4. Increase Student Retention and Graduation Rates for Students of Color

Persistence and degree completion are of paramount importance in today’s competitive job market. The university is committed to developing a plan with annual measurable goals to increase retention and graduation rates among students of color.

Status: Launched

3/25/22 Update:

  • Status updated to Launched.
  • Student Success Program Inventory:
    • Shared data and invited community feedback at KSUnite in November 2021.
    • Inventory data have been shared with the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging and is being added to a searchable database for students, faculty and advisors.
  • Student Success Initiatives:
    • To address the high DFW rates in BIOL 198 for students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education, a quasi-experimental project was launched using a psychological intervention and embedded tutoring to improve student outcomes. This three-year project began in the fall of 2021.
    • As part of our ongoing commitment to first-generation college students, the Office of Student Success is piloting a care network approach to connect first-generation K-State students to meaningful advising and access to high-impact practices. K-State is a First-gen Forward Advisory Institution with NASPA. A First-generation Steering Committee is guiding efforts to integrate and embed our first-generation student success efforts across the university.
    • We disaggregated re-enrollment data by race/ethnicity and prompted academic advisors to reach out to students who have not re-enrolled despite being eligible. This initiative promotes student persistence.
    • A project intended to create a coherent portfolio of opportunities for all underrepresented minority (URM) students at K-State received Strategic Investment Fund support for 2022-23 and 2023-24. The vision is to offer students enrichment and support throughout their K-State experience, creating a community of connection that is critical to promoting belonging.
  • Data Tracking:
    • The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has worked with Student Success to develop reporting and monitoring tools to support student success efforts:
      • A first-gen student data dashboard
      • Student re-enrollment tracking report
      • Graduate student milestone tracking
      • Analytical tool for the Kansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KS-LSAMP) project

4/21/21 Update:

  • Read the K-State Today update: Establishing Clear Performance Goals to Close Gaps in Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates.
  • The team proposed measurable retention and graduation metrics and goals to the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Leadership team. These goals were adopted as part of an overall expansion of institutional retention and graduation targets for increasing student success and closing historical equity gaps across student populations, including students of color.
  • The action team has also completed gathering information on 70 programs, organizations and initiatives as part of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Student Success Program Inventory and is currently examining the student outcomes of these programs.

Benchmarking and Metrics

  • View the expanded University Performance Goals for Retention and Graduate Rates, which includes current retention/graduation rates, short-term goals by 2025 and intermediate goals by 2030.
    • These university goals are part of the Strategic Enrollment Management initiative under K-State 2025.
    • Metrics include first and second year freshman retention rates, four-year and six-year freshman graduation rates, and a transfer student retention and graduation rate.
    • Goals are set across student populations — by all freshmen, race and ethnicity, international, gender, Pell recipients, and first-generation students.

Accountable Administrators and Action Team

This initiative is led by a core leadership team. The lead administrator identified below is responsible for initiating and reporting on the progress of the initiative overall.

Core leadership team

  • Thomas Lane, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, lead administrator
  • Charles Taber, Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Debbie Mercer, Dean, College of Education
  • Jeannie Brown Leonard, Vice Provost for Student Success
  • Bin Ning, Associate Provost, Institutional Research
  • Kimathi Choma, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • LaVerne Bitsi-Baldwin, Director, Multicultural Engineering Program, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering
  • Karen Goos, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
  • Daijah Jones, Junior, Psychology
  • Jordan Peyton, Senior, Biological Systems Engineering
  • Chloe Wurst, Graduate Student, PhD Leadership in Academic Advising