The Fifth-Year Interim Report

Part III: The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification


4.1 Student Achievement

The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission.

Judgment of Compliance

Compliance

Narrative

Alcorn State University (ASU) affirms its commitment to student achievement through its mission statement, “The University emphasizes intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates to be well-rounded future leaders of high character and to be successful in the global marketplace of the 21st century.”   Historically, Alcorn State University has provided access to higher education to students who might have been marginalized because of their socioeconomic status or educational background.

The University uses data from several sources to determine student achievement.  These data sources include retention data, graduation data, aggregate course grades and completion data, professional licensing and examination results, and departmental/discipline measures (e.g. comprehensive examinations, senior thesis/projects, internships, etc.)

Retention Rates

ASU evaluates retention rates on an annual basis for first-time entering freshman to determine success with respect to student achievement.  Based on the University’s mission, the threshold for success is as follows

  • The University’s retention rate will be at or above the state average.
    Source:  Alcorn State University 2009-2019 Strategic Plan, p.24

 

First year to second year comparative data for Mississippi public regional institutions (Alcorn State University, Delta State University (DSU), Mississippi University for Women (MUW), and Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) show the following:

 

Mississippi Public Regional Institutions Retention Data

 

 

ASU

 

DSU

 

MUW

 

MVSU

 

Average

 

Cohort

2nd Yr

Cohort

2nd Yr

Cohort

2nd Yr

Cohort

2nd Yr

 

2008

451

70%

392

63%

239

68%

446

61%

66%

2009

463

69%

367

59%

210

75%

413

53%

64%

2010

588

67%

372

61%

192

75%

382

63%

64%

2011

659

69%

324

67%

175

74%

300

61%

68%

2012

563

68%

381

66%

182

79%

389

53%

67%

2013

545

76%

380

67%

180

69%

459

65%

69%

2014

494

76%

405

62%

224

75%

386

66%

70%

 

Use of the state average as the benchmark is appropriate for ASU because the Mississippi public regional institutions have similar student demographics and similar missions.

Graduation Rates

Alcorn State University has established the following benchmark for graduation rates:

  • The graduation rate will be at or above the state average.
    Source:  Alcorn State University 2009-2019 Strategic Plan, p.24

 

Graduation Rates of IHL Public 4 -Year  Regional Institutions

Institution Name/Cohort

2007

2006

2005

2004

 

4 Year

6 Year

4 Year

6 Year

4 Year

6 Year

4 Year

6 Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcorn State University

18%

34%

15%

31%

19%

33%

21%

37%

Delta State University

17%

36%

18%

37%

17%

32%

20%

46%

Mississippi University for Women

22%

39%

27%

39%

24%

39%

24%

39%

Mississippi Valley State University

11%

26%

12%

22%

11%

24%

14%

27%

IHL Public Regional Institutions Average

17%

34%

18%

32%

18%

32%

20%

37%

Source: IPEDS & IHL Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest IPEDS and Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) composite data available for the four year cohorts (2007-2011, 2006-2010, 2005-2009, and 2004-2008) and six year cohorts (2007-2013, 2006-2012, 2005-2009, and 2004-2010) show the IHL system average for graduation rates.  ASU reviews this information annually to help to determine the institution’s effectiveness in terms of student achievement.  The IHL regional institutions have similar student demographics and missions.  Therefore ASU’s use of the IHL system average is deemed appropriate.

 

Course Completion

Undergraduate General Education Core

Alcorn State University has established the following benchmark for the General Education Core:

  • In order to facilitate completion of the degree in four years, at least 70% percent of students enrolling in a given general education core courses will successfully complete that course.

 

This metric is important to ASU because of the time limitations on federal financial aid.  With at least 88% of ASU students dependent on federal financial aid, it is important that they maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree.  Therefore, one measure of student achievement is satisfactory progress through the general education core.  All students at the University must complete a 31 credit-hour core curriculum.  Aggregate data on student success in core courses is reviewed by the Dean of University College and the Provost.  Fall semester data for the period 2013-2015 is listed below:

