Tiger Take-Off




Student Achievement

Student Achievement

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Campbellsville University uses a variety of measures of student success. The Academic Council identifies and evaluates multiple student achievement measures on an annual basis. The results of these measures are published on the Campbellsville University website.

Campbellsville University uses eligibility for financial aid, average net costs, graduation rates, course completion rates, licensure pass rates in education and nursing, employment rates in education and nursing, assessment results from certification and licensure programs, and assessment results for graduate programs in the School of Business and School of Social Work as measures of student success. The following narrative explains why these criteria were selected, how thresholds were determined, and how they are consistent with the mission of the university.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

To help students focus on academic success, CU strives to be an affordable provider of quality higher education. The institution’s use of “eligibility for financial aid” as a measure of success not only relates to helping students be academically successful, but also relates directly to two core values of the Mission Statement:

●  To provide an environment conducive for student success

●  To model servant leadership through effective stewardship of resources

In order for students to maintain financial aid eligibility, they must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements set by the Federal Government. There are two major components of the SAP requirements; appropriate GPA and successful completion of at least 67% of course work attempted. It should be noted that a higher eligibility percentage for financial aid is an indication of completion on time, and thus relates directly to these two goals in the CU mission statement. The administration of the university would not be modeling servant leadership if the eligibility for financial percentage aid were to drop below 90%. In fact, these students in this gap usually cannot afford to attend college. The following table provides the percentage of students maintaining eligibility for financial aid.

Table 1 – Percent Eligible for Financial Aid

Academic YearPercentageActual Numbers

Table 2 – Average Net Cost

The institution strives to keep the average net cost for students at a level significantly below the list of 16 comparative schools. The threshold established for CU’s average cost per student is to be five to ten percent below the average cost of the 16 comparison schools. This lower cost in turn allows the student to focus more on academic work and less on having to have a job off campus, making the environment conducive to student success. Likewise, this is an effective model of stewardship by providing a quality education at a reduction in cost. The average net cost is directly related to the percentage of students receiving financial aid.

Academic YearCU Average CostComparison Group Average CostPercent Below Comparison Group

Use of Graduation Rates

The use of graduation rates as a measure of student success also shows that the university provides an environment conducive for student success. The threshold is to be at or above the average graduation rates of the 16 institutions in the comparison group. The goal, as stated in VISION 2025, is “to increase graduation rates to make CU comparable to the best of the peer schools.” This goal was set in 2009 when a different group of schools was used for comparison. The new group was selected as a more appropriate comparison group. The new comparison group was selected based on institutions in SACSCOC region by comparative size and either Kentucky School, Appalachian College Association member, Baptist, or Mid-South Conference. The benchmark for graduation rates is to be at or above the average of the 16 comparison institutions listed in Table 3-IPEDS Cohort Graduation Percentage. The Administrative Council has changed the goal, desiring that CU’s graduation rate be 48% by 2025. The geographical area from which CU draws the majority of her students and the fact that more than half of the freshmen class are first generation college students makes the new goal of a 48% graduation rate very appropriate but challenging.

Table 3 – IPEDS Cohort Graduation Percentage

School Name2017 Grad Rate %
(2011 Cohort)
2016 Grad Rate %
(2010 Cohort)
2015 Grad Rate %
(2009 Cohort)
2014 Grad Rate %
(2008 Cohort)
Campbellsville U34363739
Alderson Broaddus U47493845
Belhaven U49364750
Charleston Southern U35363934
Chowan U26232425
East Texas Baptist U31384638
Faulkner U28332131
Ferrum College35303125
Florida Memorial U38383939
Houston Baptist U48443345
Lindsey Wilson College35342935
Mars Hill U31343437
Tusculum College33413636
U of Charleston (WVa)49404735
U of Pikeville30273540
U of the Cumberlands41433736
Warner U40374038
Mean of the other 1637363637

Title III Student Retention and Achievement

It is the case that CU has not reached the 48% graduation rate. However, steady progress has been made over the past several years moving the graduation rate from lower 30’s to the 2017 level of 34 (See the two graduation rates in the table above). In 2012, Campbellsville University was awarded a Title III Grant from the Federal Government. The focus of this grant is to increase retention and graduation rates. In order to improve retention and graduation rates, CU instituted learning communities for freshman students. In these learning communities, students are paired with other students in their major in their orientation classes and in two general education courses. Additionally, CU employs academic coaches that provide a support structure to enable students to make a successful transition to college. The academic coaches have a variety of roles, but they are mostly to support freshman and help them be successful. In 2018-2019, CU additionally employed an academic coach to work with sophomores.

The data included in the third year report from the Title III Grant indicates that it produced a 13% increase in student achievement to 88.5%. It also produced a 4% increase in fall-to-fall first year retention to 66% with an additional 1% increase of student persistence to junior year to 53%. If this trend continues, CU should continue to see the graduation rate increase.

Use of Course Completion Rate

The university’s course completion rate is another measure that shows student success. This measure supports the core value: “To provide an environment conducive for student success.” Campbellsville University considers a 90% course completion rate to be the threshold for success.

