Brandman University’s Jennifer Tucker Klein, Ph.D., Attends U.S. Department of Education Think Tank on College Completion January 30 in Washington, D.C.

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Dr. Tucker Klein, Brandman’s Assistant Vice Chancellor of Institutional Research and Planning, Invited by the DOE to Weigh-in on how Institutions of Higher Education can Improve Graduation Rates

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Brandman University values innovation.

Jennifer Tucker Klein, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor of Institutional Research and Planning at Brandman University in Irvine, CA, has been invited to attend a one-day symposium on college completion on Monday, January 30, in Washington DC. Yesterday, Tucker Klein joined 23 higher education leaders, 16 well-known researchers, and eight policy experts to identify evidence-based best practices that work to increase college completion. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan addressed the gathering and asked participates to think about innovative, affordable ways to substantially boost college completion.

Dr. Tucker Klein states, “Brandman University values innovation and I am pleased and honored that we were invited to share our best practices as to how to improve graduation and retention rates.”

Jennifer Tucker Klein, Ph.D. is an institutional researcher and planner who began working in university research in 2002. Prior to joining Brandman University, she held research positions at University of California, Irvine; Loma Linda University; and Mt. San Antonio College. She has also done consulting on usability and marketability for undergraduate online statistics books for Cengage Learning. In addition to research, Dr. Tucker Klein has taught undergraduate and graduate level statistics for Loma Linda University and Brandman University. Her emphasis areas include enrollment analysis, strategic planning, evaluation research of higher education, survey research and analysis, data mining, GIS, and advanced statistical analysis.

Brandman University, a part of the Chapman University System, has been recognized for having a consistently high completion rate. A recent examination has shown that over the past four years, a steady average of 70 percent of Brandman University undergraduate students will graduate within six years.* When asked how Brandman has consistently achieved such a high graduation rate, Chancellor Gary Brahm states, “Our mission is to support student success. As a non-profit, we invest more in instruction, academic support and student services and do everything we can to ensure that our students will graduate.”

Brandman’s completion rate stands out particularly among institutions serving non-traditional students, many of which have recently undergone scrutiny for low graduation rates and high student loan default rates. “The completion rate and student loan default rate tend to have an inverse relationship. If you don’t graduate, it becomes harder to pay back your student loans,” said Rita Wilds, spokesperson for Brandman University. Brandman’s 2.3 percent student loan default rate falls significantly below the national average (8.8 percent) and is especially low given Brandman’s mission of educating non-traditional students.*

With a clear vision to be the recognized leader in the evolution of adult learning, Brandman has developed innovative measures that support student retention and completion. In addition to its strong rate of completion, recent success indicators include:

  •     The University announced this month that it would introduce a new program aimed at improving the completion rate of Hispanic students through Dual Language English Immersion (DLEI). Backed by University Ventures Fund, the innovative program was designed to respond to one of the greatest challenges in higher education today, providing access to higher education to the country’s growing Hispanic population.
  •     An innovative leader in online learning, Brandman University’s online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program was one of just fourteen named to the Honor Roll in the first-ever edition of Top Online Education Program rankings by U.S.News & World Report. Brandman University is the only institution in California to receive this distinction. In addition, Brandman’s School of Education earned the number ten spot among Faculty Credentials and Training for online graduate programs in Education.
  •     The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has recognized Brandman University with the 2011 Institutional Service Award for its flexible, targeted programs that benefit the specialized needs of adult students who want to advance their education, but have a variety of other responsibilities.

About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, non-profit institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Established in 1958 and a part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with progressive, innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for working professionals. The university serves more than 10,000 students annually in 52 undergraduate, graduate, credential, and certificate programs in arts and sciences, business, education and health, both offered online and through 26 campuses in California and Washington. For more information, visit http://www.brandman.edu or call 800-746-0379.

*The two-year “cohort” default rate represents the proportion of federal loan borrowers who entered repayment between October 2008 and September 2009 and had defaulted on their loans by the end of September 2010. More information can be found at http://www.nslds.ed.gov and http://www.brandman.edu/sources.

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