Improving graduation rates has become a national and state policy issue. The emphasis on graduation rates, without adequate discussion about mission focus is a major problem of institutions like the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), whose mission centers on providing access and opportunity to serve the people of the region. UTEP serves a population of over 19,000 students, the majority of whom are Hispanic, many who are first-generation college students, and 32% of whom live in households with annual incomes below $20,000. This document describes UTEP''s efforts to study the factors that can improve graduate rates at UTEP. In particular, the document provides background information about the graduation rates, current research about factors that affect student success, and UTEP''s two current approaches in studying the issue for our unique student population: the Lumina Project and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) targeting student success in the middle years.