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Spelman College Student Achievement

Student Achievement

In accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Standard 8.1, “The institution identifies, evaluates, and publishes goals and outcomes for student achievement appropriate to the institution’s mission…,” Spelman College has identified student achievement metrics, provided appropriate data, established thresholds of acceptability, and explained how each criteria relates to its mission.  The student achievement measures identified by the College are:

  1. Second-Year Retention
  2. Six-Year Graduation
  3. State Licensing Examinations
  4. Post-Baccalaureate Placement

The Spelman College mission statement indicates 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.”  Each measure is in alignment with the College’s mission statement. The College strives to attain the highest student achievement outcomes possible, which often exceed those of the national average, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

Second Year Retention Rates

The College’s target is to exceed the national average for Second-Year Retention by a minimum of five (5) percentage points.  In support of the College’s responsibility to its students and their first-year experience at Spelman College, the threshold for Second-Year Retention has been established at 85%.  This ensures that the College remains committed to enhancing the student experience and thereby, retaining a majority of its first-year students.

The fall 2016 cohort Second-Year Retention Rate was 89% for Spelman College.  In comparison, this retention rate outpaced those in the comparison group, giving Spelman a 17% margin over the national average, 9% over Liberal Arts Colleges, and 27% over HBCU’s.  The fall 2017 cohort Second-Year Retention Rate of 91% represents a 2% increase in retention from the previous year’s cohort.  The 2017 Cohort Second-Year Retention Rates for those in the comparison group are not yet available.

Spelman College Rention Rates

The most recent Second-Year Retention Rate for Spelman College’s 2017 cohort has been further disaggregated by race/ethnicity and by socioeconic level.  Pell eligibility, the most closely related variable, has been used represent socioeconomic level as shown in the chart below.

Second Year Retention by Race Ethnicity

Six-Year Graduation

The College’s target is to exceed the national average Six-Year Graduation Rate by ten (10) percentage points.  For the 2011 cohort, Spelman’s graduation rate of 75% is 26 points greater than the national average of 49%.  The Six-Year Graduation Rate for Liberal Arts Colleges is 67% -- 8 points less than Spelman’s (Table 8.1-2:  Six-Year Graduation Rates).  Although the College exceeded the Graduation Rates of those in the comparison group by several percentage points, it continues efforts to surpass a graduation rate threshold of 75%.  Spelman’s Six-Year Graduation Rate for the 2012 Cohort is also 75%.  The 2012 Cohort Graduation Rates for those in the comparison group are not yet available.

Spelman College Graduation Rates

The most recent Six-Year Graduation Rate for Spelman College’s 2012 cohort has been further disaggregated by race/ethnicity and by socioeconic level.  Pell eligibility, the most closely related variable, has been used represent socioeconomic level as shown in the chart below.

Six Year Graduation Rates by Race Ethnicity

State Licensing Examinations

Spelman College students pursuing teacher certification routinely take state licensing examinations; namely, the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) and EducationTeacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).  The College’s benchmark for these students is a pass rate of at least 85%, which is five (5) percentage points greater than the teacher accreditation standard.  The College's Education Department maintains statistics on teacher certification pass rates, which have averaged nearly97% since the 2012-13 academic year for students taking the GACE exam.  The most recent GACE report from the 2018-19 academic year indicates a pass rate of 100% (Table 8.1-3:  GACE Passing Rates).  These data indicate student performance on the GACE exam far surpasses the established benchmark.

GACE Passing Rates

During the 2015-16 academic year, edTPA also became a requirement for teacher certification in the state of Georgia.  The passing score for Georgia is 38 (secondary) and 45 (elementary) based on the number of rubrics per content area.  In 2018-19, the Spelman College pass rate was 100% with a mean passing score for edTPA of 44 (secondary) and 54 (elementary).

Post-Baccalaureate Placement

The College obtains information annually on job placement as well as graduate and professional school acceptance through the First Destination Survey administered prior to graduation by the Office of Career Planning and Development (CPD). In addition, CPD re-administers the survey six months following graduation to gather additional detailed information about employment; pursuit of graduate/professional education; and other academic or leadership opportunities post-graduation.  Table 8.1-4 below gives a summary of Spelman College graduates’ placement rates subsequent to program completion. For comparison, Table 8.1-5 provides national placement rates as reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Spelman College Placement Rates

Survey results also captured participation in other post-baccalaureate opportunities (excluding full-time employment and grad/prof school), considered successful post-graduation outcomes.  In 2018, 12% of Spelman graduates reported participation in other post-baccalaureate opportunities including military enlistment, Fulbright engagements, research, internships and fellowships.  When combined with full-time employment and grad/prof school placements, the data show that 70% of our most recent alumnae are actively engaged in post-baccalaureate opportunities.  The College has established a post-baccalaureate placement benchmark of at least 75% of our graduates.  We continue to strive for the benchmark in various ways.  Improvements to the data collection and verification process have been implemented including gathering grad/prof school data from the National Student Clearinghouse and the First Destination Survey, which should provide a more complete reporting of graduates’ post-baccalaureate endeavors.  The CDP has also employed new methods in its efforts to increase the response rate and integrity of First Destination Survey.  From 2017 to 2018, the total placement rate of Spelman graduates increased by 10%, due in part to these improvements in data collection methods.

National Placement Rates

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Institutional Research
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Box  875
Atlanta, GA 30314