Student Achievement

Faulkner University annually evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission using multiple performance measures and indicators, including:

  • Retention, graduation, and completion rates;
  • Degree productivity;
  • Course completion rates;
  • Licensure and certification rates;
  • Job placement and graduate school acceptance

Retention, Graduation, & Completion Rates

Retention

Faulkner measures the retention and graduation rates of each of its student populations: undergraduate traditional, executive and professional, and graduate. Specifically, the University measures the percentage of first-time full-time students who are seeking bachelor’s degrees who return to the Institution to continue their studies the following fall semester. Faulkner students who have already attended another postsecondary institution, or who began their studies on a part-time basis, are not tracked for this rate.

The following is a simple chart that shows the retention rates from 2013-2017. These represent “cohorts,” therefore the percentage values indicate the ratio retained from the previous fall (e.g., the 58% for 2017 means 58% of the 2016 first-time full-time students who returned in fall).

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
50% 61% 57% 56% 58%

In addition to simple tabulated data above, Faulkner’s Center for Assessment, Research, Effectiveness, and Enhancement (CAREE) prepares a detailed retention report each spring providing retention data, including all students (less one-year programs), first-time full-time students (FTFT), and sub-populations of the FTFT student pool.

The official data from the 2018 annual CAREE report published on October 16, 2017 reveals the following:

  • An overall retention rate from fall 2016 to fall 2017 for all students, all programs at 57.1%. The highest retention rate among undergraduate programs is the traditional (TRAD) student population at 63.2%. Conversely, the lowest retention rate among these groups is the dual non-degree program at 9%.
  • Fall to fall retention of the FTFT cohort, for all programs, settled at 57.31% as of August 23, 2017, as indicated in the above
  • Sub-populations are tracked by religious affiliation, incremental ACT scores, race, gender, and status as an athlete. The most notable statistic is the retention of females to males at 46.9% and 71.9% respectively. The highest retention rates in each of the other sub-groups, above the overall FTFT retention statistic are: Religion – Church of Christ (70.3%); ACT – 29-32 (88.2%); Race – Hawaiian/Multi/Not reported (100%) and Residency – Non-Resident (66.7%). It is acknowledged that low head counts make some of these statistics suspect; but, observing them for tends over time is suggested.

Assessment: In its newest plan, the University has set the following objective: Manage Student Enrollment with realistic, yet aggressive targets for new students, current student retention, and graduation rates established for each student segment, with the following established as indicators of success:

  • Increase Fall to Fall FTFT Student Retention from our cap of 59.9% to 65% by Fall 2020, and to 70% by Fall 2023.
  • Increase Fall to Fall Total TRAD Student Retention from our cap of 67% to 70% by Fall 2020, and 75% by Fall 2023.

Graduation

As with retention rates, Faulkner also monitors graduation rates for its FTFT student pools. The following table provides Faulkner’s 6-year graduation rates for the period 2013-2017, and the cohort averages for the other four higher education institutions located in Montgomery, AL, as reported on the IPEDS.

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Faulkner 21 28 24 33 33
Peer Average 30 30 41 26 28

While Faulkner continues to work on initiatives to improve graduation rates, it is meaningful to note that for three of the five years it either exceeded the average of its local peers or came within a couple of percentage points.

The University also reports its retention and graduation rates to the US Department of Education. For its latest reported (2017) cohort, 27% of entering students were counted as first-time students. Information reported related to the retention and graduation rate for this particular student cohort is available by visiting the National Center for Education Statistics website. Archived information for previous years can be accessed by changing the reporting dates on the website.

Assessment: In conjunction with annual student retention efforts, the University’s goal is to realize annual and consecutive gains towards the average IPEDS 6-year graduate rates of our peer cohort, with the benchmark set at 43.25%.

Completion Rates

In addition to graduation rates, Faulkner also measures the completion rates of several programs, particularly those that are degree completion in nature where a high percentage of students transfer in the general education component of the degree program. This data is significant in that these programs represent 15.4% (512 out of 3319 total students) of total enrollment, as well as the fact that they are one year in duration. The following table provides the 2016-2017 completion rates for all the University’s four executive and professional degree programs.

Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) Bachelor of Business Admin
(BBA)
Bachelor of Criminal Justice
(BCJ/eBCJ)
Human Resource Management
(HRM)
83% 86% 82% 88%

Assessment: The University seeks to realize a goal of 88% completion rate across all four of its executive and professional degree programs by 2023.

