Buff State receives funding to raise retention, graduation rates

I'Jaz Eberhardt, Associate News Editor

SUNY Buffalo State is looking to improve retention and graduation rates through the help of grants.

According to Provost Melanie Perreault, the college has received about $3 million in funding to implement new positions and programs that will aid students in their academic lives.

“One of the things we’ve been really interested in doing is not just increasing our retention upfront, because that’s all well and good and it’s really important to do, but the reason students are here is to graduate,” Perreault said.

She said the college plans to hire completion coaches, who, unlike current academic advisors, will work with students starting at admissions with the exclusive goal of guiding them toward graduation.  Data analysts will also be brought in to collect retention and completion data to aid in the continued efforts to keep students at the college.

This news comes in light of recent data published by collegefactual.com that projects SUNY Buffalo State’s retention at only 68 percent; lower than both the national and state averages.

Perreault expressed the college’s desire to meet the academic needs of students and to provide them a place to lay the foundation for their futures.

“One of my general notions is that we have a moral commitment to our students,” she said, “that any student that we admit to our university, we should do everything within our power to see that they graduate from our university.”

Some students, however, decide to leave before that day comes. Andre Cruz is a student who said many of his friends have left the college and that he, too, plans to matriculate to another university. He reacted to the findings from College Factual.

“I just feel like it’s bad for the school,” he said. “It’s a bad image for the school.”

As of now, there is no word on when the retention initiatives will begin to take effect.

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