Northwest has unveiled a new initiative called “Complete 30,” which is aimed at helping students graduate on time.
Complete 30 is a variation of the Complete College America's 15 to Finish. Both are designed for timely degree completion. Complete 30, however, gives students the opportunity to take a more personalized approached. Allison Hoffmann, director of academic success and retention, said Complete 30 gives students the ability to graduate on time, but within their own personal needs.
“Complete 30 allows for consideration of individual student needs and follows our philosophy that student success and ultimately the path to degree completion looks different for each and every one of our students,” Hoffmann said in the press release.
The reasoning why 30 credits per year is important was shown in a Northwest press release. Students that complete 30 credits a year save more money.
“While Complete 30 incorporates concepts that Northwest advisers are already implementing during advisement meetings with students, the University points to data that indicates students who complete 30 credit hours each academic year are more likely to stay on track to graduate in four years,” according to the press release. “In contrast, students who enroll in just 24 credits per year typically graduate in five years and are likely to rack up more debt from tuition, fees, food, housing and other college-related expenses.”
Hoffmann said Complete 30 was not implemented because Northwest is falling behind, but rather to continue to excel at retention and completion.
“We perform quite well with regards to graduation rates compared to our peer institutions,” Hoffmann said. “The Complete 30 initiative is another commitment to our student success and retention efforts with a focus on the importance of degree completion.”
Hoffman said that she hopes Complete 30 allows students to be more aware of the timeline to graduation.
“We hope to see an increase in students successfully completing at least 30 credit hours each academic year, heightened awareness of timely degree completion and ultimately an overall increase in graduation rates at Northwest,” Hoffmann said.
Hoffmann pointed out three main benefits to the Complete 30 initiative.
“The goal of the Complete 30 initiative is increased graduation rates with an understanding that timely graduation leads to saving money and beginning a career more quickly,” Hoffmann said in the press release.
The press release also said that students who complete 30 or more credits their first year at Northwest graduate at a rate of 82 percent and have an average of a 3.4 GPA, compared to those who don’t who graduate at a rate of 37 percent and have an average of a 2.9 average GPA.
Students are also encouraged to meet with their advisers to make sure they are on track for 30 credits per year.
“Northwest students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisors, discuss Complete 30 and develop an individualized academic plan that focuses on progressing each semester toward degree completion,” according to the press release.
For senior Cheyenne Bird, the idea of needing 30 credit hours of a year is new. Bird said in previous meetings with her advisor she followed the advice of her advisor.
“I kind of just went with what my advisor told me,” Bird said. “She just had me take the classes I needed and didn't really worry about how many hours were taking.”
Bird said that she thinks Complete 30 could be helpful to students.
“I think it will help students graduate faster, and I think that’s everybody's goal,” Bird said.
Bird has taken around 15 credits per semester, but is a double major and plans to stay a fifth year. She said she thinks Complete 30 would still have helped her graduate in four years.
“I could have planned accordingly and graduated sooner even with a double major,” Bird said.