Student Achievement

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.

TABLE A
Dean's List Data

  Fall Spring Total
2009 568 587 1155
2010 657 663 1320
2011 782 770 1552
2012 863 892 1755
2013 937 935 1872
2014 1079 1047 2126
2015 1205 1182 2387
2016 1250 1241 2491

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.

TABLE B
Population of Internship Completers

Year Enrolled Grade C or > % Success
2010-2011 222 218 98%
2011-2012 252 232 92%
2012-2013 299 293 97%
2013-2014 334 315 94%
2014-2015 314 301 96%
2015-2016 450 447 99%

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.

TABLE C1
Nursing Program – NCLEX Pass Rate

  2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
ABSN (Adult) 93% 82% 73% 83%
TBSN (Traditional) NA NA NA 89%

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.

TABLE C2
2014-2015 ETS Business Major Field Exam Results

  National Data F14 – BUS 490
(BS Degree)
S15 – BUS 490
(BBA Degree)
S15 – BUS 490
(BS Degree)
# of Students Tested 31,195
(489 institutions)
31 6 37
Mean 150.6 152 144 157
Standard Deviation 7.2 14 12 13
Range 120-200 130-180 133-166 138-188
Inst. Means
% at or below
  51% 16% 80%

2015-2016 ETS Business Major Field Exam Results

  National Data F15 – BUS 490
(BS Degree)
S16 – BUS 490
(BBA Degree)
S16 – BUS 490
(BS Degree)
# of Students Tested 68,594
(563 institutions)
14 4 56
Mean 150.3 155 154 156
Standard Deviation 7.0 7 4 13
Range 120-200 138-167 148-158 132-194
Inst. Means
% at or below
  72% -- 76%

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.

TABLE C3
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
Ecology 56 50 54
Analytical Skills 55 51 51

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.

TABLE C4.A
Psychology National Exam
Comparison of ACAT Standard Scores Across Domains for Last Seven Academic Years

Area Standard Score
2009-2010
Standard Score
2010-2011
Standard Score
2011-2012
Standard Score
2012-2013
Standard Score
2013-2014
Standard Score
2014-2015
Standard Score
2015-2016
Abnormal 433 480 454 469 496 545 557
Clinical/Counseling 461 485 487 469 534 582 552
Developmental 476 502 458 465 487 512 513
Experimental Design 435 475 421 418 481 514 489
History and Systems 464 495 471 459 468 459 485
Human Learning/Cognition 463 482 501 460 512 510 496
Personality 438 492 472 456 483 535 509
Physiological 484 500 454 468 470 493 484
Social 457 472 492 491 499 530 487
Statistics 431 495 470 458 500 508 513
OVERALL PERFORMANCE 452.2 487.8 435 425 475 514 497
  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

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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.

TABLE D
Freshman to Sophomore Retention Rate

Academic year 2008-
2009
2009-
2010
2010-
2011
2011-
2012
2012-
2013
2013-
2014
2014-
2015
2015-
2016
Fall-to-Fall
Freshman to
Sophomore Retention
62.3 62.8 74.0 72.0 76.2 75.7 76.4 74.1

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.

TABLE D
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
Academic year 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Undergrad Degrees 322 293 317 360 367 425 493 495
Graduate Degrees 11 39 70 65 96 119 136 138
Total Degrees 333 332 387 425 463 544 629 633

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.

TABLE E
First Destination Survey Data

Graduating Class* # Graduates Employed Graduate School Total Percent at work/school No Data
2009 322 104 48 152 47.2 170
2010 293 131 78 209 71.3 84
2011 317 122 70 192 60.5 125
2012 360 195 50 245 68.0 115
2013 367 137 44 174 47.4 193
2014 466 233 54 287 61.5 198
2015 455 293 55 348 76.5 107
2016 493 231 78 309 62.7 184

*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.

Colleges and schools disaggregated data on placement of graduates in the colleges/schools for the last five years.