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Executive Summary: In 1991 the United States Congress passed the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act requiring colleges and universities to disclose, among other factors, the graduation rates for all full-time entering students pursuing degrees. In keeping with the federal legislation, Washington State's legislature, in 1993, passed SHB 1580, the "time-to-degree" bill requiring the state's colleges and universities to develop plans that will shorten existing time-to-degree rates and subsequently improve both degree persistence and graduation rates. Both legislative actions guided the contents of this report. The faculty, staff, and administration at Western Washington University have been acutely aware of their students' degree progress, persistence, and graduation patterns. Studies conducted over the years by Western's Office of Institutional Research (OIR) and the Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing (OIAT) generated numerous findings concerned with those issues. To enhance further understanding of and to be able to identify solutions and remove barriers to degree progress, the University formed an Enrollment Management Group in 1991. Also in 1991, a Student Tracking System was installed to accommodate growing data and information needs. Both activities were stimulated by Western's previous assessment findings and the recommendations contained in the University's Strategic Action Plan formally adopted in February, 1992. In an effort to comprehend the factors that contributed to degree progress and graduation patterns, the OIAT conducted a series of analytic studies using alumni and former student survey findings and data concerning enrollment patterns in the majors. Overall, the findings strongly suggest that loss of transfer credits, unclear career goals, choosing a dual major, taking extra courses for personal interest, academic performance, waiting to the senior year to declare a major, and the number of credits require








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