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%.

Outcomes: 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 2014 entering freshmen cohort, the six-year graduation rate of the College of Charleston (see Figure 1) was approximately 66%, the fourth highest among South Carolina public universities and 5% lower than the Citadel (71%), 12% lower than University of South Carolina-Columbia (78%) and 19% lower than Clemson University (85%). In terms of four-year graduation rate, based on the 2014 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 6% lower than Clemson University (63%), 7% lower than University of South Carolina-Columbia (64%), and 8% lower than the Citadel (65%).

 
tbl1

 table2.png

 
figure1.png

Table 2 presents additional data regarding four- and six-year graduation rates for entering cohort 2015 by race/ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status (Pell Grant recipients), as recently requested by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status, the four-year graduation rate is 59% and the six-year graduation rate is 67%. By gender, females’ six-year graduation rate is 70%, 9% higher than males (61%); females’ four-year graduation rate is 63%, 14% higher than males (49%). By race/ethnicity, White students’ six-year graduation rate is 67%, Black or African American 66%, Hispanic 60%, Asian 89%, Nonresident alien 65%, American Indian or Alaska Native 75%, Two or More Races 57%,  Race Unknown 71%, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 100%. In terms of four-year graduation rate, White students’ four-year graduation rate is 60%, Black or African American 48%, Hispanic 50%, Asian 84%, Nonresident alien 53%, American Indian or Alaska Native 25%, Two or more Races 53%, Race Unknown 57%, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 100%.

By socioeconomic status, Pell Grant recipients among entering cohort 2015 hold a four-year graduation rate of 52% and a six-year graduation rate of 62%.


 

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.

Outcomes: The College tracks job placement and graduate school attendance using the First Destination Undergraduate Survey (FDS) administered online to summer, fall, and spring graduates of the institution each year and represents employment and post-secondary education decisions after one-year of graduation. The survey includes questions about employment, additional education, and level of satisfaction with their experience at the College of Charleston.  The Senior Exit Survey administered in May to the same cohort prior to FDS provides a baseline for students post-graduation plans.

As shown in Figure 2, data from the Senior Exit Survey indicates that the employment rate of graduating seniors ranged from 21% in Academic year 2015-16 to 36% most recently in AY 2019-20.

Figure 3 shows data from the 2021 First Destination Undergraduate Survey administered to the class of 2019-2020, a one-year after graduation. The data indicates that 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 75% in AY 2019-20, which meets the institutional goal of 75%.

fig2  fig3

Among the class of 2019-2020 graduates completing the survey (N= 174), 72.9% report full time employment within one year of receiving their degree, and 16.7% report being enrolled full time in a graduate or professional program. For those employed full time in one job, 38.7% found their job while still enrolled as an undergraduate, and 59.2% landed their job within the first six months after graduation.

There is a high degree of satisfaction among graduates with a single, full-time job. Graduates describe their employment as related to their undergraduate major (50.6%), using important skills they gained as an undergraduate (55.0%), meaningful (56.3%), and related to their desired career path (54.4%). 


 

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.

Outcomes: 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 19.9% in AY 2019-20. 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 24.4% in AY 2018-19. Among the class of 2019-2020 graduates completing the 2021 First Destination Undergraduate Survey a one-year after graduation (N=174), 20.47% of respondents were currently enrolled in a graduate program one year after graduation, and another 3.94% of respondents had already earned a Master’s Degree. Additionally, 54.33% of respondents reported that they hope to attain a Master’s Degree in the future.

Table 3 presents the additional data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), which indicates that 51 Bachelor’s recipients who graduated from the College of Charleston received doctorate degrees in AY 2019-20, and 59 in AY 2020-21.

 

 

         


 

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.

Outcomes: As shown in Table 4, employers surveyed favorably rated the College’s graduates on a series of skills and abilities. Graduates exceeded the 75% threshold in all cases. Graduates were rated most highly on ability to work in teams (96% rated good or excellent), thinking creatively (94%), and ability to work independently (94%). Areas where scores were lower, but still exceed the 75% threshold for a good or excellent rating include public speaking and presentation skills (79%), and leadership and management skills (79%).

table4.png

 

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).  

Outcomes: As shown below in Table 5, the ETS results showed seniors at the College of Charleston scored 6% more than the Carnegie class in 2015, 2018 and 2021 in Reading level 1 (7% more than the Carnegie class in 2021, 11% in 2018 and 13% in 2015), Reading level 2 (6% more than Carnegie class in 2021 and 11% more in 2018 and 17% more in 2015), Writing level 1 (6% more than Carnegie class 2021, 15% more in 2018 and 15% more in 2015), Writing level 2 (7% more than the Carnegie class in 2021, 15% more than Carnegie class in 2018, 15% more in 2018 and 13% more in 2015), Mathematics level 1 ( 18% more than Carnegie class in 2021, 16% more in  2018 and 18% more in 2015) and Mathematics level 2 (18% more than Carnegie class in 2021, 19% more in 2018 and 19% in 2015). As shown in Table 6, the SC Praxis Traditional Assessment pass rates of students at the College of Charleston ranged from 84% (AY 2020-21) to 99% (AY 2015-16), 7% lower and 1% higher than the statewide average pass rates, respectively.

 

tbl56.png


 

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.  

Outcomes: 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 128.31 with a standard deviation of 9.45, which was 5.69 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 132.32 with a standard deviation of 11.43, which was 1.68 credit hours lower than the cutoff credits of 134 hours. It is thereby concluded that this institutional goal is met.

                                                                                     

    imgfriend.png

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%.

Outcomes: As Figure 6 indicates, the College’s one-year retention rate of full-time freshmen was above 80% in 2013, went slightly below 80% until 2019 (81.1%), before returning to 0.1% below 80% in 2020. The most current one-year retention rate is 79.9% in 2020-21.

 

 

 

 

In terms of one-year retention rate compared to public peer institutions in South Carolina, based on the 2019 entering freshmen cohort, one-year retention rate of the College of Charleston (see Figure 7) was 79.9%, the fourth highest among South Carolina public universities and 7.5% lower than the Citadel (87.3%), 9.8% lower than University of South Carolina-Columbia (89.7%), 13.6% lower than Clemson University (93.5%).


 

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%.

Outcomes: The total number of undergraduate degrees awarded in AY 2020-21 was 2,103, which was 11.64% 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 2020-21 was 231, which was 6.10% lower than the total in AY 2010-11 (total=246).

 

 


 

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.  

Outcomes: 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 2019-2020 as shown in Table 8. Therefore, this institutional goal was met.


 

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.  

Outcomes: For the past seven academic years from AY 2014-15 to AY 2020-21, 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-.