UIC’s Graduation Rate, Hispanic Enrollment Climb

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Graduation rates for students at the University of Illinois at Chicago continue to rise, while the student body remains highly diverse, with Latinos now accounting for over a quarter of the undergraduates — the threshold to qualify for designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Education Department.

The six-year graduation rate for the full-time freshmen who entered UIC in fall 2008 is 60 percent, up three percentage points from the year before. The five-year graduation rate for the new transfers who entered in fall 2009 also increased three points, to 77 percent.

Within the transfer group of 2009, African-American students registered the largest graduation-rate increase, up 18 percentage points, to 79 percent. Full-time Hispanic freshmen who entered in 2008 attained a 56 percent graduation rate, an increase of seven points.

Campus officials point to several factors that underlie a long-term trend to higher graduation rates at UIC.

As the most recent cohort was entering six years ago, “we began to take a holistic view of applicants and look at the factors most likely to indicate a student is ready for college and can do well,” said Emanuel Pollack, interim vice provost for undergraduate affairs.

Campus leaders are hoping to raise graduation rates even higher. Building on the improvement made over the last decade, a more recent Student Success Plan is “introducing new initiatives that promise to drive graduation rates even higher in coming years,” said UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.

New students now arrive with a better understanding of what to expect at UIC before they start classes, says Kevin Browne, vice provost for academic and enrollment services. Events such as the UIC Open House and deans’ receptions, along with campus tours and the new UIC Visitors Center, give prospective students a clearer picture of academic life at UIC.

The fall 2014 10th-day enrollment statistics show the total student population at UIC remained relatively unchanged with 27,563 students, a decrease of 26 from 2013′s record enrollment.

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