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UWF earns highest marks in University history

“The University of West Florida has distinguished itself as an institution where students can earn a high-quality education in a state that is ranked No.1 in the country for higher education and land a competitive job upon graduation,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders.“We have worked hard to advance student success  and our efforts are paying off.”

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UWF achieved its highest academic progress rate in University history. Metric 5 measures the second-year retention rate with a GPA above 2.0. UWF’s progress rate improved by 3.3 percentage points, totaling 86.8%. The University has put a laser-focus on supporting students in their first year of college, not only through academic support but also helping them develop a sense of belonging through welcome events such as Argo Arrival. One of the most popular events, put on by the Office of Student Engagement, is “Beach Bash” on Pensacola Beach. Many other areas within the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Affairs, including Housing and Residence Life, International Affairs, and The Kugelman Honors Program, offer special orientation events and social activities for new and returning students. These events help improve student retention by connecting them with their peers, faculty, and student support staff.

UWF also earned high marks in Metric 10 which measures the percentage of baccalaureate graduates completing two or more types of high-impact practices, such as internships or undergraduate research. The University increased to 60.6%, which is well above the 51% benchmark for excellence. UWF provides students with various HIPs inside and outside of the classroom that build early professional experience and encourage networking. 28% of undergraduate students are engaged in faculty research.

“Our excellence in Metric 10 is a reflection of our world-class faculty and their dedication to engaging our students with research and high-impact practice opportunities, setting them up for success when they graduate,” said Dr. Jaromy Kuhl, UWF provost and senior vice president.

Results of the performance-based funding metrics showed UWF graduates earned a median wage of $53,000 in 2021-22 which sets a new record for the University and is an increase of $4,200 since last year’s metrics. Metric 2 measures median wages of bachelor‘s degree-earning graduates employed full-time one year after graduation. UWF graduates’ median salary is higher than almost all metric-participating SUS institutions, trailing only to Florida Polytechnic University and University of Florida.

More than 79% of bachelor’s graduates are employed or furthering their education one year after graduation. This is a five percentage point increase from last year and landed UWF at No. 2 in the Florida State University System for Metric 1.

UWF earned a total of 84 points out of 100 on the Board’s performance-based funding model results, two points higher than the institution’s score last year.

Under the performance-based funding model, the Board of Governors scores each of Florida’s 12 public universities based on 10 metrics designed to incentivize university excellence and improvement. These metrics establish a minimum acceptable level of performance on issues such as graduation and retention rates.

For more information about UWF’s ranking in the Board of Governors’ performance-based funding model, visit uwf.edu/bogmetrics.