Student Achievement at the University of Dallas
The University of Dallas measures student achievement and evaluates achievement data
to support student success. As part of the insitutitons accreditation with the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), we have an obligation
to set thresholds, goals, and monitor progress toward those goals.
RATIONAL FOR SELECTION OF METRICS
A committee comprised of cross-campus representation selected metrics that we note
as important measures for evaluating student success. Three metrics were selected
for Student Achievement: attrition, graduation rate, and time to degree for master's
level students. SACSCOC requires all institutions to track graduation rates annually
as part of our accreditation.
Retention and graduation rate dashboards reflect criteria supported by federal compliance
reporting standards under the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System (IPEDS) which falls under the purview of the Department of Education. IPEDS collects
a variety of data related to student, human resources, and finance. IPEDS provides
a publicly available data source via the IPEDS Data Center, the College Navigator, and the College Affordability and Transparency Act.
The committee setting the metrics, felt retention and graduation rates should be a
focus for continuous improvement of student success. A focus on these metrics allow
us to dig deeper into subgroups. We expect to modify these two metrics to include
careful tracking of subpopulations.
Our dashboard, titled "Attrition" shows the number of students lost in a semester
which is the opposite of retention. For tracking purposes, we simply flip the percentage
to track student retention. We follow the methodology used for federal compliance
reporting standards under the Inter-Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) where retention
represents the number of full-time, first-time students in a fall cohort who did not
return the following fall : https://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS
Targets were set for first-time freshmen.:
- Threshold for Success = 88%
- Minimum Threshold of Acceptability = 77%
- Since 2008, UD has met or exceeded this threshold of acceptability 100% of the time
but has not met or exceeded the threshold of success.
Graduation rates represent the number of first-time undergraduate, degree-seeking
students in a fall cohort who graduate in either 4, 5, or 6 years from the university.
The selected methodology follows the federal compliance reporting standards under
the Inter-Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) : https://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS
Targets were set for first-time freshmen:
- Threshold for Success = 75%
- Minimum Threshold of Acceptability= 65%
- Since 2008, UD has met this threshold of acceptability 100% of the time but has not
met or exceeded the threshold of success.
Additionally, we set a target for first-time freshmen Pell recipients. A minimum threshold
of acceptability was set at 52% for six-year graduation rates and has been met 100%
of the time since 2008. The threshold of success set at 62% has not been met currently
by students in the Pell cohort.
AVERAGE TIME TO DEGREE (MASTER'S PROGRAMS)
The Average time to degree for master’s level students dashboard does NOT reflect compliance reporting as institutions do not complete compliance
reporting on this metric. Working with our Student Achievement committee, we identified
this measure as an area of improvement for our Master's degree seeking students. This
measure is created using a “lookback” technique that takes students graduating in
a given time period and tracks them back to entry (admit date). Then a time to degree
is computed for each student. Data is presented in aggregate form based upon program.
Targets were set for Master's degree seeking students:
- Threshold for Success = will be variable by program
- Minimum Threshold of Acceptability = less than 3.5 years for each program
UD has met or exceeded this threshold for all but one program. Due to the varying
nature of graduate students, it is difficult to quantify a threshold of success.
Many of our Master’s level students are enrolled part-time; as such, a lower average
time to completion is unattainable for some programs.
POST GRADUATION OUTCOME RATES
The Office of Professional and Career Development (OPCD) collect information on the
first destination of our students after graduation. OPCD tracks each class by calculating
the percentage of undergraduates in a class who are either employed, enrolled in graduate
porgrams, or seeking employment or underemployed.
Targets were set for each class:
- Threshold for Success is set at less than 3%
- Minimum Threshold for Acceptability is set at less than 6% for those seeking employment
- This threshold has been met 100% since the university began collecting this data with
the 2014 class.
As of December 2020, 93.2%% of the undergraduate class of 2020 reported a post-graduation
outcome related to professional experiences, including employment, religious vocation
and service, and graduate or professional school. To further explore post graduation
outcomes data, follow the link below to the OPCD webpage.