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School of Journalism Retention & Graduation Rates

Prepared by the Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness, July 9, 2020

Click here to view a PDF of the full report

The School of Journalism measures student success following the university’s “junior year graduation” rate methodology, which begins tracking students who enter as freshmen in their third year, and students who enter as new transfer students when they reach junior (U3) standing, having earned between 57 and 84 credits*. The program has identified retention and graduation rates of junior/U3 students as principal measures of program effectiveness because they are committed to their majors by this point in their careers. Some 60 percent of all Stony Brook undergraduates who complete a degree switch their majors at least once. The examination of success rates of students in the junior year better reflects the performance of students at the programmatic level rather than students’ exploratory activity in their early career and provides data more comparable to journalism programs that admit students to the major as juniors. Cohorts are based upon enrollment at the official fall census data. Retention rates are calculated as the percent of each cohort enrolled on the official census date the following fall; graduation rates are the percent who graduated by August 31 two years or four years later.

Retention rates

The School of Journalism same-major 1-year retention rate for its juniors has averaged 76.7% over the last five years, compared to 77.1% university-wide. The retention rate in any major for juniors in the School of Journalism was 91.6% over this period, compared to an 88.2% university-wide retention rate for juniors in any major.

Figure 1 - Retention

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates using the “junior year” methodology are examined at the 2-year mark (equivalent to 4 years from entry for freshmen or 100% of normal time) and the 4-year mark (equivalent to 6 years from entry for freshmen or 150% of normal time). The School of Journalism’s 2-year same-major graduation rate for its majors over the past 5 years has averaged 41.5% percent, compared to 54.7% for Stony Brook university-wide. When counting graduation in any major over the same period, 49.5% of juniors in the School of Journalism graduated in any major, compared to 61.1% of juniors university-wide who graduated in any major.

Figure 2 - Graduation 2 year

The School of Journalism’s 4-year same-major graduation rate for its majors over the past 5 years has averaged 60.0%, compared to 69.0% for Stony Brook university-wide. When counting graduation in any major over the same period, 84.2% of juniors in the School of Journalism graduated in any major, compared to 84.2% of juniors university-wide who graduated in any major.

Figure 3 Graduation 4 year

*U3 status can be manually assigned in some cases. In this update of the methodology, all U3 students were considered. Overall cohort counts will be higher than prior year reports that excluded students with mismatching credit counts and academic levels.