In 2011, The University of Texas at Austin embarked on an ambitious campaign to help undergraduate students succeed and graduate in four years. Studies show that students who graduate in four years are able to begin their careers or pursue graduate education sooner than some of their peers while incurring less student loan debt. When graduates take their next steps to changing the world, the university gains additional capacity for new students, increasing fiscal responsibility through efficiency.
To this end, a group of faculty, staff and students was tasked with developing and recommending strategies to increase the university’s four-year graduation rate from 51% to 70% by 2017. The task force offered more than 60 specific recommendations (PDF) that were delivered in February 2012.
Student Success Initiatives, now Undergraduate Equity and Excellence, was then created to develop programs to improve the educational experience for students and achieve those goals.
Making Data-Informed Decisions
Making data-informed decisions is critical to ensuring the enrollment of a high-quality student body that has the resolve to graduate in four years. To do so, Undergraduate Equity and Excellence uses more than a decade’s worth of comprehensive student data to help guide enrollment efforts. Predictive modeling helps to identify students who would gain the most from specialized support and makes it possible to connect students with the appropriate campus tools and resources before they even begin their Longhorn journeys.