Degree Productivity

Faulkner University also monitors the ratio of graduates to overall enrollment each year. According to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), the most current data (2009) reveal the state average for Alabama is 18.1 degrees per 100 full time equivalent students (FTE), while the national average is 20.8 per 100 FTE. For more information see:

http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=137

Faulkner University’s degree productivity data are below, including the total number of degrees awarded since 2000 and more specific information for the last two academic years. For comparison purposes, during the 2009 – 2010 academic year, Faulkner’s ratio of degrees awarded per 100 FTE was 26.8, exceeding both the state and national averages cited by NCHEMS.

This ratio demonstrates that Faulkner University is successful in graduating relatively large numbers of students each year in relation to the size of the total number of FTE students within the student body.

Total Degrees Awarded

Award Year Associate Bachelor Graduate Professional Total
2000-2015 607 8911 1131 1047 11,696
2015-2016 8 412 165 73 658
2016-2017 16 513 203 77 809
Total 631 9,836 1,499 1,197 13,163

The first 15 years are aggregated, while the specific information for the last two academic years are provided independently. For comparison purposes with the 2009 NCHEMS data cited above, Faulkner’s ratio of degrees awarded (during that same 2009 – 2010 academic year) was 26.8 per 100 FTE. Therefore, Faulkner’s degree productivity for the specified period easily exceeded both the state and national averages cited by NCHEMS. The provided ratio demonstrates Faulkner’s success in graduating relatively large numbers of students each year in relation to the total number of FTE students within the student body. It should be noted that Faulkner’s ratio of degrees per 100 FTE awarded for the past two cycles (2015-16 and 2016-17) are consistent—20.2 and 24.4 respectively—with the aforementioned 20.8 value.

Assessment: Using the NCEMS national average of 20.8 degrees awarded per 100 FTE students as the benchmark, the University’s goal is to meet or exceed this number of degrees awarded annually.

Course Completion

Faulkner University also measures student achievement each semester in terms of passing grades awarded by each college within the Institution. Assessment of student progress toward successful course completion is conducted within individual courses. Each student is evaluated using course-specific exams or other assessments to determine acquisition of specific skills and knowledge. Course completion rates are tabulated below for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters.

Course Completion Data

Fall 2016

Courses Passing Grade Completion Rate
Alabama Christian College of Arts and Sciences
Undergraduate 6551 5778 88.2%
Graduate 351 343 97.7%
College of Education
Undergraduate 456 399 87.5%
Graduate 324 297 91.7%
Harris College of Business
Undergraduate 3299 3128 94.8%
Graduate 357 349 97.8%
V.P. Black College of Biblical Studies
Undergraduate 1597 1402 87.8%
Graduate 70 63 90.0%

Each college easily surpassed the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standard of a minimum of 67% completion.

Spring 2017

Courses Passing Grade Completion Rate
Alabama Christian College of Arts and Sciences 
Undergraduate 4973 4453 89.5%
Graduate 290 280 96.6%
College of Education
Undergraduate 389 350 90%
Graduate 312 294 94.2%
Harris College of Biblical Studies
Undergraduate 3104 2962 95.4%
Graduate 343 324 94.5%
V.P. Black College of Biblical Studies
Undergraduate 1368 1220 89.2%
Graduate 62 54 87.1%

Spring results were comparable to those of the fall, with each college once again easily surpassing the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standard of a minimum of 67% completion.

Assessment: Using the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standard of a minimum of 67% completion of all courses attempted cumulatively, Faulkner seeks to surpass this minimum standard for students within each of its respective colleges. Measuring course completion rates across all five colleges each semester provides a continual monitoring of overall student achievement in order to identify any signification deficiency in any one particular college, program, or course.

Licensure and Certification

Another key measure of Faulkner’s student success is effected by tracking the performance of its students with respect to national or state licensure or certification in applicable programs. The following programs track student licensure or certification exam passage rates as a measure of student achievement.

Jones School of Law Bar Passage Rates

Jones School of Law provides annual bar passage rates as part the American Bar Association Required Disclosures. Data are accessible here: https://www.faulkner.edu/law/about-faulkner-law/aba-required-disclosures/

Assessment: Faulkner’s Jones School of Law seeks to be on par with Alabama’s certified rate for all first-time takers, with a passage rate of at least 60% annually. While this benchmark was not met for the past few years, the school is taking steps to rectify this, including raising the minimum LSAT entrance requirement.

Legal Studies Program Certified Legal Assistant Examination*

Faulkner’s Legal Studies program is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences as an entity within the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies department.  It offers both the associate and   baccalaureate   degrees   in   legal studies. Graduates of the program take the Certified Legal Assistant Examination (CLAE) administered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). The department monitors the performance of its graduates on the CLAE as one means of programmatic success.

