The graduation rates of UC students came under more scrutiny Wednesday as Gov. Jerry Brown urged administrators and faculty to prod more undergraduates to earn a degree in four years, not six, reports today’s Los Angeles Times
“Brown recently proposed giving UC and Cal State more funds if they increase their graduation rates by 10% by 2017. UC leaders have said that is an admirable but unreasonable goal and that such issues as students’ outside employment and their desire to take double majors slow them down.
“The rates have improved in recent years, partly due to higher tuition pressuring students to finish on time, officials said at a UC regents meeting in Sacramento. About 60% of UC students who enter as freshmen now graduate in four years and about 83% in six years, according to a report from UC system Provost Aimee Dorr. Those are significantly better numbers than other public research universities but worse than top private campuses, she said.
“Brown, who attended part of the regents’ meeting, expressed exasperation with Dorr’s many statistics, what he implied was her lack of solid solutions and her lecture-like presentation. “This was a good first semester,” Brown said, with a touch of anti-academic humor. “But I want to get to the second semester” for answers.
“He urged UC to stop citing the six-year rate, which is widely used by the federal government and other schools. “For me the four year is the norm,” he said. And he asked UC to examine why various UC campuses have better rates than others and why a number show improvements in some years and not in others. He said he wanted to know if that might be caused by factors within UC or “in the outside world.”