Student Success Indicators

1. Graduation Rates

a. Six-Year Graduation Rate (Key Selection Completion Indicator)

All Students

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA):  67%, selected due to this being the average six-year graduation rate for private nonprofit colleges nationwide.

Goal:  75%, selected to ensure that we exceed national graduation rates.

Results:
2014 Cohort (Graduated by 2020):  74.7% (Goal missed, but TFA exceeded)
2013 Cohort (Graduated by 2019):  69.9% (Goal missed, but TFA exceeded)
2012 Cohort (Graduated by 2018):  75.8% (Goal met/exceeded)

For Pell-Eligible Students (population identified because of the diversity focus of our mission)

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA): Graduation rate of no more than 7 percentage points below our total population. This is the average institutional gap nationwide.  

Goal: Graduation rate of no more than 5 percentage points below population.

Results:
2014 Cohort (Graduated by 2020):  70.6% (Goal met/exceeded)
2013 Cohort (Graduated by 2019):  63.2% (Goal missed, but TFA exceeded)
2012 Cohort (Graduated by 2018):  72.5% (Goal met/exceeded)

For Students of Color (population identified because of the diversity focus of our mission)

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA): Graduation rate of no more than 10 points below our total population. This is still narrower than the 18 point average institutional gap nationwide.

Goal: Graduation rate of no more than 5 percentage points below population.

Results:
2014 Cohort (Graduated by 2020):  76.6% (Goal met/exceeded)
2013 Cohort (Graduated by 2019):  72.1% (Goal met/exceeded)
2012 Cohort (Graduated by 2018):  69.8% (Goal missed, but TFA exceeded)

b. Four-Year Graduation Rate

All Students

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA):  65%, selected due to this being 10 points above the average four-year graduation rate for private nonprofit colleges nationwide.

Goal: 70%, selected to ensure that we exceed national graduation rates.

Results:
2016 Cohort (Graduated by 2020):  62.4% (Goal and TFA both missed)
2015 Cohort (Graduated by 2019):  69.5% (Goal missed, but TFA exceeded)
2014 Cohort (Graduated by 2018):  69.3% (Goal missed, but TFA exceeded)

Pell-Eligible Students (population identified because of the diversity focus of our mission)

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA): Graduation rate of no more than 7 percentage points below our total population. This is the average institutional gap nationwide.  
Goal: Graduation rate of no more than 5 percentage points below our total population.

Results:
2016 Cohort (Graduated by 2020):  54.0% (Goal and TFA both missed)
2015 Cohort (Graduated by 2019):  57.7% (Goal and TFA both missed)
2014 Cohort (Graduated by 2018):  66.7% (Goal met/exceeded)

Students of Color (population identified because of the diversity focus of our mission)

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA): Graduation rate of no more than 10 points below the total population. This is still narrower than the 18 point average institutional gap nationwide.

Goal: Graduation rate of no more than 5 percentage points below population.

Results:
2016 Cohort (Graduated by 2020):  50.0% (Goal and TFA both missed)
2015 Cohort (Graduated by 2019):  64.5% (Goal met/exceeded)
2014 Cohort (Graduated by 2018):  74.5% (Goal met/exceeded)

Analysis:
For the most recent cohort (Fall 2016 incoming students who graduated in 2020), our four-year graduation rate was 62.4%, which is several points lower than normal and due to several students who deferred their degrees—electing to return to Transylvania for a fifth year—with the introduction of our Pioneer Plus program; the program was one solution to help our students impacted by the pandemic but had the effect of some students delaying graduation.  

In response to these data, we have developed different initiatives to improve student success. A recent strategy involves the addition of a Student Planning module for our student information system. This system allows students to plot their course plan for future academic years based on the standard schedule of offerings for the institution’s academic programs. We have also significantly enhanced our academic support services in recent years, having added the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), which is a central hub for tutoring, as well as an additional staff member in our Learning Skills Program housed in ACE. We have also positioned our Quality Enhancement Plan as a way to help students become more successful in courses that traditionally have high rates of D, F, and Withdrawn grades, which we believe will have the effect of improving retention and graduation rates as well. Finally, to help students with financial need issues, we have limited our cost increase for 2021-22 to 2.2 percent, which is the lowest increase on record since we began tracking cost information in 1981.

2. Licensing Exams

Two of our programs’ graduates are required to take licensing exams—accounting and education. However, because many accounting students attend graduate school soon after their graduation from Transylvania and CPA exam results are sent to the students’ most recent institutions, we do not have comprehensive tracking data for that exam.

Education PRAXIS Passage Rates

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA): 100%, as the exam is required for employment in the student’s major.

Goal: 100%, as the exam is required for employment in the student’s major.

Results:
2020 Graduates: 100% passage rate (Goal met/exceeded)
2019 Graduates: 100% passage rate (Goal met/exceeded)
2018 Graduates: 100% passage rate (Goal met/exceeded)

Analysis:
The annual PRAXIS passage rate has been 100 percent since the 2008-09 academic year; these data are gathered by the faculty of the Education program. 

3. Graduate School Attendance 

Threshold for Acceptability (TFA): 30%, as this is likely still higher than the national average, but comparative data are limited.

Goal: 40% of graduating students will enroll within the first two years of graduation; this exceeds national data showing that 39% enroll within four years. If national trends change significantly we will revisit this goal.

Results:
2018 Graduates:  44.6% (Goal met/exceeded)
2017 Graduates:  42.6% (Goal met/exceeded)
2016 Graduates:  41.5% (Goal met/exceeded)

Analysis:
Since 2011, we have tracked enrollment patterns for our graduates using the Student Tracker tool provided by the National Student Clearinghouse. This continues to be a strength.