Leading the way on graduation rate

Timely graduation is not just a good idea: It’s achievable.

Chico State has always been one of the top California State Universities in graduating students in a timely fashion. Now the campus has a bold new initiative: Making it possible for most freshmen to graduate in four years and most transfers to graduate in two years.

“Chico State is well known for our focus on student success,” said Dean of Undergraduate Education Bill Loker, mentioning Chico State’s award-winning student teams and the strong job placement and earnings by graduates. “This initiative will let people know our campus aspires to having the best graduation rate in the CSU.”

The CSU uses a six-year graduation rate to compare its campuses, and Chico State graduates 68 percent of its students in that timeframe, ranking third among 23 campuses. The average time to obtain a degree for Chico State freshmen is 4.7 years, and the campus wants to improve that mark.

It may go without saying, but students can reap huge benefits by graduating sooner rather than later. College fees, books, room and board can cost about $20,000 a year, so the savings are considerable. Not only that, but starting a career a year or two earlier can make a big difference for financial and professional reasons.

For some freshmen and transfers, graduating in four years or two years isn’t feasible. They may need to work part time, or they may be in a major, like electrical engineering, that has a higher unit requirement. But Chico State is enhancing its registration and advising processes so that other students can do it.

With Aim for 4 and Take 2, Chico State is letting students know timely graduation is not just a good idea: It’s achievable.