Boise State University is one of five universities in the nation recognized for innovative efforts to help students stay in college and complete their degrees. Boise State’s fi rst-year retention rate is at 80 percent, the highest ever. The university’s overall graduation rate also increased by 10 percent in a decade.
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase degree completion, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced Boise State University as a finalist for its 2017 Project Degree Completion Award.
“We have worked diligently on many fronts to ensure student success at Boise State University. We are pleased that the APLU — one of the most respected organizations in American higher education — has taken notice,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra.
Boise State created a Freshman Success Task Force in 2004 to improve retention and degree completion. The task force’s 2005 recommendations led to overhaul of the core mathematics curricula, redesign of remedial English and placement exams for English composition courses, and the creation of a Learning Assistant Program to support students in targeted courses, as well as a variety of other initiatives. By 2015, these campus efforts helped increase overall retention by 15 percentage points, with increases of 21 percentage points for underrepresented students and 13 percentage points for Pell-eligible students. Over the same period, the university-wide graduation rate increased by 10 percentage points.
The award is part of Project Degree Completion — a joint initiative that APLU and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities developed in which nearly 500 public colleges and universities have pledged to collectively award 3.8 million more degrees by 2025.