Student Recruitment, Engagement, Retention & Graduation
From summer 2004 through fall 2009, 457 undergraduate students in the School of Construction (SoC) have been awarded degrees (annual graduation rate 18%; annual return rate of 59%. From fall 2005 through fall 2008, 48 graduate students have been awarded degrees (annual graduation rate 33%; annual return rate 40%). SoC has had a 67% yield rate since fall 2007: students clearly understand the career-oriented nature of SoC programs. This career driven approach is indicated by Table 5 which shows only that in any given year there have been at most 5 students seeking a second degree. This career awareness is due to the support of our Industry Advisory Council members who regularly visit high schools and community colleges and also reflects on the efforts of SoC to bring high school and community college student groups to campus and visit their schools around the state. Each program has developed long established 2+2 plans which are posted on our website and distributed to school counselors; these plans provide career guidance to the over 50% of our students that come from Mississippi’s 15 community colleges and several from neighboring states. In addition to the 2+2 plans, USM entered into a formal 2+2 agreement with Hinds CC and the Construction Engineering Technology program. All new students are encouraged by advisors and current students to join our student chapters which provide the basis for their future industrial networking. All student advisements are orchestrated by Secretaries Hill and Lee; students missing an advisement are contacted to provide support.