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Federal Requirement 4.1

The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement including, as appropriate, consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates. (Student achievement)  

Judgement: Compliant


The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate)assesses student achievement with respect to course completions, retention and graduation rates, state licensing examination results, and job placement rates.This commitment to student success is evaluated through data analyses and reporting processes.

The Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning provides data analyses and reports to support the assessment of student success.The School of Education PRAXIS II and Mary Black School of Nursing NCLEX 2010 results are compiled and reported in compliance with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) mandate that first-time pass rates on state examinations be submitted annually. Similarly, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)requires submissions of student success data through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), including retention and graduation rates.

Progress toward program completion is analyzed using grade distributions. Freshman course completion rates are provided annually to the deans and chairs in order to develop and implement initiatives to improve student performance. For example, course success rates in Biology 110 indicated students had difficulty succeeding in the course. Additional tutors were hired to assist students to achieve success.

Similarly, analyses of success measures for transfer students and graduates are compiled periodically. The reports contain a wide range of data including student characteristics; indicators of studentsuccess; retention; graduation rates;job placement rates; matriculation to other schools and firstsemester, firstyear, and cumulative grade point averages. These reports are available to theUniversity community on the USC Upstate website. The findings from these analyses have been the impetus for significant student success initiatives such as the creation of the Student Success Center.

USC Upstate also periodically surveys current students, graduates, and alumni. The table below lists selected surveys, the population addressed, and the frequency of administration.

Instrument StakeholdersFrequency 
Educational Benchmark Exit SurveySeniors - business, nursing, educationEvery three years
ACUHO-I/EBI Resident StudyHousingEvery three years
Transfer SurveysAll transfers from the previous academic yearThree-year rotating basis
Graduate SurveysAll graduates from the previous academic yearThree-year rotating basis
Alumni SurveysGraduatesEvery other spring, 2–4 years after graduation
Student Opinion PollsCurrent studentsEnd of every course
First Year Initiative SurveyStudents in University 101Annually
Administrative Department Surveys – Counseling Services, Disability Services, etc.All faculty and staffAnnually
Major Surveys – Engineering Technology Management, English, Nonprofit, etc.Current students taking courses in each areaAnnually
Academic Department Graduate Surveys—Education, History, Engineering Technology Management, etc...Graduates from the previous yearAnnually
NSSE – National Survey of Student EngagementCurrent freshmen and seniorsEvery three years
FSSE – Faculty Survey of Student EngagementAll facultyEvery three years
Senior SurveysSchool of Education seniorsEnd of fall and spring semesters
Faculty Survey of AdministratorsAll facultyAnnually
Employee Satisfaction SurveyAll faculty and staffAnnually
Employer Surveys (Education, Graduate Education, Engineering Technology Management)Employers of graduatesAnnually or every other year
Administrative Area SurveysAll faculty and staffAnnually

Some specific examples of how data results have been used in making changes in the School of Education are:

  • Education Benchmark Survey (EBI):The School of Education (SOE)affirmed, using 2007 EBI results, that the school needs a stronger male and minority male enrollment. As a result, the school implemented “Men Teach,”a program that targets high school seniors and males who are undecided about attending college for the purpose of promoting a college education (regardless of major),with an emphasis on a career in the field of education.
  • Employer Survey: Data from the ongoing SOE Employer Survey identified the need to better integrate the use of technology throughout educationdegree programs rather than relying on an introductory course. Faculty in the School of Education use Promethean boards since that technology mirrors the technology used in K-12 classrooms.

Some specific examples of how data results have been used in making changes in the Office of Disability Services as a result of the Student Evaluation of Disability Services Annual Survey:

  • Students with disabilities indicated that the “low-distraction” testing environment provided for them was not sufficiently “low-distraction.” Disability Services modified the structure of the testing environmentby creating more private spaces.
  • Students with disabilities indicated they did not feel sufficiently prepared forinitial discussions with faculty about accommodations. In response, Disability Services created a document entitled “Tips for Discussing Accommodation Letters."
  • Students with disabilities indicated that their instructors were not assigning volunteer note-takers. Disability Services centralized the process within its office, which both faculty and students prefer.

The results of assessments and evaluations of student success are used to refine the institution’s strategic planning processes.

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