The for-profit, online University of Phoenix will now require students to attend an orientation program. According to an article by Dawn Gilbertson in the Arizona Republic:

The free three-week program will be mandatory for new students with fewer than 24 college credits.

The Phoenix-based company has been testing the free three-week program in undisclosed cities and… has provided few details. Executives said Wednesday that 25,000 prospective new students have gone through it. Eighty percent successfully completed the program and went on to enroll, the company said. It’s early, but those students had better grades than those who hadn’t gone through and were less likely to drop out, the company said.

Three weeks? Whoa. At my own college orientation only took like two days.

While it’s a little unclear what the Phoenix orientation program actually consists of, the school says the plan exists to help prepare new students for college and reduce the school’s dropout rate. In 2007 the institution’s six-year graduation rate was a mere 16 percent.[Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer