No one in Florida A&M’s Grand Ballroom will have ‘swagger’ like the academic adviserscome April 1-2.FAMU’s Recruitment and Retention Center will be hosting a change of major and academicadvisement fair and will implement a new initiative called S.W.A.A.G.Director of Retention William Hudson, Jr. said S.W.A.G.G. stands for Students Who AreAdvised to Graduate.“The SWAAG initiative is basically using the terminology that students use to try to create adifferent type of environment, a different feel for advising and to gain students confidencethat all of our advisers know what they’re doing,” Hudson said. “They not only have swag,they know SWAAG.”Hudson said FAMU President James Ammons and Provost Cynthia Hughes-Harris createdS.W.A.A.G. to help improve retention and graduation rates.According to FAMU Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, six-year graduationrate has jumped from a five-year low of 39 percent for the class of 2007 to 41 percentfor 2009.“We want students to graduate in four years,” Williams said. “We know their are issues thatcome about, particularly for our population of students, but if at all possible, we want ourstudent to graduate in four years and improve on the retention, progression and graduation
According to FAMU Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, six-year graduation rate has jumped from a fi ve-year low of 39 percent for the classof 2007 to 41 percent for 2009.“We want students to graduate in four years,” Williams said. “We know their are issues that come about, particularly for our population of students, but if at all possible, we want our student to graduate in four years and improve on the retention, progression andgraduation rates here at the university.”A change in major can cause a student to stay longer than the required four years for a bachelor’s degree.Hudson mentioned other reasons why students are not graduating on time.“They may have fi nancial issues; a lot of students and a lot of families are suffering because of this economic downfall and have been for previous years,” Hudsonsaid. “Some of our students may stop out and have towork a semester or a year and then comeback and takeclasses.”Hudson said he is focusing on improving the advisement quality for students.“We know in the past, students have had some issue with advising and getting correctly advised to move forward in their majors and so we changed the structure of the fi rst and second-year advising to where the advisers are located in their departments,” Hudson said.Hudson added that in previous years, advisers were stationed only in the general studies building, GRE, but now they have made them a part of the departmental area.“…They could interact with all school and colleges about the changes that happen within the majors and curriculums and so that students can be well aware of the classes they need to take to progress to their majors and graduate in four years,” Hudson said.Hudson said his passion to help students find their field of study stems from him having a similar problem when he was a student at FAMU.“I didn’t know what I wanted to major in so for those students who don’t know, what other students who don’t know, what other option do they have?” Hudson said.