Study: One in six UTB students graduate on time

A recent study from the U.S. Department of Education placed the University of Texas at Brownsville in the bottom five of public universities with the lowest six-year graduation rates.

According to the most recent study from the National Center for Education Statistics from 2007, only 16 percent of UTB students graduate in six years or less.

That number is the equivalent of one in six students.

"We TMre a college as well as a university so many of our students graduate in six months, in one year or in two years," UTB Provost Alan Artibise said.

He added that the comparisons between UTB and other state schools like the University of Texas at Austin, which has one of the highest graduation rates, have little merit.

What the study does not address, he said, is the students' backgrounds.

Whereas most UT-Austin students are younger and go to school full time, "the majority of our students are married, some of them have kids, he said. The wife or husband works or they both work and attend college part time."

He went on to say that UTB has recognized the need to increase retention rates.

They have started several initiatives, such as reaching out to the families of first generation students, and hiring more academic advisors for first year students.

"We TMre trying to get them focused on a course of studies, where they take courses in order that build on the knowledge of the first year course moving into the second year course, which dramatically increases success rates."