FLORENCE – Francis Marion University has received $52,161 to fund a student tracking system and to increase student retention and graduation rates.
The money was part of a larger State Commission on Higher Education grant to several state universities.
FMU applied for the grant in May, seeking state funding to help reduce the incidence of students who fail to graduate within six years of enrolling. The program proposal, to be funded by the grant, seeks to track students’ progress after enrollment at FMU, analyze data, help develop preventative programs to increase retention and graduation rates and develops an evaluation tool of the success of the program.
“We’ve never tracked students in this way before,” FMU psychology professor Mike Jordan said. Jordan, psychology professor Gary Hanson and the director of advising and retention developed the proposed plan that CHE is funding.
“We’ll build a data base, track students’ progress, and work with students through counseling, to see if we can increase the long-term effect of higher retention of students,” he said.
Successful retention and graduation rates are criteria on which state universities are judged through the state’s performance-based education funding system.