Student Achievement

Student success is an integral part of the mission of College of Charleston. The emphasis on student success is consistent with the statutory mandates and directives of the South Carolina Department of Administration and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. 

Goal 1: Four-Year and Six-Year Graduation Rates (S.C. Performance Indicator) Institutional Goal: For students enrolling as degree-seeking undergraduates, the College’s four- year graduation rate will exceed 50% and the College’s six-year graduation rate will exceed 60%.

Student Achievement: The College’s four-year graduation rate (see Table 1) for the past eleven years has ranged from 51.94% to 61.63%, while the six-year graduation rate has ranged from 64.48% to 71.35%. As compared to peer institutions in South Carolina, based on the 2013 entering freshmen cohort, the six-year graduation rate of the College of Charleston (see Figure 1) was 66%, the fourth highest among South Carolina public universities and 8% lower than the Citadel (74%), 11% lower than University of South Carolina-Columbia (77%) and 18% lower than Clemson University (84%). In terms of four-year graduation rate, based on the 2013 entering freshmen cohort, the four-year graduation rate of the College of Charleston (see Figure 1) was 57%, the fourth highest among South Carolina public universities and 3% lower than Clemson University (60%), 7% lower than University of South Carolina-Columbia (64%), and 9% lower than the Citadel (66%). 

Table 1. Graduation Rates of New Full-Time Freshmen: Entering Cohort Fall 2006 to Fall 2016.

 Table 1

Note: The six-year graduation rates for entering cohorts Fall 2015 and Fall 2016 are not available yet and will be updated once data are available. *N represents the entering cohort’s enrollment population. Data source: Office of Institutional Research.

 

Figure 1. South Carolina Four- and Six-Year Graduation Rates for Freshmen Entering 2013.

 Figure 1

Note: 2013 represents Academic Year (AY) 2013-2014. Data source: Office of Institutional Research.

 

Table 2. Four-and Six-Year Graduation Rate by Gender, Race and Socioeconomic Status for Cohort Year 2013.

 

Calculation of graduation and transfer‐out rates
Cohort year 2013
  Revised cohort Total exclusions Total completeers within 4 years Total completers within 150% Total transfer-out students Four-Year Graduation rate Six-Year Graduation Rate Transfer-out rate
Overall Rates, will be displayed on College Navigator 57% 66% 26%
Men
Nonresident Alien 6   3 4   50% 67% 0%
Hispanic/Latino 36   13 17 16 36% 47% 44%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1   1 1   100% 100% 0%
Asian 16   6 10 5 38% 63% 31%
Black or African American 36   16 22 7 44% 61% 19%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1   1 1   100% 100% 0%
White 567 2 268 345 148 47% 61% 26%
Two or more races 20   13 16 2 65% 80% 10%
Race and ethnicity unknown 4   2 3   50% 75% 0%
Total men 687 2 323 419 178 47% 61% 26%
Women
Nonresident Alien 13   11 11   85% 85% 0%
Hispanic/Latino 63   40 43 14 63% 68% 22%
American Indian or Alaska Native 3   1 1 2 33% 33% 67%
Asian 31   18 18 12 58% 58% 39%
Black or African American 92   60 64 21 65% 70% 23%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 2   1 2   50% 100% 0%
White 1,150 1 708 784 303 62% 68% 26%
Two or more races 56 1 26 26 20 47% 47% 36%
Race and ethnicity unknown 13   11 13   85% 100% 0%
Total women 1,423 2 876 962 372 62% 68% 26%
Total (men and women)
Nonresident Alien 19 0 14 15 0 74% 79% 0%
Hispanic/Latino 99 0 53 60 30 54% 61% 30%
American Indian or Alaska Native 4 0 2 2 2 50% 50% 50%
Asian 47 0 24 28 17 51% 60% 36%
Black or African American 128 0 76 86 28 59% 67% 22%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 3 0 2 3 0 67% 100% 0%
White 1717 3 976 1129 451 57% 66% 26%
Two or more races 76 1 39 42 22 52% 56% 29%
Race and ethnicity unknown 17 0 13 16 0 76% 94% 0%
Total 2,110 4 1,199 1,381 550 57% 66% 26%

  

