-- New Report Highlights 15 Public Colleges and Universities Nationwide
for Outstanding Student Retention and Graduation Rates --
FLUSHING, NY, APRIL 30, 2010 – Queens College has been profiled in a major new report that highlights 15 public four-year colleges and universities across the nation for their outstanding student retention and graduation rates. Recently released by the nonprofit Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the report cites these colleges as outperforming other similar institutions in helping students complete their degrees while also providing a quality education.
The report, Promoting a Culture of Student Success: How Colleges and Universities Can Improve Degree Completion, focuses on colleges who are “models of practices and strategies that work.” “These 15 institutions are helping many students complete college degrees who otherwise often do not graduate on time,” said Cheryl Blanco, an SREB vice president who co-wrote and researched the report. “The strategies they’re using can be adopted by other colleges and universities, and will guide state policy decisions that will improve degree completion across the nation.”
The report identifies several keystones for QC’s success, including a strong campus culture exemplified by an attentive leadership and a collaborative environment that focuses on serving student needs through targeted academic programs and support services. These services help build bonds among faculty, staff and students.
“One of the keys to the retention and graduation success of our students is the strong sense of community here at QC,” says Joseph Bertolino, vice president for student affairs. “In many ways, the college is a home away from home, offering a wide range of educational, social and cultural programs and activities that foster an interactive learning environment that engages our students. They also feel valued by a caring, supportive staff who provide guidance and counsel on a daily basis.”
Adds Laura Silverman, director of the college’s Academic Advising Center: “The academic advising and support services we offer are at the heart of our mission. We view them as valuable tools that enhance students’ overall undergraduate experience and ultimately help provide a liberal arts education of lasting value.”
According to the SREB report, despite rising college enrollment, fewer than one-third of full-time, first-year students in four-year public institutions graduate in four years. Most students who enter college as first-time, full-time freshmen take at least six years to earn a bachelor’s degree—and only 55 percent graduate in that time span. The research also shows that students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds or with low admission tests scores are even less likely to complete their degrees than their classmates.
Based in Atlanta, the SREB was created in 1948 by southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. In addition, U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges (2010) ranks QC among the top 10 public universities in its category “Best Universities—Master’s (North).” The college opened its first residence hall in August 2009. More info on Queens College at www.qc.cuny.edu .