The success of students at SUNY has always been a strong point of our colleges and universities. After all, degree completion is the key reason students come to college. And schools need to ensure that completion is part of the agenda in order to provide the value students seek in the campus experience and prepare them for their futures.
Currently, 45 percent of adult living in New York hold a post-secondary degree of some kind. More than half don’t. But by 2020, 70 percent of all the jobs in New York State will require one. The workforce is advancing, and new skills are needed among all employees to keep us moving forward in this 21st century economy.
So back in 2015 at the State Of The University address, Chancellor Zimpher made a commitment to increase degrees awarded at SUNY from 93,000 to 150,000 annually to help meet those needs within New York. These degrees would help to close the degree attainment gap among working age adults in the state and help our upward trajectory continue.
Now in 2016, we are lucky to see that the path to success is indeed set. At a SUNY’s presidents’ meeting, it was announced that in year one of this Completion Agenda, degrees awarded at SUNY increased by 3,000. And we want to share these stories with all of New York to showcase the innovative and effective things our SUNY campuses are doing to help students achieve and join the 21st century economy as successful graduates. Using #SUNYCompletes all over social media, us and our 64 campuses will be sharing the success that is coming from our campuses throughout this first year of the SUNY Completion Agenda.
To get us started, what exactly are our campuses doing? Here’s a few highlight examples.
- Finish in 4: The University at Buffalo launched Finish in 4 in 2012, with 63 percent of the first enrollees graduating this semester, far exceeding the national average of 34 percent for public institutions. Finish in 4 has been replicated by colleges and universities throughout SUNY, including SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia, and SUNY Potsdam, with nearly a dozen others in the planning stages. In addition, the SUNY Oswego Guarantee has provided students a completion promise since 1998 and a Return on Investment enhancement since 2013.
- Completion Coaches: Westchester Community College recently hired eight Completion Coaches to connect with individual students and ensure they are on track to meet their academic and career goals, with their primary focus on helping students earn their degree. They have seen approximately 500 students.
- Micro Credentials: Following the broad success of Stony Brook University’s badging initiative and growing demand by students in New York and nationally for micro credentials, SUNY formed a system-wide credentialing task force to ensure that micro credentials across SUNY are meaningful, high-quality, and faculty-approved.
- Adirondack Completes: Launched in 2014-15, Adirondack Completes helps past students complete their outstanding degree requirements or receive reverse-transfer credit from further study. This innovative initiative led to the largest graduating class in SUNY Adirondack‘s history. The Class of 2015 represented a 41 percent increase in graduates and an 8 percent increase in the college’s graduation rate, a trend that continued in 2016, with the second-largest class.
Follow along with us on social media with #SUNYCompletes as we continue to share the things happening across our 64 campuses that are increasing student completion to new levels.