Our Strategic Impact Group chose to focus on one piece of the graduation rates puzzle. After reviewing the Pathways to Graduation report (January 2018) and seeking out information from OIRP and the Academic Advising Centre, we narrowed the scope of our study to students whose marks for completed courses would normally put them in “good standing” but who receive a “no decision” on their audits after their first year.

The graduation rates of these students are significantly lower than those of students deemed to be in “good standing”; they are also surprisingly similar to the graduation rates of students put on academic warning within the same time frame. Given that Academic Advising support programs largely target students who are at obvious risk of not progressing academically (e.g. those on academic warning), we considered the role of individual academic units in identifying and reaching out to students who might otherwise disappear from Carleton’s radar, even though their grades reflect the potential for academic success. Such outreach, using existing resources, may foster benefits beyond the immediate goal of increasing graduation rates: it may provide welcome insights into the types of circumstance preventing such students from graduating, while strengthening communication between the different levels of advising, between professional services staff and faculty advisers, and between units.

  • Allison Jaworksi, Manager, Health Science Facility Operations, OD Science
  • Andrea Thompson, Program Assessment Specialist, OVPAVPA
  • Heloise Emdon, Manager, International Projects, OVPRI
  • Jesse Vermaire, Director, Environmental / Interdisciplinary Science, Environmental Science
  • Mike Labreque, Calendar/Online Editor, Registrar’s Office
  • Susan Birkwood, Instructor III, English
  • Yuriy Zabolotnyuk, Associate Professor, Sprott