SDSU graduation rate growth proves advancements made over the past few years

by Cassidy McCombs, Senior Staff Writer

Many seniors have their eyes locked on graduation, juniors are debating the final planning stages of their last year and other San Diego State students are continuing to build their resumes with internships and work experience as the semester comes to a close. As semesters go on, summers result in less downtime and become a period of growth between academic calendars. While students still look forward to a majority of downtime, others seem to cultivate busier summers than semesters. Despite what anyone ends up doing this summer, no one has more to reflect on than graduating seniors.

While some seniors are not graduating this year, all are reaching a point of transition in their lives. SDSU boasts a continual rise in graduation rates, according to the SDSU NewsCenter. New data from SDSU states that as of 2017, more than 73 percent of first-time incoming freshman in 2011 graduated in six years or less, and 50 percent of transfer students in 2015 graduated within two years. This is an impressive improvement from last year’s statistics. SDSU’s investment in student success has shown through their achievement of providing students a timely education. This growing graduation rate reflects positively both on the university and on graduating seniors.

California State University is the nation’s largest university system according to an Public Policy Institute of California. CSU’s 23 campuses educate an ethnically diverse population of about 460,000 annually at a lower cost to students and the state. This puts CSU schools in a unique position of providing opportunity to their underrepresented demographics of students. By having SDSU’s graduation rates increase, the university both represents an improvement for the CSU system as a whole and for own our efforts to advocate an affordable education for diverse populations.

Seniors this year, and those moving forward, represent alumni from a university that cultivates a curriculum of success for their students. Graduation rates allow more students to leave with an education to better impact their future. While this new data is a success, SDSU and CSU are not done improving graduation rates. Continuing to increase the rate will only put SDSU in a more competitive standing for students facing socioeconomic, racial and gender struggles than other universities around San Diego.

University of California’s and private schools do not have the same diverse population of students that CSU has. College graduates are an asset to San Diego and students with degrees generally have better salaries and health outcomes, making graduates a popular population in the economy. By increasing SDSU’s graduation rate, college graduates in San Diego will be of a more diverse population, capable of making a bigger impact in other underrepresented groups in San Diego. This not only allows San Diego to grow in diversity, but will increase the amount of lower income students able to receive a much deserved and affordable higher education.

So while SDSU faces other groundbreaking changes in the near future — a change of mascot, campus expansion and/or new stances to provide for the DREAM and international students, SDSU also faces a period of growth as their graduation rate increases and their alumni become more diverse. SDSU is not finished in its efforts, but it does deserve to be praised by its students as graduation comes closer.