Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

4.1 Student Achievement

The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. Criteria may include enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates, state licensing examinations, student portfolios, or other means of demonstrating achievement of goals. (Student achievement)

Judgment check box Compliance

 

Narrative

Reinhardt’s mission commits the University to “educate the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual and physical dimensions of its students.”  This dedication to education is paralleled by Reinhardt’s commitment to continuously examine student performance and success in their academic pursuits and seek to provide and enhance services aimed at helping students reach their goals. The University has identified five key areas where data is collected and monitored regularly: 1) course completion rates, 2) first-year retention rates, 3) graduation rates, 4) pass rates for the Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Teachers, and 5) ETS Proficiency Profile test scores.  These indicators were chosen to measure the development of the “intellectual” dimension of students, which is part of the university mission.  The indicators are updated annually for the Public Disclosure of Student Achievement, which is posted on the Reinhardt University website at: http://www.reinhardt.edu/OurStory/pdf/Student-Achievement-Public-Disclosure.pdf [1]

This section discusses the targets that have been established for the five student achievement indicators. The rationale that led to the establishment of the target and who determined the target are also discussed for each indicator of student achievement.

Course Completion Rates

Reinhardt’s goal for successful course completion is to maintain an overall rate higher than 85%. This determination was made by the Provost and the President in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness. The rationale for this target is that each year about 85% of the freshmen receive some type of financial aid.  Reinhardt University serves a diverse population of students, many of whom rely on financial aid to support their enrollment and progression toward graduation. The RU Office of Financial Aid, in accordance with Title IV federal programs, monitors the achievement of financial aid recipients and their enrollment status. Federal regulation require that all student financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving a degree.  Reinhardt tracks course completion data not only for financial aid recipients, but for all undergraduates. Successful course completion at the undergraduate level is defined as earning a grade of A, B, C, D, or P.   For the past three years, the course completion rate was above 90%.

First-Year Retention Rates

President Mallard had established a retention rate of 62% as a threshold of acceptability for first-to-second year retention.  The rationale leading to the establishment of this target is that 62% represents the mean of retention rates for the university’s peer group, which were calculated based on a 4-year average for each institution.  This determination was made by the Provost and the President in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness.  The nine peer institutions for this benchmark were selected based on the following criteria: private non-profit colleges located in Georgia or neighboring states with a student enrollment that is comparable to Reinhardt’s. [2]

Six-year Graduation Rates

Reinhardt University is continuously seeking strategies and ways to increase the number and percentage of students who complete their degree.  As part of the Public Disclosure of Student Achievement, the University tracks this measure by benchmarking to the graduation rates of Regional Colleges in Georgia of similar size as well as some from adjoining states. These are the same institutions the University uses for benchmarking freshman to sophomore retention rates.

Similar to the achievement target for retention rates, Reinhardt’s threshold of acceptability for the 6-year graduation was set through benchmarking to peer institutions.  Specifically, the university’s target for this student achievement criterion is to be at or above 38%.   This determination was made by the Provost and the President in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness.  The 38% target represents the mean of graduation rates for the peer group, which were calculated based on a 4-year average for each institution. The group of peers includes the same institutions that were used to derive the threshold of acceptability for retention rates. [2] The data show that Reinhardt is making progress toward achieving the established target.

In addition to the graduation rates calculated for first-time freshmen, Reinhardt tracks graduation within 150% of “Normal Time” for full-time transfers. The University’s goal is to maintain a rate of at least 50% for this group.  This determination was made by the Provost and the President in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness. With the progress made in many of the Move the Needle (MTN) modules, we are optimistic that the recent work of these modules will lead to further improvements in the graduation rates of both first-time and transfer students. Graduation rates for this group have been approximately 60% for the Fall 2008 and Fall 2009 transfers.

Pass Rates for the Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Teachers

A pass rate that exceeds the statewide pass rate on the GACE Content Assessment is the achievement target for all programs in Price School of Education. This determination was made by the Dean of Price School of Education.  The rationale leading to the establishment of this threshold of acceptability is that students completing a teacher education program in Georgia cannot be certified without having met this requirement.  For each of the previous three years, the pass rate for Price School of Education teacher candidates exceeded the state pass rate.

As faculty have analyzed student results on their GACE Content Assessments in recent years, they have added and/or changed certain course requirements to more closely align program requirements with GACE assessments standards. This has occurred with both program and select general education courses.

ETS Proficiency Profile Score

Each year, all graduating seniors at Reinhardt take the ETS Proficiency Profile, a standardized test that assesses general education proficiencies and student attainment of the university’s general education student learning outcomes.  The test assesses college-level skills in reading, writing, critical thinking, mathematics, humanities, social science, and science and is designed to measure the academic skills developed through general education courses, rather than the subject knowledge specifically taught in those courses. Only the average total score is used for this indicator. Reinhardt’s goal for this measure is to score at or above the national mean when compared to all students at Liberal Arts Baccalaureate Colleges. This determination was made by the Provost and the President in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness.  For the past three years, Reinhardt’s average total score ranked at or above the national average for the comparison group.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] RU Public Disclosure of Student Achievement

[2] Example of Target Setting - Retention and Graduation Rates