FIU’s national award winning effort to boost graduation rates involves high-touch and high-tech initiatives all geared toward helping students finish college on time.
Requiring a major: All undergrads are now required to declare a major when they enroll at FIU, placing them immediately on a path to degree completion. The university no longer has an “undeclared major” option.
Hiring new advisors: FIU hired 69 new, master’s degree level academic advisors and placed them within the colleges to specialize in each of FIU’s 81 undergraduate majors. FIU now mirrors the national best practices with an student-advisor ratio of 380:1.
Creating a research team: The new Office of Retention and Graduation Success in Undergraduate Education is staffed with five behavioral scientists who research and analyze when and why students are not completing degrees.
Adding online tools: MyMajorMatch allows students to explore career options and majors prior to enrolling or when they change majors. My Major provides students with a step-by-step guide to course selection from day one to graduation. My_e-Advisor lets students know if they are staying on-track and keeps them connected to their academic advisor within their major.
Establishing accountability: All student and advisor activity is tracked and available in a centralized dashboard system that is available to senior academics and administrators. On any given day, a dean can see a wide range of statistics such as what percentage of eligible students have applied to graduate or which advisors have not responded to student emails.