Metrics to Shorten Students’ Time to Graduation

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Mark Dawkins, Dean, Coggin College of Business 

In the wake of UNF’s poor showing on the BOG Performance Based Funding Metrics, some colleges are taking steps to increase student retention and shorten student’s time to graduation – the two metrics UNF has consistently scored the lowest on. However, at least one college has taken steps over time that education research shows do just the opposite. In the last few years, the Coggin College of Business has taken steps to materially lower their admission standards, significantly increase the number of part-time faculty teaching their courses, dramatically increase the number of their courses being taught online, and increase the number of faculty teaching overload assignments. Although they have increased their enrollments, education research demonstrates that less qualified students, those taught by part-time faculty, those taking online courses, and those being taught by faculty teaching overloads are more likely to drop out of their classes and take a longer time to graduate. If the administration is serious about increasing student retention rates and shortening student’s time to graduation, should not these decisions be reevaluated? Are the benefits in enrollments worth the costs to UNF in terms of lost funding and reputation due to lower student retention and higher times to graduation?

Answered by: Mark Dawkins, Dean, Coggin College of Business

The Coggin College of Business (CCB) has not lowered its admission standards, although CCB faculty has revised the graduate admissions policies. Nor has CCB significantly increased the number of part-time faculty teaching its courses. In fact, CCB hired five (5) new tenure-track faculty in Fall 2018. Additionally, CCB hired five (5) instructors in Fall 2018 (1 new hire, 2 visiting instructor hired as permanent instructors, and 2 adjunct instructors hired as permanent instructors).

CCB has increased the number of its courses being taught online, and this increase is not “dramatic” relative to the overall number of courses taught by CCB. CCB did increase the number of faculty teaching overload assignments in 2016-17 and 2017-18 to staff the Master of Science in Management (MSM) Program (about 200 new graduate students) and the Fidelity on-site MBA Program in 2018-19 (22 new graduate students), and the overload assignments have decreased with the addition of the five (5) new tenure-track faculty in Fall 2018. CCB started the MSM Program in the summer of 2016 with an agreement with AA to staff the classes with teaching overload assignments for two years, and based on enrollments, to hire two new tenure-track faculty in Fall 2018.

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