Student Achievement

As part of its overall assessment of the Institution, Faulkner University regularly evaluates performance with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission using multiple key performance indicators, including:

  • Retention, graduation, and course success rates
  • Degree productivity
  • Licensure and certification rates
  • Job placement and graduate school acceptance.

Retention, Graduation, and Course Success Rates


Upon examination of the Institution’s composition and demographics, Faulkner has determined to calculate retention rates for two groups: first-time, full-time (FTFT) students and the entire student population. The University selected these two groupings because FTFT is the more commonly examined cohort (hence its inclusion), but the FTFT population is such a small percentage of the University’s total enrollment (for Fall 2021, the FTFT cohort was only 5.56% of the total enrollment). Thus, the Institution deemed it statistically significant to also include the retention rate of the entire University to provide a more accurate picture of retention success.
FTFT focuses on students who have never taken college courses on a full-time basis who are seeking bachelor’s degrees, and does not include students who have already attended another postsecondary institution.

Retention is tracked from one fall semester to the next. Thus, these retention rates reflect year-to-year retention per cohort (e.g., the Fall 2013 retention rate is those students who retained from Fall 2013 to Fall 2014. The following graphs represent the retention rates for the FTFT cohorts and for the total enrollment per year.

In addition to the overall retention rates of FTFT students, disaggregated data for several data sets have been prepared for the Fall 2021 cohort. These are as follows:

  • Race:
    • Asian: 100%
    • Black: 43%
    • Hispanic: 80%
    • Pacific Islander: 100%
    • White: 68%
    • Two or More: 60%
  • Gender:
    • Male: 46%
    • Female: 76%
  • Athletic affiliation: 
    • Athletes: 53%

Assessment Goal: In the 2018-2023 Strategic Vision and Long-Range Plan, the University 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 an indicator 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.

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: While the University has still not realized its goal set in the Strategic Vision and Long-Range Plan document, strides have been made towards higher aggregated retention rates, and several of the disaggregated areas have met or far exceed the threshold of acceptability. Moving forward, the University will focus special attention on black students, male students, and student athletes. Already, initiatives have been set in motion to increase these numbers. The University was awarded two grants for Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) and this funding is being focused on academic support and wrap-around services, with the intent to increase retention of African American students. The University will continue to examine these numbers and use this data to inform decision-making and drive change. Furthermore, the University will broaden its focus in future plans to include total enrollment retention, as the FTFT population is such a small subset.


As with retention rates, Faulkner also monitors graduation rates for its FTFT student population as well as its total enrollment. The following graph details Faulkner’s 6-year graduation rates for the period 2011-2017, as these are the most current cohorts in which students have had six years to graduate. Graduation rates are tracked from one census date to a census date six years in the future (census dates are in October). Thus, these numbers include all students who graduated from the fall of one year to the summer semester six years later.

Based on IPEDS data for a cohort of peer institutions from the years of 2011-2014, the average 6-year graduation rate for that peer cohort was 57%. Faulkner is using this average as its threshold of acceptability. Averages by year for the peer institutions were as follows: 2011= 55%; 2012= 59%; 2013= 59%; 2014= 56%. 

Assessment Goal: In conjunction with annual student retention efforts, the University’s goal is to realize annual and consecutive gains towards the average 6-year graduate rates of our peer cohort, with the threshold of acceptability set at 57% for both the FTFT population and total enrollment.

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: While the University has still not realized its threshold of acceptability set in the aforementioned goal, the upward trajectory of recent years appears promising. The total enrollment rate is especially favorable, as this number is only 4 percentage points from the aforementioned goal. The University is paying careful attention to its graduation rates and is making efforts to improve these numbers. Efforts geared toward improving retention rates will assist in increasing this number, also.

