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Hoping to Speed On-Time Graduation, UT Refines Orientation Program

Photo by KUT News
Following up on recommendations, the University hopes orientation changes will boost graduation times.

Seeking to boost students’ on-time graduation rates, the University of Texas is refining its orientation program.

A recent report from UT’s Task Force on Undergraduate Graduation Rates looked at ways to increase four year graduation rates. As KUT News wrote at the time of the report’s release, UT’s four-year graduation rate is currently about 50 percent, and the university wants to increase that amount to 70 percent by 2016. Speeding up graduation rates is seen as one solution to the problem of crowded and increasingly expensive college educations.

The task force issued several recommendations, including lower summer course fees, and higher tuition for students who have over-accumulated credits. (You can read the full report online.) But the bulk of recommendations focused on grooming new students, and university administrators hope changes to freshman orientation will speed along the students’ education.  

In an announcement today, school administrators say student orientation is “being redefined to provide more guidance on selecting majors, meeting academic requirements and graduating in four years.” UT President Bill Powers has also named Associate Dean Marc Musick of the College of Liberal Arts “a special assistant” to oversee the changes. They will be implemented this summer.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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