WSU has created a new program that recognizes the goals of students and offers help to achieve them.
The Cougar Success Program is largely geared toward freshmen and provides a way for incoming students to track their progress through college.
WSU offers many different programs to help students succeed, and some are undoubtedly better than others. Yet, the Cougar Success Program will support the admirable tradition of WSU’s high retention rates and all freshmen should look into it.
The program spotlights academics by requiring students to set a GPA goal for themselves, while putting the main focus on having fun by joining clubs, attending events and getting involved in the community.
“The first year at WSU is all about transitions,” said Adrian Gonzales, director of student success. “The Cougar Success Program fosters the academic, social and personal transitions necessary for successful participation in the total life of the WSU community.”
The program quickly reached a popular status. In its first few months 180 students had enrolled. By helping students balance an active lifestyle with a successful academic record, the program will hopefully assist in increasing the already high retention rates for freshmen.
WSU’s freshman retention rate nearly matches national averages. However, the freshman multicultural retention rate at WSU far exceeds national expectations, which the university should be proud of.
From 2001-2010, the average freshman retention rate was 83 percent in general and 81 percent for multicultural students, said J. Manuel Acevedo, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services.
This 2-percent gap significantly contrasts with most universities across America. While universities are currently accepting more minorities than ever before, graduating these students is an entirely different story.
According to a Newsweek article, “The graduation rates for blacks, Latinos and Native Americans lag far behind the graduation rates for whites and Asians. As the minority population grows in the United States, low college-graduation rates become a threat to national prosperity.”
The U.S. once assumed the title of having the highest graduation rate of any nation. However, it now stands in 10th place.
Universities have been struggling to see the same range of ethnicities walk across the stage to receive their diplomas as they saw at their front doors four years before. Fortunately, WSU does not have the same problem due to the successful student programs it offers.
Programs like the Cougar Success Program and Multicultural Student Services are some of the major features of our university that give it a competitive advantage on the national stage.
We should applaud the Cougar Success Program and other WSU student services for helping students, one step at a time, on their journey to the graduation platform.