CMU graduation rate increases; some still in school



CMU six-year graduation rate for the entering freshman class:

■ 2006: 35 percent

■ 2005: 32.2 percent

■ 2004: 32.7 percent

■ 2003: 32.8 percent

■ 2002: 40.9 percent

Source: Colorado Department of Higher Education

Forty-seven percent of students who enrolled as freshmen at Colorado Mesa University or Western Colorado Community College in the fall of 2007 graduated from one of those schools or another school within six years, according to CMU data. But that doesn’t mean the rest of those students are dropouts.

As of 2013, nearly 10 percent of students in that cohort who hadn’t graduated were still enrolled at CMU or WCCC, while another 12 percent transferred to another two-year or four-year school and were still working on their degrees.

Graduation and enrollment rates are higher for Colorado Mesa’s bachelor’s degree-seeking students, with 13.8 percent of the freshmen class of 2007-08 graduating by May 2011 and another 20.1 percent donning a cap and gown by May 2013. Another 13.2 percent graduated from another institution, 9.8 percent stuck around at Colorado Mesa and 11.8 percent are still working on a degree at a transfer school.

Colorado Mesa’s data includes transfer information for all schools plus data for Western Colorado Community College students, while a recently released state report does not. The Colorado Department of Higher Education’s annual graduation rate report, which only includes data for the entering freshman class of 2006 this year, details how many students from that freshman class graduated from Colorado Mesa or one of Colorado’s other 11 public, four-year schools.

According to that report, Colorado Mesa’s six-year graduation rate hit its highest point in four years in 2012 at 35 percent. That figure does not include students who graduated after May 2012, remained enrolled at Colorado Mesa, transferred to a private or out-of-state school, started at or transferred to WCCC, or dropped out.

A little more than 14 percent of Mesa’s freshman class of 2006-07 graduated during or before May 2010 from either CMU or one of the 11 other public colleges or universities in the state, according to the Department of Higher Education. An additional 14 percent graduated a year later in 2011.

By comparison, a little more than 11 percent of the entering freshman class of fall 2005 graduated within four years, 26 percent graduated within five years, and 32.2 percent graduated within six years, according to state figures.

The last freshman class at Mesa to exceed a 35 percent six-year graduation rate was the entering class of 2002, which graduated 41 percent of its enrollees by summer 2008.

Still, Colorado Mesa’s graduation rate is behind all other public four-year schools in the state aside from Adams State University and Metropolitan State University of Denver. In all, 58.6 percent of students who started at any Colorado public four-year school in fall 2006 graduated by summer 2012.


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