Course Success Rates

At Faulkner University, course success is defined as passing the course, i.e., obtaining a grade of A, B, C, D, or, P. While final grades are rarely used as assessments for individual courses and/or programs (as it is an indirect method of assessment), calculating the number of courses that successfully pass students within each college provides an overview of success for the University and, furthermore, provides an indicator of how likely students are to retain and graduate (the more students pass, the more likely they are to retain and graduate). Each course evaluates students using a myriad means of assessment, including formative and summative and direct and indirect, to determine acquisition of specific skills and knowledge. Course success rates are tabulated below for the Fall 2021 semester.

Course Success Data

Assessment: Using the Institution’s standardized threshold of acceptability of 85%, Faulkner aspires to have all courses achieve a success rate (grades of A, B, C, D, or P) for all courses at 85% (the number of students who attain these grades). 

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: 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. As of 2021, graduate courses in the College of Education, and undergraduate courses in the V.P. Black College of Biblical Studies are the only three areas that do not meet this threshold. These numbers will be further assessed, with specific courses being examined to identify any areas of improvement. --

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 (2018) reveal the state average for Alabama is 19.4 degrees per 100 full time equivalent students (FTE), while the national average is 24 per 100 FTE. For more information see:

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 2019-2020 academic year, Faulkner’s ratio of degrees awarded per 100 FTE was 21.6, exceeding the state average 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

The data is provided from 2000, with the first 15 years aggregated (2000-2015), the following four years aggregated (2015-2019), and the final three as stand-alone years.

Assessment: Using the NCEMS Alabama state average of 19.4 degrees awarded per 100 FTE students as the threshold of acceptability, the University’s goal is to meet or exceed this number of degrees awarded annually. 

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: The results for the last three years are as follows:
  • 2019-2020= 21.6 degrees awarded per 100 FTE students
  • 2020-2021= 24.8 degrees awarded per 100 FTE students
  • 2021-2022= 24.3 degrees awarded per 100 FTE students

It is significant to note that, for the years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, the Faulkner average even exceeds the national average.

Licensure and Certificate

Another key measure of Faulkner’s student success is determined 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

A key measurement of student success for the Jones School of Law (JSL) is the bar passage rates. As such, JSL provides annual bar passage ( required-disclosures/) rates as part the American Bar Association Required Disclosures. The ABA sets the following standard: “At least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates in a calendar year who sat for a bar examination must have passed a bar examination administered within two years of their date of graduation.” For the past four years, the following passage rates have been disclosed:

Year Reported 2021  2020 2019 2018
Passage Rate 86.44% 76.54% 62.50% 80.00%

Assessment: In keeping with the ABA standard, Faulkner’s Jones School of Law seeks a bar passage rate of 75% or higher within two years of graduation. 

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: Note that the reported year is two years post-graduation. Thus, the 2021 report year would be for the class of 2019, the 2020 report year would be for the class of 2018, and so forth. The class of 2017 did not meet the goal of 75% passage within two years (by 2019), but all other years reported did. This data was carefully studied and significant changes were implemented to strengthen the program and improve passage rates. 

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.

During the 2021-2022 year, the passage rate for Faulkner’s students was 100%.

Assessment: Faulkner’s Legal Studies program seeks to maintain a pass rate of 100% on the CLAE annually. 

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: The program currently meets the threshold. This threshold of acceptability is ahead of the national average, and on par with Faulkner’s most current results.

Teacher Education Program

The College of Education is a CAEP-accredited school of education offering degrees in both undergraduate and graduate degree areas. The Praxis is the key measurement of readiness for prospective educators. Per the ETS website, “our research-based portfolio of educator licensure and professional learning programs ensures educators are prepared to do the work of teaching in our rapidly changing world” ( The College of Education uses the Praxis scores to determine achievement of knowledge and skills of its students. The following tables provide the most recent data:

Praxis Content Knowledge 5903 Math  (# 5003 prior to 2020)