  Graduation Rates Supplemental Data For HEOA
  Cohort year 2013
  Revised cohort Total exclusions Total completeers within 4 years Total completers within 150% Total transfer-out students Four-Year Graduation rate Six-Year Graduation Rate Transfer-out rate
By Aid Received
Pell Grant Recipients 486 2 239 274 148 49% 57% 31%
Stafford Loan (non‐Pell) Recipients 325 0 178 206 96 55% 63% 30%
All Others 1,299 2 782 901 306 60% 69% 24%
Total 2,110 4 1,199 1,381 550 57% 66% 26%

 

Note: 2013 represents Academic Year (AY) 2013-2014. Data source: Office of Institutional Research. Data for the 2014 cohort year will be available mid-February 2021. *Not collected by IPEDS so comparison data are not available for the aid sub-populations for these columns.

Table 2 presents additional data regarding four- and six-year graduation rates for entering cohort 2013 by race/ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status (Pell Grant recipients), as recently requested by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status, the four-year graduation rate is 57% and the six-year graduation rate is 66%. By gender, females’ six-year graduation rate is 68%, 7% higher than males (61%); females’ four-year graduation rate is 62%, 15% higher than males (47%). By race/ethnicity, White students’ six-year graduation rate is 66%, Black or African American 67%, Hispanic 61%, Asian 60%, Nonresident alien 79%, American Indian or Alaska Native 50%, two or more races 56%, race unknown 94%, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 100%. In terms of four-year graduation rate, White students’ four-year graduation rate is 57%, Black or African American 59%, Hispanic 54%, Asian 51%, Nonresident alien 74%, American Indian or Alaska Native 50%, two or more races 52%, race unknown 76%, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 67%. By socioeconomic status, Pell Grant recipients among entering cohort 2013 hold a four-year graduation rate of 49% and a six-year graduation rate of 57%.

 

Goal 2: Employment Rate for Graduates (S.C. Performance Indicator)

Institutional Goal: The College’s institutional goal is that at least 75% of new graduates of baccalaureate programs will be employed one year after graduation.

Student Achievement: Figure 2 presents data from the College’s Senior Exit Survey, a survey assessing senior students’ career outcomes and academic experiences administered during the graduation rehearsal. Figure 3 provides data from the annual First Destination Undergraduate Survey, a one-year post graduation survey administered through Qualtrics. The data from these two surveys indicate that the employment rate of graduating seniors ranged from 21% in Academic year 2015-16 to 57.3% in AY 2018-19, but the employment rate of graduates one year after graduation has increased from 68% (in multiple academic years: AY 2013-14, AY 2015-16, AY 2016-17 and AY 2017-18) to 80.56% in AY 2018-19, which is 5% percent higher than the institutional goal of 75%.

Figure 2. Employment Status at Graduation

 figure2

Note: The response rate and the total number of respondents over the years are 85% (N=1511) in 2013-14, 78% (N=1551) in 2014-15, 65% (N=1315) in 2015-16, 74% (N=1368) in 2016-17, 75% (N=1393) in 2017-18, and 95% (N=1529) in 2018-19. Employment category includes full-time, part-time, self- employed, multiple jobs and military service. Data source: Senior Exit Survey, administered by the Office for Institutional Effectiveness.

*The drop of employment percentage in AY2015-16 and AY 2016-17 was largely attributed to the changed employment category. Instead of specifying both “Employed full-time” and “employed part- time” separately, the survey in these two years directly used “Employed,” It seems from the data survey respondents who held part-time jobs ignored this choice most likely. They probably reasoned employed includes military service and self-employment and does not include a part-time option.

 

Figure 3. Employment Status One-Year After Graduation.

figure3

Note: The response rate and the total number of respondents over the years are 21% (N=399) in 2013-14, 22% (N=418) in 2014-15, 20% (N=392) in 2015-16, 12% (N=257) in 2016-17, 11% (N=230) in 2017-18, and 12% (N=252) in 2018-19. Employment category includes full-time, part-time, self-employed, multiple jobs and military service. Data source: First Destination Undergraduate Survey (One-Year) administered by the Office for Institutional Effectiveness.

 

Goal 3: Number of Graduates Who Continued Their Education (S.C. Performance Indicator)

Institutional Goal: The College’s institutional goal is that at least 20% of new undergraduate degree recipients will be enrolled in a graduate, professional, or other educational program one year after graduation.

