Feb 10, 2022 - News

Metro State University turns to mentors to improve graduation rates

Illustration of a graduation cap but the tassel is a ladder.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Metropolitan State University is enlisting mentors to boost retention and graduation rates for students at risk of dropping out.

Why it matters: Low-income students who transfer to four-year institutions graduate at lower rates than their higher-income peers. Recent data shows just 10% earned a degree within six years.

  • Nearly nine in 10 Metro State students are transfers. And about half of the university's 10,000 students identify as first-generation college-goers who qualify for Pell Grants.

What's new: The public university announced today that it is partnering with nonprofit College Possible to enroll about 1,400 incoming transfer students into coaching and mentoring programs.

How it works: St. Paul-based College Possible will train recent graduates to provide "targeted and proactive, one-on-one support" aimed at helping transfers learn the ropes and navigate the transition.

  • Other schools participating in College Possible's Catalyst program have seen retention rates rise as much as 14%.

The bottom line: "[They] have boundless potential ... but we know that one-to-one support and mentoring are key to their success," Amy Gort, the school's provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs, said in a statement.


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