FALL 2015

Course

TOTAL GRADES ISSUED

GRADE C OR HIGHER

% OF GRADE C OR HIGHER

AR214

135

106

79%

BI111

253

181

72%

CH121

183

74

40%

EN111

338

260

77%

EN112

242

193

80%

EN213

296

227

80%

HI111

377

247

66%

HI112

45

24

53%

HI225

121

96

79%

HU201

57

46

81%

MA121

408

204

50%

PH132

292

212

73%

PY111

173

106

61%

SA223

221

181

82%

UL101

465

363

78%

 
 

FALL 2014

Course

TOTAL GRADES ISSUED

GRADE C OR MORE

% OF GRADE C OR MORE

AR214

124

68

54%

BI111

212

149

70%

CH121

152

44

29%

EN111

326

248

76%

EN112

221

182

82%

EN213

268

201

75%

HI111

388

277

71%

HI112

43

18

42%

HI225

118

102

86%

HU201

90

72

80%

MA121

399

198

50%

PH132

313

178

57%

PY111

163

114

70%

SA223

221

194

88%

UL101

414

315

76%

 

FALL 2013

Course

TOTAL GRADES ISSUED

GRADE C OR MORE

% OF GRADE C OR MORE

AR214

117

82

70%

BI111

237

195

82%

CH121

134

58

43%

EN111

358

261

73%

EN112

206

152

74%

EN213

321

232

72%

HI111

385

283

74%

HI112

35

25

71%

HI225

121

98

81%

HU201

85

64

75%

MA121

379

149

39%

PH132

390

255

65%

PY111

113

79

70%

SA223

195

186

95%

UL101

435

367

84%

 

 

General Education Core Course Grades data show that at least 70% success rates in 67%, 67%, and 80% of the courses for fall 2015, fall 2014, and fall 2013, respectively. 

Upper-Level Undergraduate Requirements
The University evaluates success with respect to student achievement at the upper level through various requirements for degree programs, including a minimum major GPA, exit examinations, capstone projects, internship/practicum requirements, or thesis.  For example, in the Department of Advanced Technologies, graduation requirements for the B.S. in Computer Network and Information Technology include an overall GPA of at least 2.25, major GPA 2.5, successfully passing the senior exit examination, and the completion of an internship:

 

 

Department: Advanced Technologies
Degree Program: B.S. in Computer Network and Information Technology (CNIT)
Enrollment:  2013-3014 (50)       2014-3015 (31)       2015-3016 (40)          

Achievement Measure

Threshold of Acceptability

% of Students (Graduating Seniors) Meeting Threshold 2013-2014

% of Students (Graduating Seniors)  Meeting Threshold 2014-2015

% of Students (Graduating Seniors) Meeting Threshold 2015-2016

Overall GPA

2.25 or better in upper level courses

100% (3/3)

75% (3/4)

80% (8/10)

Major GPA

Secure 2.50 or better

100% (3/3)

100% (4/4)

70% (7/10)

Senior Exit Exam

75%

100% (3/3)

100% (4/4)

No Graduates

Internships in Industry

100% of students must secure/complete an internship

100% (3/3)

100% (4/4)

60% ( 6/10)

 

In the Department of Agriculture, graduation requirements for the B.S. in Agricultural Science include successfully passing four fundamental agriculture courses, successfully passing the senior exit examination, and completing a senior project or thesis:

Department: Agriculture
Degree Program: BS Agricultural Science
Enrollment:  2013-3014 (95)                       2014-3015 (121)               2015-3016 (113)

Achievement Measure

Threshold of Acceptability

% of Students (Graduating Seniors) Meeting Threshold 2013-2014

% of Students (Graduating Seniors)  Meeting Threshold 2014-2015

% of Students (Graduating Seniors) Meeting Threshold 2015-2016

1.    Fundamental knowledge in upper-level major courses:

 

 

 

 

       Landscape Gardening   

Grade of C

77% (17/22)

79% (27/34)

86% (37/43)

       Agriculture Production

Grade of C

82% (18/22)

79% (27/34)

84% (36/43)

Sustainable Agricultural           Production

Grade of C

91% (20/22)

100% (34/34)

86% (37/43)

      Agricultural Diseases

Grade of C

86% (19/22)

91% (31/34)

86% (37/43)

2.   Exit Examination

Pass/Fail

100% (22/22)

100% (34/34)

100% (43/43)

3.   Senior Project/Thesis

Pass/Fail

86% (19/22)

94% (32/34)

100% (43/43)

 

All departments have similar degree-specific requirements.  The University uses this student achievement data provided by departments, particularly in the program review process, to evaluate the effectiveness of its overall academic efforts.