Student Achievement: As shown in Figure 4, the percentage of graduating seniors who pursued a graduate, professional and other educational program for the past five academic years ranged from 12% in AY 2013-2014 to 24.13% in AY 2018-19. Further, the percentage of new undergraduate degree recipients who enrolled in a graduate, professional, or other educational program one year after graduation (Figure 5) for the past five academic years ranged from 38% in AY 2013-14 to 20.43% in AY 2017-18. Table 3 presents the additional data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), which indicates that 39 Bachelor’s recipients who graduated from the College of Charleston received doctorate degrees in AY 2018-19.

Figure 4. Graduate Education Status Following Graduation.

 figure4

 

Note: The response rate and the total number of respondents over the years are 85% (N=1511) in 2013- 14, 78% (N=1551) in 2014-15, 65% (N=1315) in 2015-16, 74% (N=1368) in 2016-17, 75% (N=1393) in 2017-18, and 95% (N=1529) in 2018-19. Data source: Senior Exit Survey administered by the Office for Institutional Effectiveness.

 

Figure 5. Graduate Education Status One-Year After Graduation.

 figure5

Note: The response rate and the total number of respondents over the years are 21% (N=399) in 2013-14, 22% (N=418) in 2014-15, 20% (N=392) in 2015-16, 12% (N=257) in 2016-17, 11% (N=230) in 2017-18,

and 12% (N=252) in 2018-19. Data source: First Destination Undergraduate Survey (One-Year), administered by the Office for Institutional Effectiveness.

 

Table 3. The Number of Doctorates by Baccalaureate Institution from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).

table3

 Note: AY 2009 represents Academic Year 2009-10. *Professional degrees such as the M.D., D.D.S., O.D., D.V.M., and J.D. are not covered by the Survey of Earned Doctorates. 

**Denotes academic institutions that offer doctoral degrees.

Source: National Science Foundation's Integrated Science and Engineering Resources Data System (webcaspar.nsf.gov).

 

Goal 4: Employer Feedback on Graduates (S.C. Performance Indicator)

Institutional Goal: When available, employer feedback will indicate a favorable assessment of the performance and/or preparation of College of Charleston students.

Student Achievement: Overwhelmingly, as shown in Table 4, employers favorably rated the College’s graduates on a series of skills and abilities. Specifically, 70% of employers surveyed in the Alumni Employer Survey 2015 rated graduates from the College of Charleston as either “Good” or “Excellent” in terms of the ability to work independently; 69% of employer surveyed rated “Good” or “Excellent” in terms of graduates’ professionalism and 68% of employers surveyed made the same ratings in graduates’ ability to work in teams.

Table 4. The College of Charleston Alumni Employee's Ability Level.

 table 4

Note: the most recent employer survey was conducted in 2015. This table will be updated once the newest data are available. Data source: Office for Institutional Effectiveness. 

 

Goal 5: Scores of Graduates on Post-undergraduate Examinations (S.C. Performance Indicator)

Institutional Goal: Advanced students or recent graduates who complete post-undergraduate examinations will earn scores consistent with or better than those earned by relevant peer groups, when peer data are available, or will show evidence of significant improvement or achievement relative to an appropriate baseline (e.g., at least 10% improvement in achievement between the freshman and senior years).  

Student Achievement: As shown below in Table 5, the ETS results showed seniors at the College of Charleston scored more than 10% than the Carnegie class in 2012, 2015 and 2018 in Reading level 1 (11% more than the Carnegie class in 2018, 13% in 2015 and 16 in 2012), Reading level 2 (11% more than Carnegie class in 2018 and 17% more in 2015 and 27% more in 2012), Writing level 1 (15% more than Carnegie class, 15 more in 2015 and 14% more in 2012, Writing level 2 ( 15% more than Carnegie class in 2018, 13% more in 2015 and 12% more in 2012), Mathematics level 1 ( 16% more than Carnegie class in 2018, 18% more in 2015 and 25% more in 2012) and Mathematics level 2 (19% more than Carnegie class in 2018, 19% more in 2015 and 21% in 2012). As shown in Table 6 the SC Praxis Traditional Assessment pass rates of students at the College of Charleston ranged from 94% (AY 2016-17) to 99% (AY 2015-16), 3% lower and 1% higher than the statewide average pass rates, respectively.