The NALA data as of January 2016 for national CLAE results are divided into five sub- categories without a composite score. Additionally, different groups of exam takers are identified. Data from 2016 most accurately compares with Faulkner student data since there have not been any Faulkner test takers within the past year. The sub scores of each of the five test categories are 61.2%, 53.9%, 33.8%, 69.4%, and 58.5%. Taken together, these scores equate to a mean value of 55.4%. However, when NALA relays CLAE results to institutions, they simply provide a pass/fail rating for each test taker. Currently, Faulkner’s pass rate (as of January 2016) is 75%, slightly ahead of the national average.

Communications Ethics Judgment Legal Research Substantive Law
All Examinees PASS 178 145 90 159 159
FAIL 113 124 176 70 113
Pass% 61.2% 53.9% 33.8% 69.4% 58.5%
Categories of Eligibility Requirements
Graduates of Paralegal Schools –
all categories of schools
PASS 119 101 63 109 111
FAIL 76 80 120 45 75
Pass% 61.0% 55.8% 34.4% 70.7% 59.6%
Bachelor’s degree in any area of study
plus 1 yr experience or course work
PASS 38 28 19 33 31
FAIL 21 31 34 16 25
Pass% 64.4% 47.5% 35.8% 67.3% 55.4%
7 years experience PASS 19 14 8 15 16
FAIL 15 11 20 9 12
Pass% 55.9% 56.0% 28.6% 62.5% 57.1%

Assessment: Faulkner’s Legal Studies program seeks to maintain a pass rate of 75% on the CLAE annually. This benchmark is slightly ahead of the national average, and on par with Faulkner’s most current results.

Teacher Education Program

Faulkner’s College of Education (COE) is an NCATE-accredited school of education offering degrees in both Class B, Alternative A, and Traditional Class A teacher certification degree areas approved by the Alabama State Department of Education. The COE’s Class B and Alternative Class A candidates for teacher certification must pass the Praxis II exam to satisfy the state’s criteria. The most current (2017) pass rates for institutions within the state of Alabama are provided on the US Department of Education’s (USDOE) website. The following tables extract Faulkner’s data from the USDOE’s site.

Traditional Summary Pass Rates

Program Group Number Taking
Tests
Number Passing
Tests
Pass Rate
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2015-16
15 15 100
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2014-15
21 21 100
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2013-14
17 17 100
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2012-13
17 17 100
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2011-12
17 17 100
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2010-11
17 17 100
Faulkner University (1068) All program completers,
2009-10
16 16 100

https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Report/PrintSection.aspx?Year=2013&StateID=01&Section=130520

Alternative, IHE-based Summary Pass Rates

Program Group Number Taking
Tests
Number Passing
Tests
Pass Rate
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2015-16
11 11 100
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2014-15
12 12 100
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2013-14
7 7 100
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2012-13
7 7 100
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2011-12
14 14 100
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2010-11
17 17 100
Faulkner University – Alt (1068) All program completers,
2009-10
13 13 100

https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Report/PrintSection.aspx?Year=2013&StateID=01&Section=130540

For further information please contact
Faulkner University’s College of Education
By mail: 5345 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109
By phone: 334-386-7106

Assessment: Because the COE’s Class B and Alternative Class A candidates for teacher certification must pass the Praxis II exam to satisfy the state’s criteria, a 100% passage rate is expected annually. No lower benchmark is accepted.

 Job Placement and Graduate School Placement

Finally, the University tracks the placement of its graduates to ascertain how many have secured employment, particularly in the field of their study. Additionally, it also tracks graduates who have applied to graduate school to ascertain how many were successful in securing acceptance.

Faulkner does not possess a system-wide tracking mechanism for collecting this information; rather, it depends on each college to independently secure this information. Currently, offices track graduates manually and enter the information on spreadsheets for later use. The University is currently exploring the use of a standardized platform to create the aforementioned lacking system-wide mechanism. The CAREE office, meanwhile, continues to work with units to ensure tracking is completed and is utilized as a major part of the assessment process.

Assessment: The University has set its overarching benchmark for graduate school placement and in-field employment at 70% for both areas. While this is a lofty goal and is not always attained, the University is committed to continuous improvement and strives to uphold a high standard of excellence. Some units may set a lower benchmark in their respective areas, but benchmarks never fall below 60%, and often results exceed this expectation.

A sample of tracking results for the most recent Academic Year tracked follows:

Unit Number of Graduates Tracked Applied and Accepted into a Graduate Program Employed in Field
Natural and Physical Sciences 5 5 0
English 10 1 6
Undergraduate Education 48 5 41
Undergraduate Bible 8 0 6
Traditional Business 14 5 8