MSU’s six-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students is a record-high 82%, rising five percentage points over the last seven years. By 2030, we will increase our six-year graduation rate to 86% and become an even more accessible institution by creating new pathways to educational opportunities.
The First-Generation College Student Initiative aims to inspire first-generation college students to persist and graduate by eliminating barriers and providing high- impact learning experiences along with ongoing student development. The program will serve students in their first and second years at MSU and will target 50 students for an inaugural cohort. Scholarship funds will be provided to students during their time in the program as well as wraparound services such as professional coaching and advising, peer support and programming that nurtures a sense of belonging. A new coordinator will lead this initiative with a focus on meeting the various needs of MSU’s diverse and intersectional population of first-generation students. Launching summer 2022, the program will become a leading space for work that closes opportunity gaps while elevating the voices and needs of MSU’s first-generation students.
The Inclusive Campus Initiative promotes diversity, equity and inclusion and a sense of belonging to support student success. Historically excluded, minoritized and first-generation students often have challenges navigating the university to gain access to resources for educational attainment. Informed by dialogue between administrators and students from diverse backgrounds, this initiative focuses on outreach, community building, tailored programming, policies and connecting various offices and departments in the student success ecosystem. The student experience is centered in this initiative to foster persistence and graduation. The initiative will complement classroom efforts to close opportunity gaps.
The first two years are a critical time for students to develop the skills required to successfully navigate MSU and develop their purposes and passions. Advisors play an essential role in these areas, and MSU is strengthening advising through restructuring and added resources. This work will result in an advising community that can equitably meet students’ diverse needs, support their migration between majors/minors and colleges, help them persist to the second and third years, and encourage deep investment in their chosen majors. We will add dozens of advisors specifically to support students in the first and second years, substantially improving our ability to offer the inclusive and holistic support students need to learn, thrive and graduate.
Student health and wellbeing are essential to student success. This initiative takes a comprehensive approach to mental and physical health by introducing a new telehealth partner and significantly enhancing and expanding student recreation facilities. Already, as part of the Campus Health and Wellbeing Comprehensive Plan, new turf grass fields at Service Road will increase the amount of time students can play intramural and club turf sports, and the planned state-of-the-art sports and well-being center replacing IM West will provide the next dramatic enhancement.
In its 2023-24 Best Graduate Schools rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized four of MSU's graduate programs as first in the nation, with several others appearing in the top 25.
The grant funding, through the MSU Office of Financial Aid, was made possible because of a recently expired provision in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.
The MSU College Advising Corps was established to address the widening gap in college access for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students in Michigan