Midland University - Fremont, Ne

Midland University Launches Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

Midland University Launches Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

Sep 27th , 2011

Midland University President, Dr. Ben Sasse, today launched a new initiative that guarantees a four-year path to graduation for every member of Midland’s 2012 freshman class.

The Four-Year Graduation Guarantee represents an unprecedented commitment by Midland University to reverse national trends of declining four-year degree-completion rates in order to help students graduate in four years.

“The college experience today is not nearly student-centric enough,” Dr. Sasse said. “America’s colleges and universities have a serious problem when it comes to graduating students on-time. They come nowhere close to the four years we all plan for, save for and think of as the college experience.

“We need to be more accountable to our students. We expect them to challenge themselves as life-long learners. We want to hold ourselves to the same standard by creating a college environment capable of meeting the needs of every student in four years.”

Midland’s Four-Year Guarantee for next year’s incoming freshman class commits to working with students to ensure they graduate in four years when they take these four simple steps:

  • Declaring a major by the start of their sophomore year;
  • Enrolling in classes to fulfill the requirements of their major;
  • Maintaining a typical course load as a full-time student and earning passing credit; and
  • Remaining in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing with the university.

If for some reason it takes longer, Midland will cover 100 percent of tuition and fees for as long as it takes for students to complete their degrees.

A series of academic reforms were enacted in the last year that support the Four-Year Guarantee. Last November, Midland faculty began a review of core curriculum requirements and by April, new guidelines were approved that streamlined Midland’s first-year student curriculum to 30 credits, down from 39 credits. Graduation requirements for nearly all majors were aligned to fall within 120-credits, and changes to class sequencing and scheduling helped ensure better course availability for students.

In conjunction with the Four-Year Guarantee, Midland has dramatically expanded student support services with the launch of a robust advising initiative this summer. Guided by the personal connections possible in a small-college setting between students, professors, academic advisors, coaches, and the larger campus community, the new advising initiative incorporates data captured from campus – such as textbook pick-up, attendance and grades – to guide individual planning and help ensure the growth and success of each individual student at Midland. Also new this year is a ‘bridge program’ created to provide incoming freshman the opportunity to enroll early in summer courses to provide additional transition time.

Together, these measures are expected to play a role in helping current and prospective students develop personal goals and execute them during their four years at Midland University.

More on the four-year guarantee, including a two-minute video featuring President Sasse, a student checklist outlining Midland’s commitment, and a sample four-year course plan, are available on the Midland website.

Dr. Sasse said, “The four-year guarantee is a significant investment in making Midland University one of the Midwest’s most student-centric college campuses. We want to create a dynamic learning environment rooted in the liberal arts; one that motivates students to new explore new paths and opportunities. Our four-year guarantee reflects a commitment to prepare students for lifelong learning while also helping them graduate on-time.”