The University of Arkansas (U of A) announced on Tuesday that its graduation rates and one-year retention rate have reached record highs.
The six-year graduation rate is 68.5%, an increase of 2.3% from last year. The five-year rate increased from 66.1% to 67.2%. The four-year rate also increased by 1.4% to 53.3%. All three graduation rates set record highs for the university.
The one-year retention rate, which measures the percentage of freshmen students that return to the university after their first year, is now 84.7%. Last year’s retention rate was 84.2%.
“We are pleased to see our graduation and retention rates continue to climb as we implement new programs, scholarships and initiatives to ensure every student who enrolls at the U of A has the resources available to succeed,” provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs Charles Robinson said in a statement.
Graduation and retention rates among minority students also increased at the U of A. The six-year rate for African American students increased by 7.9% to 55.9% from last year, and the five year rate increased by 4.3% to 55.2%. The first-year retention rate for African American students increased from 76% to 82.9%, and the same rate for Hispanic students rose from 80.3% to 82.3%.
The U of A credits new and expanded programs for these improved graduation and retention rates. Their interim Student Success Center provides support to students that may be struggling academically, and its 360 Advising Program offers mentoring, tutoring, and coaching Programs like the University Perspectives, Freshman Business Connection and the Freshman Engineering Program give support to first-year students.
“U of A students have demonstrated tremendous grit this year as they continue to push forward with deep learning and achieving their goals,” said associate vice provost and director of student success Trevor Francis in a statement. “The entire academic support network—academic advisors and coaches, tutors, supplemental instruction leaders, and first-year programs—has done tremendous work with being intentional in their outreach and support of students. Our hope is to continue to build upon this strong forward momentum.”