 

Table 5. ETS Proficiency Profile Results-Seniors-Percent Proficient (2012, 2015, 2018)

table5

Note: 2012 represents Academic Year 2011-2012 since ETS took place in Spring. Data source: Office for Institutional Effectiveness. 

 

Table 6. SC Praxis Traditional Assessment Pass Rates for All Completers (AY 2012-13 to AY 2017-18).

table 6

Note: In cases where there are less than ten students taking the assessment or license/certificate, the number of passing and pass rates are not reported.

*Number of completers taking one or more assessments within their area of specialization.

**Summary level "Number Taking Assessment" may differ from assessment level " Number Taking Assessment" because each student is counted once at the summary level but may be counted in multiple assessments at the assessment level. Data source:Office of Institutional Research.

 

Goal 6: Credit Hours Earned of Graduates (S.C. Performance Indicator)

Institutional Goal: For students who entered the College of Charleston as freshmen, the College’s mean number of credit hours earned for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree will not exceed 134 hours (i.e., 10% over and above the minimum 122 credit hours required to earn the degree). Students earning double majors, second majors, or second degrees (including the A.B.) are excluded from measurements relevant to this goal.  

Student Achievement: as shown in Table 7, for the past ten academic years, the average credit hours of bachelor’s recipients with a B.A. degree from the College of Charleston was 128.28 with a standard deviation of 9.39, which was 5.72 credit hours lower than the cutoff credits of 134 hours. Similarly, the average credits hours of bachelor’s recipients with a BS degree from the College of Charleston was 132.45 with a standard deviation of 11.45, which was 1.55 credit hours lower than the cutoff credits of 134 hours. It is thereby concluded that this institutional goal is met.

Table 7. Average Credit Hours to Graduation

    Students Hours Earned
DEGREE Academic Year   Average Standard Deviation
AB 2011 12 138.67 16.87
  2012 13 137.54 16
  2013 3 138 16.52
  2014 12 141.08 11.54
  2015 7 138.29 10.36
  2016 8 141.25 13.5
  2017 10 137.5 18.75
  2018 8 138.38 13.81
  2019 2 136 4.24
  2020 4 156 7.53
  Degree Total - All Years      
79 139.68 14.37
BA Academic Year      
  2011 418 128.55 9.06
  2012 484 128.83 9.71
  2013 529 129.54 9.79
  2014 484 128.71 9.83
  2015 548 128.02 9.28
  2016 526 127.88 9.38
  2017 492 128.3 9.65
  2018 480 128.29 9.68
  2019 474 127.61 9.11
  2020 491 127.02 8.06
  Degree Total - All Years      
4926 128.28 9.39
BGS Academic Year      
  2020 1 179  
  Degree Total - All Years      
1 179
BPS Academic Year      
  2017 1 138  
  2018 1 122  
  2019 3 131 9.54
  2020 1 123  
  Degree Total - All Years      
6 129.33 8.48
BS Academic Year      
  2011 615 132.66 11.15
  2012 677 133.34 11.52
  2013 731 132.93 10.9
  2014 717 132.52 12.63
  2015 766 132.06 11.32
  2016 855 133.01 11.53
  2017 770 132.44 11.15
  2018 827 132.13 11.25
  2019 831 132.47 11.64
  2020 820 131.13 11.27
  Degree Total - All Years      
7609 132.45 11.45
         
Yearly Totals - All Degrees Students Average Standard Deviation
2011 1045 131.08 10.66
2012 1174 131.53 11.1
2013 1263 131.52 10.59
2014 1213 131.08 11.76
2015 1321 130.42 10.71
2016 1389 131.12 11.08
2017 1273 130.88 10.86
2018 1316 130.76 10.89
2019 1310 130.71 11.02
2020 1317 129.71 10.55
       
All 12621 130.87 10.94

Note: Counts include only students who entered the College as freshmen and exclude students graduating with more than one degree or major.

Data source: Office of Institutional Research.

 

Goal 7: Undergraduate Retention Rates (College of Charleston Indicator)

Institutional Goal: For students enrolling as degree-seeking undergraduates, the College’s first-to-second year retention of first-time, full-time freshmen will consistently exceed 80%.

