IU’s Office of Completion and Student Success has been active in seeking and implementing best practices in student advising and faculty development to increase student success, especially for those students who are first-generation and from underrepresented minorities. These efforts have borne fruit. From 2015 to 2018, the percentage of IU students who complete their undergraduate degree in at least six years has grown from 64% to 69% and, at the regional campuses, which have traditionally had lower graduation rates owing to their students’ educational background and socio-economic status, it has risen from 34% to 43%, a remarkable improvement. For underrepresented minorities, there has also been steady improvement in graduation rates, with the six-year completion rate rising from 48% to 54% over this brief time period, across all campuses.
The proportion of IU students from underrepresented minorities, a priority of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan, has steadily risen, from 22.1% in 2015 to 26.5% in 2019. The total number of minority students at IU has doubled over the past decade. IU’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs program in Community and School Partnerships interacts with over one thousand students per year to ensure middle and high school students from underserved communities are informed about the resources available to them as they seek a college degree. One such program is the Summer Experience in Sustainability and Environment, a camp-like experience on environmental and sustainability issues and careers, where 90 percent of the students are of historically underserved backgrounds.