Buffalo State offers four-year graduation guarantee

Dec 3, 2015

A local college is offering a guarantee for students. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says  SUNY Buffalo State promises students will graduate in four-years as announces the 'Roar in 4' program.

Buffalo State College, Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"Sometimes students don't know what they want to major in, so they zig and they zig for awhile and then they have to zag and that adds extra time to their completion," said Katherine Conway-Turner, President of Buffalo State.

It's a common problem for some college students, extending their stay to five years to receive their undergraduate degree.

But Buffalo State Conway-Turner tells WBFO News this 'Roar in 4' program will guarantee students, who maintain their course work, will graduate in four-years.

"We want to be very careful and intentional to help our students navigate it, so they don't understand that okay there's a course that's being offered, 'it's so exciting, I want to take that course, it sounds like a fun course', but is there something your missing that if you don't take this course that you need then it puts you behind," said Conway-Turner. 

Buffalo State campus.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo State kicks off the program in the fall of 2016 for incoming, full-time freshmen as they work toward a bachelor's degree. But there are rules students must follow to stay on track.  They would meet with an advisor on a regular basis and stay in good standing at the school.

"So we just don't give you the information, the roadmap, and assume that you will follow up by yourself, but you have clear advisement. and all the way for our four years to make sure could talk to you," said Conway-Turner.

If a major course is not being offered during the student's fourth year and the student met all the requirements under this guarantee, a decision would be made to waive tuition if the student must extend their time to complete their degree.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is praising the "Roar in 4' program and congratulates Conway-Turner and Buffalo State for launching the initiative.

“We know that less than half of adult New Yorkers currently hold a college degree, and that by 2020, nearly 70 percent of the jobs in our state will require one,” said Zimpher. “As SUNY works toward a completion agenda of 150,000 degrees per year, ‘Roar in 4’ is precisely the kind of evidence-based program that will help us achieve that goal for our students and for our state."