Student Achievement: As Figure 6 indicates, the College’s one-year retention rate of full-time freshmen was above 80% in 2013, and then went slightly below 80% until 2019 (81.1%). The most current one-year retention rate is 79.9% in 2020-21.

Figure 6. The College of Charleston One-Year Retention Rate from 2013-14 to 2020-21.

figure6

Note: 2013 represents Academic Year 2013-14. For academic year 2013-14, the entering year was academic year 2012-13, and the retention rate for 2012-13 cohort was 82.6%.

Data source: Office of Institutional Research.

 

Figure 7. South Carolina One-Year Retention Rates for Freshmen Entering 2018

 figure7

 

In terms of one-year retention rate compared to public peer institutions in South Carolina, based on the 2018 entering freshmen cohort, one-year retention rate of the College of Charleston (see Figure 7) was 81.1%, the fourth highest among South Carolina public universities and 2.8% lower than the Citadel (83.9%), 7% lower than University of South Carolina-Columbia (88.1%), 11.9% lower than Clemson University (93%).

 

Goal 8: Degrees Awarded (College of Charleston Indicator)

Institutional Goal: Between 2010-2020, the College of Charleston will increase the total number of undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded by 5%.

Student Achievement: The total number of undergraduate degrees awarded in AY 2019-20 was 2,357, which was 0.96% lower than the total in AY 2010-11 (total=2,380) (Figure 8). As for graduate degrees awarded by the College of Charleston (Figure 9), the total number of graduate degrees in AY 2019-20 was 192 that was 21.95% lower than the total in AY 2010-11 (total=246).

 

Figure 8. Undergraduate Degrees Awarded (AY 2007-08 to AY 2019-2020)

figure8

Note: in Figure 8 and Figure 9, 2008 represents AY 2007-08 as defined by IPEDS (The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System).
Data source: Office of Institutional Research.

 

Figure 9. Graduate Degrees Awarded (AY 2007-08 to AY 2019-20).

figure9

 

Goal 9: Time to Degree Completion (College of Charleston Indicator)

Institutional Goal: The College’s institutional goal for time to undergraduate degree completion will be a mean of 4.2 years and a median of 4.0 years, for all students who enter the College as freshmen.  

Student Achievement: The average time to undergraduate degree completion at the College of Charleston since AY 2010-11 for all students who entered the College as freshmen ranged from 4.23 in AY 2016-17 to 4.13 in AY 2019-20 as shown in Table 8. Therefore, this institutional goal was met.

Table 8. Time to Degree Completion

table8

Note: The mean and median are calculated on years to graduation up to and including eight years.

Data Source: Office of Institutional Research.

 

Goal 10: Course Completion Rates (College of Charleston Indicator)

Institutional Goal: The College of Charleston should have DFW (D grades1-fail-withdrawal) rates at or below 15% for undergraduate course enrollments in an academic year.  

Student Achievement: For the past six academic years from AY 2014-15 to AY2019-20, as shown in Figure 10, the DFW rate has been kept below 15%. Specifically, the DFW rate ranged from 12% in AY 2014-15 to 12.9% in AY 2017-18 and AY 2018-19. Thus, the data show that the goal that the College of Charleston should have DFW (D grades-fail-withdrawal) rates at or below 15% for undergraduate course enrollments in an academic year has been met.

1D grades represent students who earned grades of D+, D or D-D+ D or D-.

Figure 10. The College of Charleston DFW Rates

 figure10

Notes: Grades given where quality hours do not contribute to a student's GPA are excluded from this report. Data source: Office of Institutional Research. *Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a new grade type was created in Spring 2020 to reflect the significant disruption students and faculty experienced. The significant disruption grade type included two values: PS (passing grade D- and above; credit earned without impact on the GPA) and NS (failing; no credit earned, no impact on the GPA). Faculty entered standard letter grades A-F based on student academic performance. Once grades were visible, a student could select PS/NS for one, some, or all of their eligible courses completed in Spring 2020 (not all courses were eligible, see policy). In addition, the withdrawal deadline (W) was extended until the last day of classes. As a result, the DFW rate is not comparable to other semesters in which only the standard letter grades A-F were allowed and the W deadline appearing on the academic calendar was enforced. Consequently, Spring 2020 DFW data is excluded from the above chart.