Professional Licensing and Examination

Another means by which ASU evaluates success with respect to student achievement is through review of data on professional licensure examinations.  Institutional success is regarded as having licensure rates consistent with state and professional accreditation requirements.  Two units, the Department of Education and the School of Nursing, offer degrees which require licensure. 

Nursing
ASU’s School of Nursing (SON) evaluates student achievement using the NCLEX-RN® licensing exam.  The SON has established benchmarks consistent with standards required for continued accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN):

Associate Degree Nursing Program Benchmark:  Performance on licensure exam: The program's three-year mean for the licensure exam pass rate will be at or above the national mean for the same three-year period.

Baccalaureate Degree Nursing Program Benchmark:  Performance on licensure exam: The program's three-year mean for the licensure exam pass rate will be at or above the national mean for the same three-year period.

Data on BSN nursing students’ performance on the NCLEX-RN® licensing examination for the period 2013-2016 show three-year program means ranging from 73.4%-83.11%, and 40.6%-70% for the ASN.  While the BSN program did not reach the stated benchmark, the program remains in good standing with its accrediting agencies.  Because of the low three-year averages for the

 

ASN program, in 2015 the department was placed on warning by ACEN and given two years to come into compliance.  The department developed a performance improvement plan, which is currently being executed.  The improved 2016 first-time pass rate (72%), compared to 32.14% and 36% in the previous two years, respectively, moves the department in the desired direction to achieve the outcomes of the performance improvement plan.

Teacher Education

All students who graduate from ASU’s Teacher Education program are required by the state of Mississippi to take and pass the PLT (pedagogy skills) and Praxis II (content knowledge) to become certified teachers. Institutional success is regarded as having licensure rates consistent with state accreditation requirements, which is 80% pass average over a three-year period.  The table below shows the performance of program completers (who took all licensure assessments required to complete the degree:

Program Completer (Students who complete all licensure assessments)

 

 

Alcorn State University                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statewide

Year

Number
Taking
Assessment1

Number
Passing
Assessment2

Institutional
Pass Rate

Number
Taking
Assessment1

Number
Passing
Assessment2

Statewide
Pass Rate

2015-16

   12

   10

83%

  874

  796

91%

2014-15

    8

    8

100%

 1074

 1048

98%

2013-14

   18

   17

94%

 1273

 1219

96%

 

Institutionally, the University has met the criteria established as the mark of success based on the passing rates.

Graduate Programs

Alcorn State University offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and the Educational Specialist graduate degrees. All departments which offer graduate programs evaluate success with respect to student achievement consistent with the University’s mission. All graduate programs require that students maintain at least a cumulative 3.00 GPA during their tenure.  Graduate program completion requires either a thesis, project, comprehensive exit examination, or internship:

 

Degree

Completion Requirement

Educational Specialist

Thesis

Master of Arts in Teaching

Core and Area Examinations

Master of Business Administration

Exit Examination

Master of Science

 

     Agricultural Economics

Exit Examination

     Agronomy

Thesis

     Animal Science

Thesis or Project

     Applied Science

Thesis

     Biology

Thesis or Project

     Computer and Information Science

Project or Internship

     Workforce Education Leadership

Internship

Master of Science in Education

 

     Elementary Education

Core and Area Examinations

     Secondary Education

Core and Area Examinations

Master of Science in Nursing

 

     Family Nurse Practitioner

Thesis

     Nurse Educator

Project

 

The minimum 3.00 GPA requirement and the thesis, project, comprehensive exit examination, or internship requirement are consistent with the University’s mission which emphasizes, “. . . intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates who will be well-rounded future leaders of high character who will be competitive in the global marketplace of the 21st century.”  ASU defines success, in terms of student achievement at the graduate level as follows:

  • Eighty percent (80%) or higher of graduate students will maintain satisfactory academic progress with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • One-hundred percent of students awarded a degree will have met all completion requirements (e.g., thesis, project, exit examination). 

