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SMC presents Four-Year Promise

Kaitlyn Rabach | Thursday, April 11, 2013

On April 2, Saint Mary’s announced the Four-Year Promise, which guarantees students will either graduate in four years or the College will pay for their extra courses.

Students must follow certain guidelines to be eligible for the promise, which will start with the incoming class of 2017, College President Carol Ann Mooney said.

“This isn’t a recruitment strategy for us or a new initiative on campus,” Mooney said. “Our students have always worked closely with their advisers and professors to stay on track and achieve their goals. We offer the courses they need, when they need them, led by exceptional faculty who are dedicated to teaching.”

Mona Bowe, vice president for enrollment engagement, said 93 percent of all students graduate within the four years already.
“This promise is really just putting our money where our mouth is,” Bowe said.

Bowe said the major guidelines for this promise include maintaining good academic standing, registering for courses at the assigned times, completing an average of 32 semester hours each year and being accepted into a major by the end of spring semester of sophomore year.

“These are things that our students are already doing,” Bowe said.

In this time of economic hardship, Bowe said the College would like future students and their families to know the College cares about their investment.
“We want people to know that we know how huge of an investment a college education is,” Bowe said.

Professor of communications Colleen Fitzpatrick said more and more research has been done on the expense of a college education.

“If you look at the research, more and more quality degrees are taking more than four years to finish,” Fitzpatrick said. “Those extra years are lost money.”

Bowe said the College has already received positive feedback on the new promise.

“Other colleges referred to this new program as a contract,” Bowe said. “We wanted to call it a promise and we have received very positive feedback about this new promise. I gave a presentation in Grand Rapids a couple of weeks ago and the parents of incoming freshman were more than excited to hear about this guarantee.”

Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at krabac01@saintmarys.edu