DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., April 27, 2011
DeVry University released today its first Academic Annual Report, an overview of its student demographics as well as its strengths and areas for improvement. The report provides a transparent overview of the university’s academic quality measures to help ensure that student financial and personal investments are met with a quality education.
Findings from the Academic Annual Report reveal a new student majority that seeks non-traditional ways to pursue education. These students rate the university as highly committed to part-time, evening and adult students. By addressing the needs of these "non-traditional" students, DeVry University is working to make education accessible and affordable and help America reach its goal to once again become the most educated nation by 2020.
"We continue to increase our investment in career services, library holdings, and classroom technology to better prepare students for the modern workplace in a format that aligns with their unique schedules," said David J. Pauldine, president of DeVry University. "We have planned an additional three-year, $19 million investment in our ‘21st Century Learning Initiative’ which will fund advanced technology classrooms, electronics laboratories, and on-campus production studios."
Each academic investment by DeVry University supports one of five main tenets of academic quality: learning methodologies, student learning outcomes, faculty development, student persistence and graduation, and student career progression. To improve its ability to measure students’ learning outcomes, the university has begun piloting the use of three national standardized tests.
Despite these efforts and recent strides in improving first year retention rates, DeVry University believes the number of students who do not complete their first year is still too high. To resolve this issue, the university implemented Student Central, a system-wide service for students to help improve retention, and University College, a comprehensive first-year educational experience that provides first-year students the core academic and social skills necessary to succeed early in college. Measuring student satisfaction with these services is also critical to the university’s retention efforts. The 2009 student satisfaction survey results indicate a continuing trend of improvement in all eight major measurements of the university’s ability to deliver on undergraduate student expectations.
DeVry University funded 14 scholarship and grant programs totaling more than $17 million in annual awards in 2009-2010 and provides special tuition rates for members of the military and their spouses. The university also recognizes the financial responsibility many students take on to pursue their education. As a result, the university has invested more than $8.6 million to establish a Financial Literacy Program to help students comprehend the complexities of taking on student loan debt, and has committed to $4 million annually to maintain this program.
"DeVry University's tuition rates fit well within average costs in all postsecondary sectors of education, but many students still graduate with student loan debt," Pauldine said. "Our Financial Literary Services ensure that students have the information and tools they need to understand the process of borrowing and repaying educational loans."
Beyond financial and career services, the university continuously works to strengthen its faculty.
"To better support our faculty, we are implementing a new advancement system providing assistance for DeVry University faculty to attain doctorate degrees in relevant disciplines as they reach the professor and senior professor levels,” said Dr. Donna Loraine, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs for DeVry University. "While more than 40 percent of our current full-time faculty members hold or are pursuing doctorate degrees, we have set a university-wide goal to raise this number to 50 percent."
Commitment to academic quality, investments in student retention and financial literacy, and a new faculty educational advancement system are some of the ways DeVry University continues to improve and grow. By recognizing areas of strength and opportunities to provide additional support, the university aims to optimize a return-on-investment for every student. At a time when segments of the private sector are being challenged, the new Academic Annual Report provides transparency and helps build faith in the higher education industry.
To read the full 2009-2010 DeVry University Academic Annual Report, click here.