Noteworthy Findings

Academic progress since Pathfinders began.

Retention, GPA, ACT, and High School Core GPA

 Retention to Sophomore YearFall GPAPercent Below 2.00ACTHigh School Core GPA
Baseline Year76%2.625%23.43.1
1998-200280%2.720%23.43.2
2003-200782%2.818%23.43.2
2008-201281%2.820%23.63.2
201380%2.820%23.93.3
201482%2.917%24.33.4
201580%2.817%24.03.3
201679%2.816%24.43.4
201780%2.815%24.63.4
201882%3.013%25.63.5
201986%3.012%26.13.5

Absences and Academic Outcomes 2009-2014

 Graduation RateRetention RateFall Freshman GPAACT AverageHigh School GPA Average
No Absence Problem66%86%3.0524.33.38
Absence Problem25%56%1.8022.83.02
An absence problem was defined as having four or more absences in one or more courses by mid-semester of the freshman year. The most recent year for six-year graduation data is 2014.

At the end of the fall semester each year since Pathfinders began, freshmen are assigned to one of the four groups below based on their class attendance.

  • Group 1 – Not reported to Pathfinders by midterm of fall semester, no classes with four or more absences in one or more classes on midterm grade report.
  • Group 2 – Reported to Pathfinders by midterm of fall semester, no classes with four or more absences in one or more classes on midterm grade report.
  • Group 3 – Reported to Pathfinders by midterm of fall semester, four or more absences in one or more classes on midterm grade report.
  • Group 4 – Not reported to Pathfinders by midterm of fall semester, four or more absences in one or more classes on midterm grade report.

Absences and Freshman Year GPA 1998-2013

 Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
Freshman Year GPA3.02.51.42.0
Retention to Sophomore Year89%80%60%70%
6-Year Graduation Rate72%50%25%40%
ACT24232323
High School Core GPA3.33.02.8

Group 1 has always been the largest, about 85% of the freshman class in recent years. Group 2 and Group 3 are approximately the same size each year, but Group 2 has always been larger. Group 4 has always been the smallest group and has become non-existent with the use of scanners.

In 2015, two changes occurred at MSU that caused Pathfinders to change the criterion for an absence problem for a freshman. From 2015-2017 scanners were added to most classrooms holding 50 or more students. These scanners enabled attendance data to come to Pathfinders from large classes which in the past did not provide consistently accurate data. In addition, and during that same time period, the University switched from a mid-term grade report to a first progress report approximately 6 weeks into the semester and a second progress report about 12 weeks into the semester. Consequently, Pathfinders changed to using 6 or more total absences before the first progress report as an indicator of an attendance problem.

Since the implementation of Pathfinders, the academic performance has steadily increased. The table below displays these changes.

Absences and Freshman Fall Semester GPA 2019

 Group 1Group 2Group 3
Freshman Year GPA3.22.41.9
ACT25.724.424.9
High School Core GPA3.593.363.27