Campus: SAN DIEGO -- November 2, 2006

San Diego State Graduation Rate Reaches New High

Six-year graduation rate rises to 57.3 percent, up from 38.1 percent four years ago

San Diego State University's graduation rate has reached a new high. The university reported today its six-year graduation rate for full-time freshmen who began in fall 2000 is 57.3 percent, up from 53 percent last year and from 38.1 percent four years earlier. The improved graduation rate equates to a difference of about 500 additional graduates this year - compared with just four years ago.

Even greater increases were seen in the six-year graduation rate for ethnically diverse students, which for full-time freshmen entering in fall 2000 is now at 53.2 percent, up from 45.7 percent the prior year.

These are the highest graduation rates since the university started tracking the data in 1986.

"These positive changes in graduation rates can be attributed primarily to the increasing academic preparation of our students and their perseverance," said Provost Nancy Marlin.

According to the most currently available national data, SDSU's six-year graduation rate of 57.3 percent is above the national average for large, public universities, which stood at 55.5 percent in 2005. The six-year graduation rate is the norm for national reporting.

Four-year graduation rates also have improved. Twenty-four percent of full-time freshmen who enrolled in fall 2002 completed their degree in four years, an increase from 19.6 percent last year, and from 9.8 percent just four years earlier.

SDSU President Stephen L. Weber also credited the higher graduation rates to the concerted efforts by the entire university to ensure students can get the classes they need each semester.

"This wonderful achievement of our students, faculty and staff represents a better return on investment for all Californians and for our students themselves," Weber said. "When students persist to graduation they enhance their own future and give themselves the opportunity to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in our society."

A host of university-wide initiatives such as the Freshman Success Program and Educational Opportunity Program, work with students from their first semester on campus to create an environment of support and provide direction throughout their college careers.

SDSU also has added a number of additional programs over the last year to bolster graduation rates, including: maps for all majors that lay out what courses are needed to graduate in four years; a new Student Academic Success Center that provides tutoring and individual learning plans; and the Center for Teaching and Learning, which helps undeclared students choose a major more quickly.

2006 graduate Christina Campbell said the guidance she received from faculty mentors helped her to graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology in five years.

"I had so much support from EOP counselors and professors who really helped me stay on course," said Campbell, who is now pursuing her doctorate degree in community psychology at Michigan State University. "Also, my network of peers in my major and the Black Student Science Organization encouraged and supported each other, and we all graduated in four to five years."

SDSU awarded 6,476 bachelor's degrees during the 2005-2006 academic year.

Contact: Gina Speciale, Media Relations, (619) 594-4563 office; (619) 813-3581 cell,

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