UH-Manoa graduation rates way up thanks to new programs, advisin - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH-Manoa graduation rates way up thanks to new programs, advising

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MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Graduation rates at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are up. Way up.

A new report shows that from 2010 to 2015, graduation rates for students who completed their bachelor's degree in four, five and six years all increased significantly. 

The four-year graduation rates went from 17.5 percent to 27.9 percent. Five-year graduation rates rose to 50.6 percent, from 43.4 percent, and six-year rates went from 55 percent to 57.1 percent.

"It was really exciting to get the data and see how much we've improved in the last few years," said Debora Halbert, UH-Manoa associate vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.

Halbert credits a three-pronged initiative for the success -- “high tech," “high touch,” and “student roadmap."

High tech refers to a new online resource developed on campus that allows students to better track their academic progress.

"Students can log on at any point and say, 'Oh I have to take these classes and I haven't taken these classes,' so it's a way of getting them to be more in tune to the kinds of requirements they need to take," Halbert said.

The tool also has benefits for the system.

"One of the things we can now do is say there are not enough seats left in this section of this class. If we want to make sure students can enroll we need to open another section,'” Halbert said.

Academic advisers are also now more accessible to students, and are better engaging them with mapping class loads.

"I was kind of all over the place. I met with my adviser and they kind of directed me more towards a degree that was my style and the classes I needed to take," said UH-Manoa senior Kathleen Parsons.

Finally, the school is providing four-year plans for students so they can understand what it will take to graduate on time.

Halbert said the plans allow students to identify majors earlier and ensure they're not taking unneeded classes.

The graduation rate trumps other UH four-year campuses.

UH-Hilo’s six-year graduation rate was 36.4 percent in 2013; the six-year graduation rate was 25 percent at UH-West Oahu.

Meanwhile, Hawaii Pacific University’s six-year graduation rate was 39.6 percent in 2013, the latest year for which statistics are available. The six-year graduation rate at Chaminade University was 38 percent.

For more information on the graduation rate increase, read UH-Manoa's report to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission.

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