USI faculty, staff and administrators continue to make progress on the ambitious strategic plan approved by the Board of Trustees in summer 2010.
In order to continue to increase the graduation rate, a new core curriculum - known as Core 39 - was designed for implementation in fall 2014. Core 39 requires fewer credit hours and is more streamlined to work with a student's major. These new requirements are designed to help better educate students and provide them with a more intuitive academic experience.
In the effort to increase the graduation rate, a new degree mapping software was launched to replace the old degree audit reporting system (DARS). Degree Works' user-friendly interface provides students with a more easily understandable summary of their progress towards a degree. Another goal of the transition to Degree Works is to improve the effectiveness of academic advising.
In addition, steps are being taking to ensure students are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in the rapidly-growing number of courses being offered in a distance education or internet-based hybrid format.
"The focus on improving our graduation rate gets to the heart of the strategic plan," said President Linda L. M. Bennett. "Through better advising, more flexible ways to earn a degree, and other retention efforts, we will give students a better chance for academic success – and produce more graduates for our state and region. Improving student experience and success is evident in each of our goals."