time off from their studies for a variety of reasons. In addition, many institutions, including Kent State, have seen an increase in non-traditional students who complete a degree but not in the six-year time frame.
An example of how Kent State is dedicated to the success of its students is the introduction of the Kent State University Math Emporium, a state-of-the-art learning center launching this fall. Basic math skills are an essential foundation for many courses of study and necessary for studentsâ€™ overall academic success in college. The university has developed a specialized learning experience to equip students with the mathematical knowledge they will need on their path to graduation. At the Math Emporium, which will be located on the second floor of the University Library, students will learn through an innovative, engaging and easy-to-use program designed to help them become comfortable and proficient in basic mathematics.
Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY is a monthly research letter devoted to analysis and reporting on the demographics, sociology, history, politics and economics of educational opportunity after high school. For more information about Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY, visit www.postsecondary.org.
For more information about Kent Stateâ€™s institutional data, visit the universityâ€™s Research, Planning and Institutional Effective (RPIE) office online at www.kent.edu/rpie.
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Two Kent State University graduates celebrate following their commencement ceremony. Kent State ranks 14th on the â€œBest Performing National Universities: Actual versus Predicted Institutional Graduates Ratesâ€ 2011 list.
Emily Vincent, email@example.com, 330-672-8595