Q. What are the UHD graduation rates and how do they compare with other universities in Texas?
A commonly used measure of outcomes for universities is the 6-year graduation rate for First Time in College students. That means looking at the percentage of students who started college for the first time at UHD and graduated within 6 years. UHD’s rate for this is considered very low. This is definitely looked at by the state as an indicator of quality, and it is the graduation rate that students see when they’re looking for information about UHD, so the school’s ranking is definitely influenced by this.
As a side note, many, in fact most, of the students at UHD at any given time didn’t start college here. They’re called transfer students, and their graduation rate is much higher. However, this is not a widely used measure of accountability, so it is not considered to outweigh the other measure in the eyes of the state or the federal government.
You can find UHD’s graduation rate and also compare it to other universities using the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator at http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/. Here are steps that will get you useful information after you get to the site. It may look complicated, but if you take it step-by-step, you should get where you want to go.
1. Look at the search area on the left of the page. Select Texas from the list of states. To get universities comparable to UHD, under “Level of Award,” check “Bachelor’s.” Under “Institution Type,” check “Public” and “4-year.” Then click on “Show Results.”
2. You should get 44 results. Select some or all by clicking “Add to Favorites” by each one you want – the button is to the right. If you want to select institutions more comparable to UHD, some universities we are often compared to are Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, Angelo State University, Prairie View A&M University, UT-El Paso, Tarleton State University, West Texas A&M, and Texas Southern University. Be sure that you also click “Add to Favorites” for UHD.
3. You can only select 4 institutions to compare onscreen at a time, including UHD, so if you want to do more than that, you’ll have to do this several times. Once you have selected the group of institutions you want, look at the upper right corner for a link that says “My Favorites.” Mouse over it and you should get a box that has a list of your choices and includes a button that says “Compare.”
4. Click on “Check All” or if you’ve selected more than 4 institutions, check the ones you want. Click on the “Compare” button. You’ll get a new page which lists various factors for the institutions. Click on “Retention and Graduation Rates.” You’ll get a comparison for all the institutions.
You can get more detail specifically about UHD’s retention and graduation rates by looking at the UHD Fact Book from this page: http://www.uhd.edu/about/irp/book.html.
Another good place to compare universities in Texas is http://www.txhighereddata.org/Interactive/ReportCards/UniversityRC.cfm. It’s a “University Report Card” from the state of Texas.
For journal articles, there won’t be any on just UHD’s graduation rates. However, and this will also help answer your other question about why the rates are low and what can be done about it, you can find journal articles that talk about why these rates can be low in general and what tactics can be followed to remedy this.
To do this, use our Library Research Guide on Higher Education. Go to this page: http://library.uhd.edu/content.php?pid=121389&sid=1043981. Select a database under “Education Article Databases.” I’d especially recommend Academic Search Complete and ERIC.
In the first search box, type:
In the second search box, type:
Retention or graduation
You’ll get a long list of articles about this issue. You can add terms to your search to make it more specific, like “minority” or “strategy.” To locate the articles, click on links that say “full text,” or if this is not present, “Find this Article.” You won’t be able to find all the articles, but you’ll find many of them.
You may also want to look at our library research guide on College Student Success and Retention at http://library.uhd.edu/studentsuccess. It includes links to information on student success initiatives at UHD.
Finally, if you would like to contact someone at UHD about retention efforts, University College deals a lot with these. The Dean of University College is Chris Birchak, who can be emailed as firstname.lastname@example.org.