The following article appeared in The Delphian newspaper dated April 1, 2013, Volume 68, Issue 8. Prior to that, the March 26, 2013 edition of Newsday reported Adelphi University as one of four Long Island institutions with graduation rates above the national average.
by Stephen Levine, Editor in Chief
According to the federal government’s new College Scoreboard, a majority of Long Island’s four-year colleges are below the national average for graduation rates. Adelphi University was just one of five schools on Long Island that ranked above the national average, along with Stony Brook University, St.Joseph’s College, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Webb Institute.
The new study shows that Adelphi has managed to stay above the national rate of 65 percent. This is no easy feat, considering other local Long Island private institutions such as Hofstra University, Long Island University Post and Molloy College failed to do the same. With a graduation rate of 65.5 percent, Adelphi boasts the second highest rate among private universities across the region, just behind Stony Brook University.
“Adelphi has been focused for several years on the elements which have been shown to support student success,” said Dr. Gayle Insler, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We are proud to have faculty who are challenging and engaging in the classroom, committed to advising and mentoring, and involved in co-curricular activities. We emphasize high-impact practices such as internships, research, study abroad, leadership opportunities and other experiences which promote hands-on learning. Our campus life provides a wealth of chances to experience community service, responsible citizenship and leadership. Overall we have tried to create an environment in which students can find their intellectual passions and flourish, and I am proud of Adelphi’s commitment as well as our students’ success.”
Similarly, fewer students from the University transfer out, as the transfer-out rate is at just 26.3 percent. The percentage of students transferring to another school ranks better than fellow Long Island schools like LIU Post, NYIT and Dowling College, which each have transfer-out rates of over 35 percent.
These statistics mean that 65.5 percent of full-time students received their bachelor’s degree within six years and 26.3 percent of these students transferred out of the University. This is especially impressive because, according to the new Scorecard, only 8.2 percent of full-time students failed to graduate from Adelphi, when staying at the university.
According to Esther Goodcuff, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, there are many reasons why students at Adelphi want to stay and finish where they started. Over the past few years, there has been a strategic plan to improve graduation percentages. This plan includes admitting students who were well prepared and using the institution as an aid to reward students on both merit and need-based scholarships.
“Engagement is such an important concept for the university,” said Goofcuff. “Students need to feel connected to the university both inside and outside of the classroom.”
Another important feature is to have a campus that students could be proud of, and that is always looking to improve and not standing still. Goodcuff said that over just the past decade, Adelphi has either built or improved upon 500,000 square feet of space on campus. From efforts such as building the Performing Arts Center five years ago, rebuilding the Klapper art building, and even the underground work to improve electricity and plumbing, the university has done its part to make sure that students feel comfortable on campus.
Academic units are still a very important aspect of the college experience. Goodcuff said she feels that students need to be in programs that are challenging, demanding and stimulating.
“We’re always trying to meet a high standard academically,” she said. “As a University, we want to set the bar high.”
Finally, the small campus environment really helps make students get a more personal experience. With a student-professor ratio of only 12:1, the relationships between students and professors is stronger. This allows students to make connections to experts in their field and gain possible letters of recommendation for future jobs.
“There are a variety of things that make students want to learn at a college,” said Goodcuff. “One of the most important aspects is the sense that students belong and feel connected to administrators and faculty. When student feel connected to a campus, they are more likely to stay.”