19.6 Institution’s approach to understanding student learning focuses on the institutional programs and course levels and includes
a. The analysis of retention rates, completion rates, graduation rates, job placement rates, and student success rates on state and other licensing exams.
b. Assessment of student learning outcomes at the institution, program, and course levels.
c. Utilization of multiple approaches (qualitative and quantitative methods and direct and indirect measures) for assessing student learning, including information both internal and external to the institution.
Student learning focuses on the college programs. The graduation rate (the percentage of students who finish their degree within 6 years) for students who entered Southeastern from 2006 through 2010 was 72.6%. For comparison, the national average for those who entered 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 1996 though 2008 was 58 percent (nces.ed.gov).
Here are the graduation rates for students entering Southeastern for the following years:
- 2006 82%
- 2007 82%
- 2008 72%
- 2009 68%
- 2010 59%
The retention rate (the percentage of students returning the following fall) for those who entered Southeastern from 2011 through 2015 was 72.8%. The national average for the average retention rate of first-time degree-seeking undergraduates at degree-granting postsecondary institutions for the years of 2006 through 2013 was 72.1% (nces.ed.gov).
Here are the retention rates for students entering Southeastern for the following years:
- 2011 79%
- 2012 81%
- 2013 84%
- 2014 55%
- 2015 65%
The graduation rate is a good deal higher than the national average, but has dropped 23 percentage points in the last five years. The retention rate of 72.8% is slightly better than the national average of 72.1%, but has declined a good deal the last two years. The college is aware the retention rate for 2015 falls below the TRACS benchmark of 70%. The Assessment Committee has made the Strategic Planning Committee aware of the need to develop a plan to improve our retention rate. The Strategic Planning Committee has added this item to their agenda for their next meeting .
Student learning outcomes are currently assessed through qualitative and quantitative methods, including student grades, senior interviews and focus groups, and capstones. Currently, the Teacher Education Department requires that all seniors complete a “Directed Teaching” module in the Spring semester. This capstone project fully implements the content and skills learned in the program. Also, the Church Music Program requires seniors to complete a Church Music Practicum that is done in conjunction with a local church music minister. This practicum allows the exhibition of all the training which they have received at the college. The Church Music students and Music Education students are also required to perform a high caliber music recital of their chosen instrument their senior year to display their proficiency and the result of the training received. It is envisioned that the Bible degree graduates will complete a portfolio project as the key assessment in their area. As of now, this has not been finalized and adopted, and is being worked on within the Bible Department faculty. In addition, the college will be conducting regularly scheduled surveys of the alumni from each department to determine strengths and weaknesses. The college is in the process of implementing the full range of these methods as outlined in the Comprehensive Assessment Plan.
At this time the Institution does not collect data on success rates on state and other licensure exams because it does not offer any programs that require students to take those exams.
Plan of Action:
A portfolio requirement for the Bible Department needs to be developed and implemented. In addition, the deficiency in retention rates must be analyzed and a strategy developed to reverse that trend.