Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
July 26, 1996

80 percent are honoring their four-year graduation plans

by Linda Charles
The majority of the freshmen who signed up for Iowa State's four-year graduation plan are on track, said associate provost Ed Lewis.

"Eighty percent of the 146 students who signed contracts completed their first two semesters with 30 credits or more," Lewis said. "Of the 30 students who earned fewer than 30 credits, 20 of them have at least 27 credits and may be earning credits at home during the summer or planning to take extra credits fall semester."

Overall, students enrolled in the plan did well academically, Lewis said. Twenty-five percent earned a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point during their first year and 50 percent earned a 3.0 GPA.

"The four-year graduation plan seems to be particularly attractive to students who are entering the university academically well-prepared," Lewis said. "Many of those who signed up had earned college credits while in high school or were awarded test-out credits."

Offered for the first time fall semester 1995, the plan assures students who are willing to keep on schedule that the classes they need will be available. Generally, students need to take 15 to 18 credits per semester to stay on schedule.

Four students who were placed on temporary enrollment because of low grades were dropped from the program, Lewis said. However, those students may re-enroll in the program if their grades return to a satisfactory level and if they have remained on schedule with their classes.

Students enrolled in the program sign contracts, agreeing to such provisions as completing at least one-fourth of their degree requirements each year; enrolling in needed courses even though they may not be offered at the students' preferred times or semesters; changing majors only if the requirements can be met in the four years; and remaining in good academic standing.

For its part, the university promises to provide students in the program with experienced academic advisers who can help them develop their plans and guide them through their college years. If students are unable to get into the classes they need to graduate, university officials will try to substitute equivalent courses or independent study assignments, or waive the requirements.

During the first year of the program, two students contacted the Provost's Office seeking help in enrolling in a course. In both cases, the students were able to enroll in the needed courses, Lewis said.

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