SDSU labeled ‘underrated’ college

Monica Linzmeier, Editor in Chief

by Emely Navarro, Staff Writer

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Business Insider has ranked San Diego State one of “The 50 Most Underrated Colleges in America” for the 2015 year.

The university was ranked No. 38 last month, partly because SDSU is the only college in California to see graduation rates rise by more than 10 percent in the past decade, according to the Business Insider.

The university uses certain tools, such as the Major Academic Plans function on Blackboard, to help students follow and enroll in courses that provide foundational academic work.

SDSU also mandates that all freshmen not living in the local San Diego area live on campus in a dorm.

“Studies have shown that students who live on campus are more likely to continue on to their second year, are less likely to go on academic probation, and are more likely to graduate at a faster pace than students who do not live on campus,” SDSU President Elliot Hirshman said.

Some dorms have Residential Learning Communities that link students’ living environment with certain academic experiences, giving them more exposure to their field and opening up more networking opportunities.

“Residents of the communities report higher grade point averages, higher retention rates to their sophomore year, a greater likelihood to graduate in four years and an overall better college experience,” Hirshman said.

Aside from what the university is doing overall to increase graduation ratings, each college has certain methods of improving the success rate of their students.

“The School of Nursing recently implemented a new curriculum that will ensure four-year graduation rates,” Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Health and Human Services Donna Daly said. “Our other disciplines work closely to identify and remove barriers to four-year graduate rates.”

The College of Health and Human Services endorses a strength-based, student-centered model in the advising and mentoring it provides. The college also use a “data-driven” approach for student outreach efforts and utilizes university alerts to track students who are falling behind to provide those students appropriate coaching and mentoring.

In the 2013-14 academic year, SDSU awarded 6,563 Bachelor degrees, an increase from the 6,109 Bachelor degrees given out in the 2012-13 academic year, according to SDSU’s Analytic Studies and Institutional Research page.

The four-year graduation rates have increased by ethnicities at least 2 percent over the past six years, as shown on SDSU’s Full-Time First-Time Freshman Graduation Rates by Ethnicity page. The four-year graduation rate for Hispanic students increased from 22.7 percent in 2004 to 24.3 percent in the fall 2010 semester. The students of color four-year graduation rates went up from 24.1 percent to 26 percent between 2004 to 2010. The white graduation rate went from 34.2 percent to 42.6 percent over the same six-year period. Figures up until 2010 were the latest available online.

Still, on average a higher percentage of students take five years to graduate, as listed on the SDSU Full-Time First-Time Freshman Graduation Rates by Ethnicity page. As of 2010, 51.4 percent of Hispanics, 51.5 percent of students of color and 67.2 percent of whites take five years to graduate.

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