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      New year and graduation rates key points of Darton's State of the College address

      The semester is right around the corner and that means it's time for the staff of Darton College to set the tone for the upcoming year.

      "Today is the day where we talk about all the accomplishments that occurred over the last academic year and kind of brag on all the faculty and staff for the things that they have done and then we talk about some of the challenges that we had for the future," said President Dr. Peter Sireno.

      This year's challenge will be to raise the graduation rate and Dr. Sireno says most students who do not complete college drop out because of personal issues, not the lack of ability.

      "We need to try to help eliminate or at least help them overcome those barriers. Some may have family issues and problems so we need to kind of guide them through that."

      By outlining his goals to the entire campus, Dr. Sireno hopes everyone will put their energy in the same direction. No matter what department they're in, faculty members say it's important for everyone to be on the same page and work towards a similar goal.

      "It's wonder to come together as an entire faculty and staff and hear what other groups are doing across the campus and realize that we're all here for the same goal," said Dean of Social Science and Interim Dean of Business, Wendy Kennedy.

      "Even though we have different entities and different divisions and units, our ultimate goal is to graduate students, said Dean of Nursing, April Reese.

      To help reach this goal, Dr. Sireno says the college must work to show students they are being heard and are not grouped into one category.

      "The most important thing we need to do, more than anything else, is to show our students that we truly care for them as individuals and truly care that they complete college, that they're successful in their educational career as well as their career when they leave Darton College, said Dr. Sireno.