ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The next president of Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis will be handed a historic university and a major challenge—increasing enrollment and graduation rates.
Harris Stowe has a capacity of 2500 students, but current enrollment sits at about 1200. The U.S. Department of Education website shows that as of 2012, the graduation rate of full-time, first-time students getting a bachelor’s degree within six years is 9 percent.
Interim President Constance Gully doesn’t dispute the figure, but explains that Harris Stowe was moderately selective in its enrollment several years ago.
“At the prompting from the Missouri Department of Education, an unmet need was identified in the region that we serve,” she says. “They encouraged us to return to and open enrollment admission, and that is what we did.”
And that change prompted the need to create enrollment strategies for students who weren’t prepared for Harris Stowe. GPA and ACT minimums and placement tests not passed meant a recommendation for community college. Gully also points out that 75 percent of graduates since 2001, such as part-timers and those who transfer from another institution, are not included in that number.
Gully says there are successes on campus through partnerships like the one with the Barnes Jewish College-Goldfarb School of Nursing, which allows students to get a degree in biology from Harris Stowe and continue on to Goldfarb and get a bachelors in nursing within a year.
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