 

Data on satisfactory academic progress is included in the table below:

 

 

Total Enrollment

No. Above 3.0

% Good Standing

No. Below 3.0

% Below 3.0

2013-2014

699

676

97%

23

3%

2014-2015

633

555

88%

78

12%

2015-2016

611

575

94%

36

6%

 

Sample data from the MSN in Nursing, the MBA, and MS in Agriculture provide information on completion requirements in graduate programs:

Degree Programs:  Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Enrollment:           2013-3014_66__ 2014-3015_35___                                   2015-3016_28__                              

Achievement Measure

Threshold of Acceptability

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2013-2014

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2014-2015

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2015-2016

Program Completion

70% of students will complete their program of study within 150% of the program length

22 0f 22 (100%) students completed the program within 150% of the program length

17 of 21 (80.95%) students completed the program of study within 150% of the program length

16 of 23 (69.57%)  students completed the program of study within 150% of the program length

Licensing Examination/Certification Pass Rate

(MSN)   The certification exam pass rates for first-time FNP candidates will be at or above the national mean

81% of Alcorn’s FNP graduates passed the certification examination as first-time testers.

National mean: 87.5%

93% of Alcorn’s FNP graduates passed the certification examination as first-time testers.

National mean: 81.4%

 

 

 

Official data not yet available

Job Placement Rate

MSN)  100% of the program’s graduates will be employed in their area of preparation within 6 to 12 months of program completion (After passing the certification examination, for FNP graduates).

100% (n = 22) of the graduates were employed in their area of preparation within 6 to 12 months of graduation.

100% (n =17) of the graduates were employed in their area of preparation within 6 to 12 months of graduation.

 

 

 

 

 

Official data not yet available

 

Degree Program: MS Agriculture
Enrollment:  2013-3014___40___                  2014-3015__34____          2015-3016__27__

Achievement Measure

Threshold of Acceptability

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2013-2014

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2014-2015

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2015-2016

1         Fundamental knowledge in upper-level major courses:

 

 

 

 

Experimental Design

B

90% (10/11)

90% (.09/10)

88% (7/8)

Advanced soil Management (Agronomy),

Advanced Farm Org & Management (Ag Econ),

Physiology of Animal Reproduction (Animal Science

B

B

B

95% (10/11)

98% (11/11)

97% (11/11)

100% (10/10)

90% (9/10)

99% (10/10)

88% (7/8)

100% (8/8)

88% (7/8)

Seminar

B

89% (10/11)

100% (10/10)

88% (7/8)

Special Problem

B

92% (10/11)

90%  (9/10)

88% (7/8)

2.   Exit Examination

Pass/Fail

95% (10/11)

90% (9/10)

88% (7/8)

3.   Senior Project/Thesis

Pass/Fail

89% (10/11)

90% (9/10)

88% (7/8)

 

Degree Program: Master of Business Administration
Total Enrollment:  2013-2014: 59                                   2014-2015: 52                        2015-2016: 81

Achievement Measure

Threshold of Acceptability

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2013-2014

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2014-2015

% of Students Meeting Threshold 2015-2016

Assessment type:

 

Exam/Test-Standardized

 

ETS, Major Field Test (MFT) for Master of Business Administration

Criterion:

 

MBA students attempting the ETS-MFT (Major Field Test) will score within or above the (-/+ 1 standard deviation) of the peer institute individual student total score distribution range (223.7 – 249.3)

 

 

Number of students which appeared for ETS-MFT (Major Field Test) examination: 13

Number of students which met threshold criteria: 12

Percent meeting threshold criteria: 91.67%

 

 

Number of students which appeared for ETS-MFT (Major Field Test) examination: 19

Number of students which met threshold criteria: 14

Percent meeting threshold criteria: 73.68%

 

 

Number of students which appeared for ETS-MFT (Major Field Test) examination: 19

Number of students which met threshold criteria: 14

Percent meeting threshold criteria: 73.68%

 

Major GPA

Assessment type:

Major GPA-Internal assessment

 

Major cumulative GPA for graduating Master of Business Administration students

 

Criterion:

 

MBA students completing and graduating will do so with a GPA of 3.0 or above (at masters level)

 

 

 

Number of students graduating: 12

Number of students which met threshold criteria: 12

Percent meeting threshold criteria: 100%

 

 

Number of students graduating: 13

Number of students which met threshold criteria: 13

Percent meeting threshold criteria: 100%

 

 

Number of students graduating: 21

Number of students which met threshold criteria: 21

Percent meeting threshold criteria: 100%

 

 

Completion data is available for all degree programs.

 


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