‘Formula to Finish’ encourages four-year graduation plan


Graphic by Ryan Dunn

Hanna Moore

“Formula to Finish,” also known as Got 15?, is a new university program launched June 2 that aims to save students time and money by having them complete 15 credit hours per semester.

The initiative aims to “change the culture of completion,” said Nikki Crutchfield, assistant dean of Undergraduate Studies. Its goal is to increase four-year graduation among undergraduate students.

The “Formula to Finish” initiative works with the already existing My Time to Register and Required Advising campaigns to keep students on track for graduation.

“We chose the name ‘Formula to Finish’ because we wanted to create a message that is applicable to all of our students at Kent State,” Crutchfield said.

“Formula to Finish” was inspired by Complete College America, which pushes universities throughout the country to encourage students to graduate on time, Crutchfield said.

Complete College America shows successful practices used at different universities across the country and encourages others to adopt similar initiatives, according to Completecollege.org.

Kent State’s advising week began with “Formula to Finish Day” on Sept. 15 and finished Sept. 19. 

“Helping students clarify their goals is nothing new — it’s just a new awareness campaign,” said Michelle Adair, senior adviser for the Exploratory Advising Center. “The campaign also encourages students to consult with their academic advisers before making the decision to withdraw from classes.”   

“Formula to Finish” began this year during Destination Kent State, a summer orientation program offered to incoming freshmen. DKS was held from June 2 to July 15, which Crutchfield said allowed students to learn about Kent State and hear from a variety of speakers.

The university gave students and parents “hot cards” at Destination Kent State with information about the initiative, and some additional materials were mailed home to parents.

“We know for most parents, saying we’re saving your student time and money is very appealing,” Crutchfield said.

Students at DKS learned more about the campaign when Kent State President Beverly Warren explained the initiative during orientation.

“Hearing it from (Warren) at Destination Kent State had more of an impact on me, and made me realize I should keep taking 15 credit hours each semester,” said Brianna Dalton, freshman applied communication major.

The exploratory major has had the greatest increase in students taking 15 or more credit hours this semester, with a 21 percent increase from last year, Adair said. There is a 10 percent increase overall for undergraduate students taking 15 or more credit hours.

Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness collects that information about student enrollment after the first 15 calendar days of the semester, according to its website.

The data from RPIE are focused on students at Kent campus, but the campaign itself also includes students at regional campuses.

 “We have met with representatives from the regional campuses during the summer, and many of them have already been communicating a message similar to ‘Formula to Finish,’” Crutchfield said.

During advising week, the university set up campaign promotions at an information table in the Student Center to spread awareness about scheduling for spring registration, Crutchfield said.

The campaign also accommodates exploratory students who haven’t declared a major.

“We want students to declare a major not just as soon as possible, but as confidently as possible,” Adair said.

It’s not just freshman students the campaign focuses on, however.

“The campaign commenced by promoting the message of completing 15 or more credit hours per semester to incoming freshmen but is now designed to communicate this message to all Kent State students,” Crutchfield said.

The next phase of “Formula to Finish,” she said, will expand to provide students who have not completed 15 credit hours per semester or 30 credit hours per year with options for staying on track to graduate on time during the summer.

Contact Hanna Moore at [email protected].