Over the past two years, FAMU has seen “exceptional increases” in graduation rates.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., hailed the University’s progress in meeting the goals of its five-year Strategic Plan, touting the improved graduation and licensure pass rates in pharmacy and other areas, as well as the increased academic profile of the students being admitted.
During his 35-minute State of the University message Tuesday, Robinson said the state of FAMU is strong.
“None of this is possible without you. I am thankful for your commitment to the success of our students and our community,” Robinson told the faculty, staff and administrators gathered in Lee Hall Auditorium. “I am asking for your continued hard work and dedication toward achieving the strategic priorities, and moving the metrics forward.”
Among the highlights:
Over the past two years, FAMU has seen “exceptional increases” in graduation rates; increasing 5.1 percentage points since 2016-17; reducing costs to the student by $2,840, a 30 percent decrease, and increasing the six-year graduation rate by 3 percent to 53 percent.
The licensure pass rate is rising. In the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, a 59 percent pass rate in 2017 has risen to 83.7 percent in 2019.
The physical therapy pass rate increased from 82 percent in 2017 to 86.4 percent in 2019.
FAMU School of Nursing achieved 100 cent passing of the certification exam for the May 2019 Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduates.
“This is an unprecedented pass rate and further establishes FAMU’s School of Nursing as a top-tier provider of nursing practitioners,” Robinson said to applause.
Another reason for cheer is the academic profile of entering students. The composite average for students in 2019 is 1160 for the SAT compared to 1080 in 2018.
“The First Time In College (FTIC) Admission Profile percentage of regular admits has increased from 80 percent in 2017 to 83.6 percent in 2018-2019, moving in the right direction toward our 2022 goal of 85 percent,” Robinson said. “The profile of our students is increasing.”
A major challenge for the University is money for scholarships to remain competitive in attracting high-achieving students and to help enrolled students to stay in school and graduate in four years.
“Fundraising is a key component in providing the resources needed to maintain our upward trend,” Robinson said.
The University is planning to step up its targeted email campaign to alumni and plans to target an additional 26,000 individuals who are related to FAMU, who were not previously in the University’s database. There also will be more of the FAMU Rising Friend and Fundraising Tours. On April 30, the University will kick off its first-ever, Inaugural Day of Giving, 1887 minutes of giving to support FAMU.
The fundraising efforts are paying off. As of February 18, the University has raised $5.2 million or 43 percent of its $12.2 million 2019-2020 fundraising goal.
Performance Based Funding
Robinson said the University as made major inroads since the inception of Performance Based Funding (PBF) by the Florida Board of Governors. In 2019, the University received $11.7 million in PBF.
“We are making more progress each year,” he said. “We are expecting a similar trend in 2020, as we complete our final validation of our performance-based funding metrics.”
To bolster student success gains, the University plans to hire more academic advisers, academic coaches, career counselors, mental health professionals and additional student life skills (SLS) instructors to assist students with the transition, academically and socially, from high school to college. Jennifer Collins, Ph.D., who was a professor in the School of Business and Industry, has been named assistant provost for Freshman Studies to lead the initiative.
Following Robinson’s speech, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Maurice Edington, Ph.D., asked the faculty and staff to appreciate the success and redouble their efforts.
“We are not there yet, but we are making good progress,” Edington said. “I can appreciate the president for putting that out there. He didn’t do it; I didn’t do it. You did it. Pause and pat yourselves on the back, roll up your sleeves and keep it moving.”