The University of California supports students toward the successful and timely completion of their degrees and prepares them for roles as the next generation of leaders for California, the nation and the world.
There are numerous ways to define and measure student success. This chapter looks at the amount of time, measured in years, that freshman and transfer students take to complete their undergraduate degrees. It also looks at evidence of the careers students embark upon after completing their undergraduate degrees, and at survey data on students' reported satisfaction with their undergraduate experience.
By many of these measures, UC's undergraduates are successful. Four-fifths of entering freshmen graduate from a UC campus within six years, and four years later, more than a quarter have enrolled in graduate or professional programs. Surveys show that large numbers of UC undergraduates plan to take professional and managerial positions in the California labor force. There are continuing challenges, however: graduation rates vary by campus and tend to be lower for socio-economically disadvantaged students, who are disproportionately African-American and Chicano/Latino1. The University will continue to monitor these trends going forward.
As a result of continuing budgetary pressures, UC is faced with having to teach an ever-growing number of undergraduates (Indicator 1.1) with fewer faculty (Indicator 6.1.1). The impacts of this on student success, whether measured in terms of student time-to-degree or student satisfaction, are something that will be monitored in the years to come through data presented in this chapter.
Additionally, UC will continue improving the information it has about the roles its graduates occupy after leaving the University. In 2009-10, UC launched a comprehensive survey of baccalaureate recipients who graduated five, 10 and 20 years ago (in 2004, 1999 and 1989). Data from this survey are presented in this chapter, in the analytic essay and in the introduction to this report. These data will make an important contribution to our understanding about the role the University plays in the course of students' lives.
For more information
The University periodically prepares an Accountability Sub-Report on Student Success that provides a more in-depth look at this topic.