Students focus on four-year graduation rate

Students celebrate during graduation
Photo courtesy

In 2016 and 2017, Florida A&M was ranked No. 1 among the nation’s public HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report.

In  2018 it was toppled by North Carolina A&T State University in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2019 guidebook.

Students at Florida A&M have been living in a state of bliss in terms of the university’s rankings in recent years. However, the majority of the student body does not know the true rankings of the university because they are only told about the HBCU rankings.

On a national level FAMU’s six–year graduation rate stands at almost 48 percent for 2018. Meanwhile, the four-year graduation rate has slowly increased from 12 percent in 2013 to about 24 percent.

Kiara Turner, a senior information technology major, said, “Although not all of our professors may not be up to par, we as students can utilize the scholarship, program and tutoring recourses offered on campus so that way we can push each other to graduate in those four years.”

Both faculty and students play a role in FAMU’s poor overall graduation rate.

“Initially, I was stunned to hear the four- and six–year graduation rate but soon after being told I could not be surprised about the low percentage rate. As a student body, we can work together to inform fellow students about events and tools to help us all succeed,” Turner said.

Nyeja Warner, a graduate of SJGC, almost did not graduate during the four–year track during her time at FAMU.

“Due to misguided advising I almost was not able to graduate on time, even after walking across the stage. I believe if students begin to speak up about poor advising or when they receive bad service from a faculty member it can start a chain reaction to create congruency with better service at the university,” said Warner.

Programs provided by the university like iRattler, iStrike and emails received from the university include resources like scholarship, internship, career and tutoring opportunities that help students during their academic career at the institution.

Warner said, “If the university included iRattler trainings for incoming students and transfers it would help our time at the university run more smoothly because a lot of students are first generation college students and don’t know how college works at all. In that same regard, students again have to speak up about how they would like to be helped during their journey at FAMU.”

Students from all over campus have heard about the low graduation rate and are trying to do their part to implement change.

Ennis McCorvey IV, a peer mentor in the FAMU First Year Experience Program, is doing his duty in order to help incoming freshman stay on track to graduate in four years.

“The best thing to do to help incoming freshmen is to just listen and respond with the intent to help them succeed with whatever they need,” McCorvey said.

In efforts to keep freshmen informed about valuable information and events that would benefit their education, McCorvey said, “We encourage them and not force them to attend anything that helps them fulfill their course of action and make sure that the major are pursuing what is right for them.”