One of Anderson University’s core values is its commitment to students, “our core process is teaching and learning aimed at the development of graduates of disciplined intelligence, competence, character, and faith.”
To this end, the University measures the achievement of its students through several means: course completion, attainment of Dean’s List, freshman to sophomore retention rate, career preparation experience, 4- and 6-year graduation rates, the number of degrees awarded, and first destination data. Some programs make use of discipline-based nationally normed examinations. Individual colleges or schools maintain the data from these assessments.
Dean's List Data
Table A shows the number of students who have been recognized for the Deans’ List during the past eight years. Students must demonstrate a high level of academic success by earning at least a 3.5 GPA in order to be on the Deans’ List. As the student population has grown, the number of students who have achieved this recognition has grown over the past eight years.
Population of Internship Completers
|Year||Enrolled||Grade C or >||% Success|
Research in student engagement and success indicates that undergraduate research, internships, clinical experiences, or practicum experiences are recognized as high impact practices (HIP) for students. HIP opportunities provide upper-level students with experience in a real-world setting, a strong component of success after graduation. The data in Table B show the number of students participating in these experiences over the last six years. Required internship or clinical courses are mainstays in a variety of academic programs, including Art-Graphic Design, Business (all concentrations), all undergraduate Education degrees, Interior Design, Psychology, Communications, and Christian Ministry. The relatively new nursing program has recently joined this group. Several other programs offer but do not require credit for internships, including History, Biology, Kinesiology, Theatre, Musical Theatre, Criminal Justice, Music, Art, and Spanish.
Discipline-based National Exams
Most of the data on national discipline performance exams is tracked in the Annual Academic Reports for specific academic program. The data tables below were extracted from the most recent reports for 2015-2016 and demonstrate that departments monitor the academic success of their students to comparative norms. National comparative data are collected by Nursing, Business, Biology, Psychology, and Education. The data are significant because the students in these programs represent half of the University’s undergraduate population. The comparison data for these tests are found in the following set of Tables, with comments noted in the narrative analysis from the department reports. Weaknesses in areas of student performance are used to guide program improvement with the ultimate aim of raising the level of student success. Excerpts from those reports are included below each table.
Nursing Program – NCLEX Pass Rate
The School of Nursing was encouraged with the NCLEX results for their first cohort of graduates, which was above both state and national averages. After dropping in years two and three, the pass rate increased noticeably for the adult students in year four of the program. The first class of Traditional nursing students took the NCLEX in 2015-16, and the School of Nursing was pleased with their first-time 89 percent pass rate.
2014-2015 ETS Business Major Field Exam Results
|National Data||F14 – BUS 490
|S15 – BUS 490
|S15 – BUS 490
|# of Students Tested||31,195
% at or below
2015-2016 ETS Business Major Field Exam Results
|National Data||F15 – BUS 490
|S16 – BUS 490
|S16 – BUS 490
|# of Students Tested||68,594
% at or below
As can be seen in Table C2 above, the Anderson University business majors have scored above the national average on the ETS Business Major Field Exam during the past two years.
Analysis of the Departmental Mean by Content Area
Departmental Summary of Assessment Indicators
|Mean Percent Correct|
|Assessment Indicator Title||2013-2014||2014-2015||2015-2016|
|Biochemistry and Cell Energetics||56||51||56|
|Cellular Structure, Organization, Function||58||53||52|
|Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics||57||52||49|
|Diversity of Organisms||44||56||63|
|Organismal - Animals||48||53||49|
|Organismal - Plants||31||46||43|
|Population Genetics and Evolution||59||46||44|
The departmental learning outcome related to the several Biology sub-disciplines is assessed via the ETS Major Field Test in Biology. Competence is gauged on the basis of 50% of graduating biology majors scoring at or better than the 50% mark in their total scores, compared with all of the biology majors taking the exam.
Psychology National Exam
Comparison of ACAT Standard Scores Across Domains for Last Seven Academic Years
|History and Systems||464||495||471||459||468||459||485|
|indicates scores that were highest in the last seven years|
|indicates scores that were the second highest in the last seven years|
The Psychology Department utilizes the ACAT Psychology National Exam to evaluate its graduating seniors on learning in several domains and in comparison with other psychology students across the nation. The table above shows that in three domains the 2015-16 graduates made the highest scores of AU graduates in the last seven years; and in one other domain, as well as in overall performance, they made the second highest score over the same time period.
The table below shows the standard scores and percentile ranks of graduating seniors across four years. While each domain has some fluctuation from year to year, the overall trend is improving scores across the domains.
TABLE C4.B - ACAT Standard Score and Percentile Comparison for Seniors
Praxis Test Results
Click here to view the different results from the Praxis Assessment rates. Download the Report.
Retention and Graduation Rates
An important initial measure of student success is the number of new full-time freshmen who are retained (continue at AU) into their sophomore year. The University has a current goal of 80% towards which it has been approaching over the last few years. As shown in Table 3A, there was a notable increase in 2010-11 when Alpha Leaders (AL) were assigned to each section of the Freshman Year Experience (FYE) course. The AL is an upper-class peer who not only assists the faculty or staff member leading the FYE class but also continues in a mentoring role with these new students throughout the freshman year. Recent efforts to increase retention include the appointment of a Retention Task Force in 2013 and the implementation of the Beacon Retention Software Platform (Campus Labs) in fall 2016.
Freshman to Sophomore Retention Rate
Using federal definitions, graduation rates are computed only for students who entered the University as new full-time freshmen. Students who transferred out and completed a degree elsewhere and those who transferred in and completed a degree at Anderson are excluded from the data on graduation rates. The University is working towards of a goal of achieving a 6-year graduate rate of 55 percent. We appear to be nearing that goal.
The data in Table 3B show that the University has experienced notable increases over the last five years in the number of both undergraduate and graduate degrees earned each year.
Data on Graduation Rate and Degrees Awarded
|First-Time Freshman Cohort||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012|
|4-year Graduation Rate||41%||43%||36%||45%||43%||47%||52%||55%|
|6-year Graduation Rate||47%||48%||41%||51%||48%||53%||TBD||TBD|
As defined by federal regulation, graduation rates are reported based on completion of first-time, full-time students, and exclude students who have transferred into the University. Table 3B provides data on both four-year and six-year graduation rates over the past eight years. Rates have been reasonably steady, except for a dip in 2007 and a notable uptick in 2011 and 2012. The number of degrees awarded, with some variation, has generally been on an upward trend. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees have grown significantly in recent years.
First Destination Survey Data
|Graduating Class*||# Graduates||Employed||Graduate School||Total||Percent at work/school||No Data|
*First-year out data for combined May, August and December graduates for each year
Through the combined efforts of the colleges and schools, the Center for Career Planning and Professional Development, and the Alumni Office, the University tracks employment and graduate school placement for students at the end of the first year following graduation. The University captures placement data at the point of graduation and relies upon alumni updates in the months following graduation; it is typical for placement data to trend upwards in these months. For several years, the institution has had a goal for alumni to achieve combined employment and graduate school placement rates at or above the level of 60 percent within 24 months of graduation. After a drop in 2013, the institution reached this goal each year since May 2014. In 2015-2016, graduates who found employment constituted 46.9 percent of the cohort, while those who are attending graduate/professional school accounted for 15.8 percent of the cohort.