Although Pacific University has a 90 percent four-year graduation rate, according to the Dean of Arts and Sciences Lisa Carstens, the faculty is working hard to get incoming freshman thinking about their college future early.
Pacific is integrating a new guarantee known as the Four-Year Guarantee Graduation Program that allows students to graduate in four years.
If the student follows certain guidelines such as maintaining a full-time enrollment for eight semesters, declaring a major by the end of your sophomore year and more. If a student is on the path of the guarantee and follows the guidelines, but does not graduate in four years, the school promises to pay for the extra classes the student would need to take to graduate.
“It is about education and making sure students know how to get that four year degree,” said Carstens. “The school’s hope is to help incoming and existing students, know the choices they are making. “
Starting fall 2016, the Four-Year Guarantee will be available to incoming freshman. The faculty at Pacific wants to make sure students understand and know what they need to do to graduate in four years.
“We’re always trying to help students graduate in the most timely ways as possible,” Carstens said.
Allowing students to plan out there next four years here will help the school and families know that the student is on track to graduate. In order to do that, the faculty has the students sign an agreement in the first two weeks of freshman year. Carstens said academic advisors will be informing students during first year seminar, along with great advising so they do not get behind in graduating.
Carstens said The school will make sure the classes students need are available, or make an effort to find classes that will fill the requirement.
“It is important that we as faculty publicize to our students that we expect students to complete their degree in four years,” said Carstens. “We want to make sure students are very aware of the choices they make and classes they choose.”
There are, however some students that do not qualify. The students that study abroad or accept medical waivers because of a sports injury are no longer eligible for the guarantee because they consciously decide to accept taking more time to finish their credits.
Carstens added that the guarantee is not aimed toward transfer students or students looking to do a three to two year program.
Another scenario that does not apply to the Four-Year Guarantee is if a college has students that decide to pick up another major or change their major so the school can no longer help them get out in four years.
Across the nation, four-year graduation rates are dropping fast. The Four-Year-Guarantee is Pacific’s way of addressing the issue and ensuring academic accountability and pay-off for students.