Table 4 – Course Completion Rates (Data from Institutional Research)

Academic YearFall Success RateSpring Success Rate

To calculate the data in Table 4-Course Completion Rates, grades of F, I, NR, U, and WA were deemed unsuccessful grades. NG and W grades are removed from the calculations. For example, courses such as science labs that make up part of the corresponding course credit receive a grade of NG. The University is working through a strong academic support unit to move the course completion rate to 93%.

School of Education PRAXIS Pass Rates and Employment Rates

The SOE uses many sources of data to determine program improvement and student achievement. The SOE uses Praxis Subject Assessment pass rates and job employment percentage as critical data to determine candidate (student) achievement through licensure completion (graph 1) and job attainment (graph 2). n compliance with Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP), the SOE continuously collects and analyzes data that demonstrate student achievement of all Kentucky Teacher Performance Standards (KTPS/InTASC), including standards on Professional Development, Learning Environment. Meeting the KTPS is necessary for the successful completion of state licensure (Praxis Subject Assessments) and job placement. SOE faculty members analyze such data every year and determine areas for growth based on data. The SOE creates an annual Strategic Plan and Program Improvement Plan to create accountability for improvement and change as needed. All of these measures ensure that the SOE addresses the CU mission statement value of achieving academic excellence through rigor and relevancy in undergraduate programs.

The University uses pass rates for the PRAXIS in the School of Education to measure success in those fields requiring licensure. The particular PRAXIS discussed in this section include both subject assessments, based on certification areas, and assessment of pedagogical knowledge, Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). The Campbellsville University School of Education (SOE) offers degrees leading to licensure by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB) in the following areas: Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, P-5

(Elementary), Middle Grades, Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Social Studies at the 8-12 level, and Health and Physical Education, Music, Art, and Spanish at the P-12 level for undergraduates and for 5-9 and 8-12 at the graduate level Masters of Art of Teaching (MAT). An acceptable pass rate on the PRAXIS subject assessments implies students are being successful in these academic areas. In addition, the PRAXIS pass rate indirectly implies that these students are successful in general education and other disciplines that relate to these areas. The following data show direct support of the mission statement “to foster professional preparation within a caring environment.”

Graph 1-PRAXIS Subject Assessment Pass Rate for CU, Kentucky and Goal


Graph 1 illustrates the Praxis subject assessment and PLT pass rate for the last four years. CU consistently shows a pass rate well above the threshold of 80% required by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board and the School of Education goal of 85%. The 2017- 18 official Title II pass rate will be released in the spring of 2019, which will include the state pass rate. The unofficial CU pass rate is displayed.

Graph 2-First Year Employment Rate


Graph 2 displays the current employment status for graduates from 2015-2018. It illustrates that 85% of the students who graduated from an initial, undergraduate level program in 2017-18 were employed as teachers within one year of graduation in their certification area. This is well above the threshold of 50% established by the university. This employment rate indirectly evidences the CU mission statement value of effective stewardship because the graduates are using the education they obtained to establish and maintain gainful employment.

School of Nursing

The School of Nursing uses licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) pass rates on the first attempt as a measure of student success. The graph below illustrates the successful pass rate of CU associate degree nursing students for the past five years. The table compares the NCLEX-RN pass rate with the national average data from the National Council on State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission for Nursing Education (CNEA) both utilize the 80% benchmark for completion rate of the first-time test-takers. The Kentucky State Board of Nursing also adopted this same threshold for pass rates. The School of Nursing established the 80% threshold that is currently maintained by these entities. In 2018, the School of Nursing fell slightly below this goal, but those who have tested in early 2019 have exceeded the threshold.

Graph 3-NCLEX Pass Rates for First Time Test-Takers


*Represents data received for first quarter of this year.

Graph 4-Nursing Employment Rates


All new graduates of the Associate Degree in Nursing program at Campbellsville University had a nursing job within six months of graduation. No workforce data related to new graduate nurses exists for the state beyond 2013, so there is no basis for comparison.


National Council on State Boards of Nursing, (2019). Exam statistics and publications. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/10645.htm

The data reflecting the success of education and nursing students does in fact support the University’s mission of academic excellence solidly grounded in the liberal arts that fosters personal growth, integrity, and professional preparation within a caring environment.

Certification and Licensure Programs

In addition to traditional undergraduate bachelor’s degree students (represented by financial aid, net cost, course completion, and Praxis data) and associate degree students (represented by NCLEX-RN data), the university recently added more certification and licensure programs. The nature of these students and their goals are different from traditional students. Additionally, the certification programs are placed strategically across the state of Kentucky. Available data for the Cosmetology program is displayed in graph 5 and Allied Health data is displayed in graph 6.

Graph 5- Kentucky State Board of Cosmetology Examination Pass Rate


Campbellsville University is the only faith-based cosmetology program in Kentucky. Upon completion of the program, students must take the Kentucky State Board of Cosmetology Licensure Examination. In 2017-2018, 100% of students passed the practical portion of the exam with a threshold score of 90% or more. In 2017-2018, 98% of students passed the written portion of the exam. As data for the 2018-2019 year becomes available, it will be added.

Graph 6- State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) Exam Pass Rate


Students enrolled in the State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) program must take the Kentucky exam. CU’s goal is for 85% of students to pass the exam on the first attempt and 95% on the second attempt. In 2017-2018, 84% passed on the first attempt (just below the goal) and 83% passed on the second attempt. As data for the 2018-2019 year becomes available, it will be added.