This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Finish in Four

UB makes graduation pledge to incoming freshmen

Published: February 16, 2012

Bruce D. McCombe, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, yesterday announced the launch of “Finish in 4,” a new program that pledges to provide entering UB freshmen with the academic resources they need to graduate in four years.

To participate, students must sign a pledge that they will adhere to program requirements.

Students who fulfill all obligations of the Finish in 4 plan but are unable to graduate within four years will be given the opportunity to complete the UB courses required for their degree free of any tuition and comprehensive fee charges.

If students are unable to adhere to their Finish in 4 requirements, UB will continue to work with them to develop an appropriate plan to graduate.

“At UB, we have made a commitment to creating a robust, academically rigorous and supportive educational environment,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “Our goal is to provide our students with a transformative education—through unique undergraduate research experiences, undergraduate academies, interdisciplinary freshman seminars and innovative living/learning communities.

“UB’s Finish in Four initiative builds on that overarching effort by providing our undergraduates with the faculty resources and academic support they need to thrive academically—and graduate in a timely way.”

Finish in 4 will be offered to freshmen at UB in fall 2012. All undergraduate majors are eligible, except double degrees and those that include a graduate or advanced professional component, such as doctor of physical therapy, doctor of pharmacy, occupational therapy or other combined degrees.

“Finish in 4 is our commitment to students and their parents to do all that we can to help students achieve this important goal,” said McCombe. “It also is vitally important that students understand their obligations to earn an undergraduate degree in four years so they can move on to employment or graduate school.”

Scott Weber, vice provost for undergraduate education, said every UB student arrives on campus “expecting to have an exceptional educational experience. We want to partner with our students so that they have a roadmap that provides this enriched experience and enables them to finish their bachelor’s degree in four years as efficiently and economically as possible.”

While nearly all of UB’s undergraduate majors can be completed in four years, most students in the U.S. take longer—sometimes as long as six years—to receive their degrees. Finish in 4 will provide students with clear information and guidance on exactly what it takes to complete their degree within the traditional four-year timeframe.

Under Finish in 4, UB is committed to offering required courses to students in the term designated in the plan they developed with their advisers. If a seat in a required class is unavailable, the university will provide the student with assistance to register in the required class or find alternates.

UB students who sign the Finish in Four pledge will be given a roadmap of what courses to take and when, and what grades and other requirements must be met. UB also will provide regular academic, career and financial advisement to enable students to complete their degrees on time.

In turn, students must fulfill their requirements pertaining to academic advisement, course registration and grades. Regular and clear progress reports will be provided to students showing whether they are on track to graduate.

“The UB Faculty Senate is enthusiastic about the Finish in 4 program,” said Ezra Zubrow, Faculty Senate chair. “The Executive Committee passed a resolution expressing its overwhelming support for Finish in 4, which provides students with a plan that enables them to complete their undergraduate degrees in a timely, predictable and economical fashion. It provides a true comparative advantage.”

The Finish in 4 initiative complements Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s call for improving graduation rates across the SUNY system and with President Obama’s imperative to control the cost of a college degree.

Reader Comments

Tara Harten says:

So what about current students? What if they have been doing everything right the past 2 or 3 years, but still need an extra semester to complete all requirements? Is UB going to pay for our tuition too?

Posted by Tara Harten, Student, 02/20/12

Porsche Jones says:

Students in the Visual Studies department have no access to an academic advisor. The part-time, "temporary" advisor who is "filling-in" can only see 12 students per week. How are they supposed to "Finish in Four" when they don't have access to academic advising? The BA and BFA program requirements listed online are not accurate or up to date, not to mention that each student has indidivudal needs, especially transfer students or art students going into a portfolio review. Students in this department have no idea what courses to take. Course registration last fall was a nightmare; hundreds of students had no academic advising and it has affected many students' eligibility to graduate.

Posted by Porsche Jones, Student, 02/16/12