About Us: About Spelman

2014 graduates walking by the arch

Student Achievement

In accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Federal Requirement 4.1, which states that “The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement, as appropriate, consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates” (Student Achievement), Spelman College has identified student achievement criteria, provided appropriate data, established thresholds of acceptability, and explained how each criteria are related to the mission.

The Spelman College mission statement provides that the College is “dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical and leadership development of its students.” Accordingly, the College uses four criteria to document student achievement: second year retention, graduation, pass rates on state licensing examinations, and placement rates. Each criterion is readily identifiable for its alignment with the mission statement.  Second Year Retention Rates and Graduation Rates are indicators of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences because they provide the most pervasive documentation of the students’ achievement while at Spelman. State Licensing Examinations and Placement Rates are an outcome of the College’s mission as well.   

Second Year Retention Rates

In support of its responsibility to those same students and their first year experience at Spelman College, the threshold for the Second Year Retention Rates was established to insure that the College remains committed to retaining a minimum of 85% of first year students. In addition, the College will continue to strive to exceed the national average for liberal arts colleges and historically black colleges and universities. This is reasonable for a small liberal arts college, such as Spelman, which has built its history and reputation on providing a quality education to women of African descent.

The Fall 2015 Second Year Retention Rate (2014 cohort) was 90%. This represents an increase of one percent from Fall 2014 (2013 cohort).  By contrast, the national average was 79% for Fall 2013. The College exceeded the national average by 10% and Liberal Arts Colleges by 6% (Table 4.1-1: Second Year Retention Rates). The College’s benchmark is to exceed the national Second Year Retention Rate by a minimum of five (5) percent. The national Second Year Retention Rates for Fall 2014 are not available yet.

Second Year Retention Rates

Graduation Rates

The College’s benchmark is to exceed the national graduation rate by 10 percent.  For the 2009 cohort, Spelman’s graduation rate is 76%, compared to the national average six-year graduation rate of 60%, a difference of 16%.  The six-year graduation rate for Liberal Arts Colleges is 70% (Table 4.1-2:  Six-Year Graduation Rates).  Although the College exceeded both the national and liberal arts college graduation rates by several percentage points, it will continue to strive toward the maintenance of a graduation rate of at least 75%.  The national Six-Year Graduation Rate is not available for the 2009 cohort yet.

The College remains committed to maintaining a graduation rate at least 10 percent higher than the national average. To that end, the threshold for the Graduation Rates was established.  

Six-Year Graduation Rates

Six Year Graduation

State Licensing Examinations

Spelman students who are pursuing certification as teachers are the only group who routinely take state licensing examinations (GACE and edTPA).  The College benchmark for these students is a pass rate of at least 85%.  Our Education Department (formerly Education Studies Program) maintains statistics on teacher certification pass rates, which have averaged in the low 90% range for Early Child Education majors taking the GACE who are seeking certification in Early Childhood Education.  The most recent GACE report indicates pass rates of 94% which is the aggregate of all content area tests (GACE II).  Data demonstrates unit performance on the GACE meets standards (2012-2013: 83% pass rate, 2013-2014: 100%, 2014-2015: 100%).  During the 2015-2016 academic year, edTPA became consequential in the state of Georgia for teacher certification.  The 2015-2016 the pass rate was 100% and the mean score was 49.5. The passing score is 42.

Placement Rates

The College obtains information annually on job placement as well as graduate and professional school acceptance through the First Destination Survey administered before graduation. In addition, the Office of Career Planning and Development (CPD) again administers the survey 6 months after graduation to gather information about employment, pursuit of graduate and professional education, and other forms of achievement from recent graduates. The chart below summarizes the numbers of students who received full-time employment with companies and full-time graduate/professional school acceptances.

Survey results also capture several other post-baccalaureate opportunities which we consider to be successful outcomes for our alumnae. In 2015, an additional 23% of our graduates reported participation in other post-baccalaureate activities including military enlistment, Fulbright engagements, research, internships and fellowships, among others. When combined with our full-time employment and grad/professional school placements, this demonstrates that 81% of our recent alumnae are actively engaged in a post-baccalaureate opportunity.  While this placement rate is high, we seek to achieve an even higher rate of post-baccalaureate placement for our students, of at least 90%.

Placement Rates

Graduation Rates (Student Right to Know):  College Navigator

Sources:  Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and Spelman College Fact Book 2014-15.