CWC grad rate highest in history

Jan 3, 2013 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

This year's 35 percent graduation rate at Central Wyoming College is the highest ever recorded at the Riverton-based school, administrators said.

The number also is well above the average statewide graduation rate of 28 percent.

Regardless of the success, Martha Davey, CWC's associate vice president for academic services, said CWC will continue implementing initiatives to increase its own number in the future.

Davey said national groups would like to see at least 55 percent of Americans holding a post-secondary degree by 2025.

"We'll have to do an awful lot more to get closer to that number at our local level," she said. "We need to continue to increase that completion rate."

Davey also talked about the rate of student "persistence," or the number of students who are still at CWC one year after enrolling.

"Persistence means we're making progress toward our goals," Davey said late in December.

CWC has managed to maintain its increased fall-to-fall persistence rate of 52.5 percent, up from an all-time low of 42.2 percent in 2005-06. However, the college remains below the state average of 53.8 percent as well as the national average of 60 percent persistence.

"That's very troublesome to us," Davey said.

She described efforts since 2006 through which faculty and staff have worked to increase student engagement as a way to improve persistence. Davey said staff members have identified additional strategies they will implement in the coming years to identified students who are at risk of not persisting.

"(We'll) find out what services they might need and let them know where we are," Davey said. "Increasing our persistence rate will have a direct effect on increasing our graduation rate."

Another group has focused on educating students about the benefits of graduating, posting signs around campus to reinforce that message.

"There's also a method for students to earn perks like coffee for completing certain behaviors that lead toward graduation," Davey said, mentioning rewards for filling out financial aid forms or meeting with advisers. "It's going to work well."

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