Students have different challenges to overcome at different points in time towards their undergraduate degrees. At a broad level, the challenges for freshmen are similar across colleges and focus on the need for good performance in gateway courses, followed by maintaining financial aid so that they can afford to continue in school. However, we see significant divergence across schools and colleges in the availability of courses for juniors and seniors, which can be a limiting factor in students' ability to graduate, along with continued need for financial aid.

Across colleges, the biggest predictor of dropout for freshmen is poor performance in gateway courses, particularly in low-level mathematics and in introductory English courses. For example, across majors, half of freshmen who fail their first English course (ENC 1101) or a low-level mathematics course (e.g., Intermediate Algebra), drop out of FIU. This finding holds for freshmen in fields as disparate as engineering and Communication Arts. Poor academic performance leads to low GPA, which can lead to a loss of financial aid. Federal financial aid requires a minimum GPA of 2.0, and we have found that half of students who lose their Pell grant funding subsequently drop out of FIU.

A consistent finding of ours is that for FIU juniors and seniors, most challenges to graduation concern availability of required courses and financial aid. Course availability differed significantly across colleges, as shown most recently in a series of college-level reports entitled "College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: [College]" that were sent to all Deans in November and December 2015. Earlier reports by the Office have found that some majors (e.g., Mass Communication subplans) have particularly complex course sequencing requirements that create scheduling and enrollment difficulties for both students and departments. Other departments (e.g., Biology) may not offer enough seats in enough courses for their students to meet distribution requirements. Departments would benefit from assistance with course need projection to help them plan course schedules.

Most FIU students are transfer students, and a series of analyses have focused on the characteristics and performance of these students. Broadly speaking, transfer students need to arrive at FIU having completed all of their prerequisite coursework if they are to have a high likelihood of success in their chosen majors. Prepared students perform as well as native students, but underprepared ones have a higher than average likelihood of dropout (e.g., Chemistry, Engineering).

Because our focus has been on measureable improvement in retention and graduation metrics, our analyses have concentrated on colleges and majors with: large enrollments, courses critical to academic progress for freshmen, significantly lower retention and graduation rates than other colleges or departments, and/or departmental requests for analyses.

University-Wide Analyses/Reports

• Academic Performance of Spring 2016 Freshmen
• Challenges for Students Span Freshman to Senior Year: Findings from Office of Retention & Graduation Success Surveys, Summer 2014
• Changing a Major and Talking to an Advisor in the First Year Contributes to Retention: An Analysis of Enrollment and eAdvisor Notes Data, 2014
• Course Availability the Primary Obstacle for FIU Seniors Seeking Graduation (Fall 2013)
• Critical Courses that are Predictors of Freshmen Dropout
• Factors Influencing First Year Retention of Students with Less than a 2.00 GPA
• Financial Aid for Advisors
• Fostering Panther Pride: Fall 2016 Update
• Freshmen Face Unexpected Challenges: Findings from FIU Focus Groups
• Getting to Graduation Survey for Seniors: Spring 2014
• Golden Scholars 2012-2016: Admission Criteria, Academic Outcomes and Retention
• Graduation, Retention, and Top Majors of AA Transfer Students from Miami Dade College, Broward College, Palm Beach State College, and Florida Keys Community College
• Identifying At-Risk Students Before Their First Semester: A Predictive Model f Incoming FIU Freshmen One-Year Retention
• Insufficient First Semester Courses for Incoming Students May Put Students at Risk
• Losing Financial Aid Decreases First Year Retention, 2014
• Office of Retention & Graduation Success Surveys Summer 2014
• Reading the Signs: Assessing Fit of Major for Graduation Success
• Reasons Why Students Did Not Register: Spring 2014
• Status of 2013 FTIC and AA Cohorts: Identifying Early Departure
• Summary of GSI Assessment
• Updates on Retention and Graduation: Fall 2013 Academic Advisors Forum
• Using Surveys as Student Success Interventions
 

College of Architecture + The Arts

• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: College of Architecture & the Arts
• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: School of Journalism & Mass Communication
• Impact of Course Sequencing on School of Journalism & Mass Communications Majors
• Profile, Retention, and Graduation Rates of Students in the FIU School of Music
• Retention and Graduation Rates of Students in the College of Architecture and the Arts
• Retention and Course Performance of FIU School of Music FTIC Students
• SJMC: Time to Graduation after Completing the Language Skills Test and Writing Strategies
• School of Journalism & Mass Communications: Evaluating Predictors of Success for the Language Skills Test
• Writing and Rhetoric Courses as Predictors for Success in the Communication Arts Major
 

College of Arts, Sciences & Education

• Analysis of Performance in Key Chemistry Courses of Miami Dade College Students Transferring to Florida International University
• Analysis of Students Pass Rates in PreCalculus Algebra & Trigonometry, Intermediate Algebra and Exploration of Math
• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: College of Arts & Sciences
• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: College of Education
• Critical Indicator Analysis of STA2122 for Psychology Majors
• Data for Placement into Mathematics Gateway Courses, Spring 2014
• FIU College of Arts and Sciences Foreign Language Requirement: Impact of Requirement on Student Credit Hours and on Number of Students Eligible for Phi Beta Kappa
• Foreign Language Course Enrollments for College of Arts, Sciences and Education Undergraduates
• Graduation of Students in Liberal Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs
• Identifying Risk Factors for First Year Retention in Psychology Majors
• Insufficient Access to General Biology Delaying Progress Through the Major
• Insufficient Access to Statistics Courses Limiting Progress of Psychology Majors
• Placement Guidelines for Writing & Rhetoric I
• Predictors of Graduation in Psychology in Spring 2013: The Impact of Statistics and Transfer Performance
• Predictors of Success for FTIC Biological Sciences Majors
• Psychology Graduates: Ready, Set, Work!
• Retention and Graduation of FTIC Earth and Environment Students
• Statistics Performance as a Predictor of Both Graduation and Dropout
• Student Performance in ENC 1101 and ENC 1102: Challenges for Online Courses and Variations Across Instructors in Passing Rates
• Students Dismissed from the Psychology Major
• Using the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Score to Predict Performance in Chemistry I
 

College of Business

• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: College of Business
• Course Availability for Finance Majors
• Predictors of Graduation for Incoming High School Students Selecting Business Majors
 

College of Engineering & Computing

• Biomedical Engineering: Student Factors for Success
• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: College of Engineering & Computing
• Critical Courses Predicting Dropout and Time to Departure for FIU Undergraduate Engineering Students
• Engineering: Student Factors for Success
• Obstacles to Graduation for Engineering Seniors: Course Availability
• Predictors of Graduation for FIU AA Transfer College of Engineering & Computing Students
• Retention Among Engineering Majors
 

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences
• Predicting Graduation of FTIC Nursing Students at FIU
• Predictors of Admission into the Nursing Major for FTIC Students
• Predictors of FIU Graduation for Incoming High School Students Majoring in Nursing
 

College of Public Health & Social Work

• Analyses of Dietetics and Nutrition Majors
• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
 

School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
• Profile of FIU Undergraduate Students who Switched to Hospitality Management during the Spring 2013 and Summer 2013 terms
• Retention of Pre-Hospitality Students
 

School of International and Public Affairs

• College-Level Obstacles to Graduation for FIU Seniors in Fall 2015: School of International and Public Affairs
• Grades in Key Courses for Political Science and International Relations Students
• Impact of Core Course Changes on Criminal Justice Majors Near Graduation
• International Relations: Enrollment in Key INR Courses and Graduation
• Passing Rates of FIU Undergraduate Students Enrolled in INR 2001