Release Date: January 23, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi today applauded SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s plan to introduce best practices that will give current students and future graduates from across the entire SUNY system higher degrees of access, completion and success.
At her fifth annual State of the University address in Albany today, Zimpher highlighted a number of initiatives that she said deserve further investment in order to expand them to all SUNY campuses. These initiatives are based on best practices from colleges and universities across the SUNY system.
One of these initiatives, UB’s Finish in 4 program, provides students with a roadmap to on-time graduation. Since Finish in 4 was started in 2012, 49 percent of UB’s freshmen have enrolled in the program. The program is an important part of the university’s commitment to improving student retention and graduation rates.
“Ensuring that UB students have the resources and support they need to graduate in a timely way has long been a priority for UB and a key element of UB’s academic mission as a public research university,” Tripathi said.
“Over the past 10 years, I’m happy to say our graduation rates have been steadily improving as a result of these efforts, and our four-year graduation rates well exceed the national average. Our Finish in 4 program, which we’ve been able to implement with NYSUNY 2020 resources, has been a key contributor. Our UB students are participating enthusiastically, and we are seeing measurable impact in academic success.”
In the first three years of Finish in 4, participating UB students have shown an increase in GPA, class standing and first-to-second-year retention, Tripathi said.
“I know some of our fellow SUNY institutions have experienced similar success in improving student outcomes while reducing the overall costs of higher education, and I am delighted to see Chancellor Zimpher championing these efforts across the SUNY system.
“The chancellor said it exactly right — education is the single best investment our society can make. I applaud her for her leadership in ensuring our current and future SUNY students have access to a world-class education.”
To launch Finish in 4, UB invested in course capacity, adding more than 300 new course sections, 10,000 new course seats, 30,000 more contact hours, 150 more instructors and 40 more teaching assistants.
Because the first cohort of Finish in 4 students will not graduate until 2016, it is too early to determine graduation rates resulting from the program. However, university officials say they already have seen measurable academic success. For example, from 2010 to 2014, UB has seen measurable improvements in graduation rates and retention:
A video of the chancellor’s State of the University address and additional information is available at www.suny.edu/sou.