Student Achievement

Student Achievement

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Campbellsville University uses eligibility for financial aid, graduation rates, course completion rates, licensure pass rates in education and nursing, and employment rates in education and nursing as measures of student success. The following narrative will explain why these criteria were selected 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 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 the higher the 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%. As a matter of fact these students in this gap usually can’t 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 benchmark 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

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 current level of 37 and 39 (See the two graduation rates in the table above).

Use of Course Completion Rate

Another measure that shows student success is the university course completion rate. 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. The University has a goal of 93%. The table below provides data for the 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and the 2014-2015 success completions rates by semester:

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

Academic YearFall Success RateSpring Success Rate

The data in Table 4-Course Completion Rates, considers F, I, NR, U, and WA as unsuccessful grades. NG and W grades are removed from the calculations. 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%.

Use of PRAXIS and NCLEX Pass Rates and Employment Rates

The University uses pass rates for the PRAXIS Subject Assessments in the School of Education and pass rates for NCLEX in the School of Nursing to measure success in those fields requiring licensure. The particular PRAXIS discussed in this section include both discipline based exams and pedagogical exams. The following areas outside of education are eligible for licensure by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board: Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, Music, Social Studies, and Spanish plus endorsements in English as a Second Language and Environmental Education. Thus 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. Likewise, student success on the NCLEX is supported by many academic areas and therefore is a good measure of student success for the entire campus. This following data will show direct support of the mission statement “to foster professional preparation within a caring environment.”

School of Education

The School of Education (SOE) uses many sources of data to determine program improvement and student achievement. In relation to Graph 1, the SOE uses Praxis Subject Assessment pass rates and job placement percentage as critical data to determine candidate (student) achievement through licensure completion and job attainment. The SOE is committed to the Core Values of CU; in particular the dedication to academic excellence, fostering personal growth, integrity, and professional preparation within a caring environment. In compliance with NCATE, the SOE collects and analyzes data that demonstrate student achievement of all Kentucky Teacher Standards (KTS), including standards on Professional Development, Learning Environment, and Leadership. Meeting the KTS is necessary for the successful completion of state licensure (Praxis Subject Assessments) and job placement. The data provided show Praxis Subject Assessment pass rates as compared to the required state threshold (80%) and SOE thresholds (85% for Praxis Subject Assessments and 50% for job placement one year after graduation). 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.

Graph 1 – PRAXIS Subject Assessment Pass Rate, Compared to Goal

Praxis Rate Pass


Graph 1 illustrates the Praxis subject assessment pass rate for the last three years. CU consistently shows a pass rate well above the minimum of 80% required by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board and the School of Education goal of 85%.

Graph 2 – Current Employment Rate

Current Employment Rate

Graph 2 displays the current employment status for graduates from 2013-201. It illustrates that 70% of the students who graduated from an initial, undergraduate level program in 2015-16 were employed as teachers within one year of graduation in their certification area.

School of Nursing

The School of Nursing uses licensure exam (NCLEX) pass rates on the first attempt as a measure of student success. The table below illustrates the successful pass rate of CU associate degree nursing students for the past five years. The table compares the NCLEX pass rate with the all other nursing programs in Kentucky offering the associate degree in nursing with CU. The goal for the School of Nursing is reflected at 90%, as well as the 85% threshold established by the Kentucky Board of Nursing. CU continues to exceed the 80% threshold maintained by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

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

Nursing NCLEX Pass Rates

Graph 4-Nursing Employment Rates

Emplyment Rates

The data represents the percentage of new graduates that had a nursing job at the time of graduation. The darker blue line represents Campbellsville University. Data from the Kentucky Board of Nursing (light blue) represents the average for the state of Kentucky. Each horizontal line represents an increase of 20 points. No job placement data exists for the state beyond 2013.

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.