Florida A&M University has seen a dramatic increase in its graduation rates as the institution continues to make improvements with six-year graduation rates for first time in college students (FTIC).
On a national level, historically black colleges and universities have a six-year graduate rate that ranges between 25-40 percent. FAMU’s FTIC six-year graduation rate has typically stood between 38-39 percent.
FAMU’s rate has increased to an all-time high of almost 48 percent.
For the 2015-2016 academic year, the FTIC six-year graduate rate reached its highest level of 47 percent.
Carl Goodman, associate provost for undergraduate education, believes the numbers showcase the university’s steady improvement.
“This was monumental on several fronts. One, largest improvement in FAMU’s history; two, based on Florida Board of Governors (State University System) performance based funding model, FAMU would have achieved for the first time in the institution’s history “10 excellence points” for reaching the threshold in this specific metric; three, possibly the highest six-year graduation rate for a public HBCU institution and four, for the first time FAMU has been above the national average (25-40 percent range for 6-year FTIC graduation rate),” Goodman said.
“The increased improvement in the six-year FTIC graduation rate is the result of a concerted effort by a special group of individuals. I refer to them as the ‘Reconnaissance Team’,” said Goodman.
The Reconnaissance Team is made up of different staff and departments from across the university.
There has also been a major increase in student-athlete graduation rates.
Morgan Culler, a former student-athlete and current grad student at FAMU, said her passion for sports helped her realize what she wanted to do upon finding her career after college.
“After a number of sports internships and experiences with working for different sports teams, I found my niche in marketing,” she said.
According to the Office of Institutional Research, the graduation rate of athletes has increased from 46.4 percent in 2015-2016 to 55.6 percent 2016-2017.
This has helped with the steadiness of the current graduation rate.
“Many students go into a field where they want money after graduation, but they don’t apply themselves during undergrad,” said Kiffani Zackery, a current MBA student at FAMU.
Zackery plans on becoming a marketing analyst and consultant after finishing her graduate studies. “I enjoy working with data and research to create a story. One of the most interesting things about it is being able to take what you learn and creating a product or service.”
Jontay Manigault, who is also a current MBA student, agreed with Zackery.
“Students don’t really apply themselves until it is too late and they don’t realize that the failure to do so not only affects them, but the university too.”
Manigault plans on starting a job in sales and marketing. He said he found interest in it throughout his collegiate career and while interning, he found that he truly enjoyed doing the job.