N= 38


N= 18


N= 28


Number and Operations (Points Earned) out of 16

CIEP: 2.3.1

Q1: 18/47%

Q2: 7/18%

Q3: 9/ 23%

Q4: 4/10%

Q1: 0/0%

Q2: 3/38%

Q3: 5/63%

Q4: 0/0%

Q1: 16/46%

Q2: 7/20%

Q3: 8/23%

Q4: 4/11%


Algebraic Thinking (Points Earned) out of 12

CIEP: 2.3.1

Q1: 16/42%

Q2: 13/ 34%

Q3: 8/21%

Q4: 1 /2%

Q1: 2/25%

Q2: 2/25%

Q3: 2/25%

Q4: 2/25%

Q1: 14/40%

Q2: 7/20%

Q3: 8/23%

Q4: 6/17%


Geometry and Measurement (Points Earned) out of 12

CIEP: 2.3.1

Q1: 21/55%


Q3: 7/18%

Q4: 2/ 5%

Q1: 4/50%

Q2: 3/38%

Q3: 0/0%

Q4: 1/12%

Q1: 14/40%

Q2: 12/34%

Q3: 6/17%

Q4: 3/9%

Mean Passing Score

(State Passing Score: 157)

157.92 156.11 160.71
Score Range 116-200

Avg. 145-169


Avg. 125-179


Avg. 146-178

% Passed on All Attempts 100% 100% 100%
Number/Percent of 1st Attempt Passes 19/50% 15/83% 21/ 75%

Praxis Content Knowledge 5904/ 5004  Social Studies


N= 39


N= 18


N= 26


United States History, Government, and Citizenship (Points Earned) out of 25

CIEP: 2.4.1

Q1: 16/41%

Q2: 11/28%

Q3: 8/20%

Q4: 4/10%

Q1: 3/16%

Q2: 5/27%

Q3: 3/16%

Q4: 4/38%

Q1: 14/53%

Q2:  6/23%

Q3:  2/7%

Q4:  4/15%


Geography, Anthropology, and Sociology (Points Earned) out of 16

CIEP: 2.4.1


Q2: 14/35%

Q3: 9/23%

Q4: 0/0%

Q1: 8/44%

Q2: 1/ 5%

Q3: 4/ 22%

Q4: 5/27%

Q1: 9/34%

Q2: 10/38%

Q3: 6/23%

Q4: 1/ 3%


World History and Economics (Points Earned) out of 14

CIEP: 2.4.1

Q1: 17/43%

Q2: 13/33%

Q3:  8/20%

Q4:  1 / 2%

Q1: 5/27%

Q2: 5/27%

Q3: 7/38%

Q4: 1 5%

Q1: 8/30%

Q2: 9/34%

Q3: 3/11%

Q4: 6/23%

Mean Passing Score

(State Passing Score: 154)

153.15 159.67 157.65
Score Range 126-191

Avg. 139-163


Avg. 145-173


Avg. 142-168

% Passed on All Attempts 100% 100% 100%
Number/Percent of 1st Attempt Passes 18/ 46% 16/88% 17/ 65%

Praxis Content Knowledge 5905 Science/5005


N= 39


N= 17


N= 28


Earth Science (Points Earned) out of 16

CIEP: 2.2.1

Q1: 15/38%

Q2:  16/41%

Q3:  4/10%

Q4:  4/10%

Q1:  7/41%

Q2:  4/23%

Q3:  4/23%

Q4:  2/11%

Q1: 11/39%

Q2:  8/28%

Q3:  5/17%

Q4:  4/14%


Life Science (Points Earned) out of 17

CIEP: 2.2.1

Q1: 20/51%

Q2: 7/17%

Q3: 8/20%

Q4: 4/10%

Q1: 8/47%

Q2: 1/ 5%

Q3: 7/41%

Q4: 1/ 5%

Q1: 13/46%

Q2: 8/28%

Q3: 4/14%

Q4: 3/10%


Physical Science (Points Earned) out of 17

CIEP: 2.2.1

Q1:  18/46%

Q2:  11/28%

Q3:  4/10%

Q4:  6/15%

Q1: 10/58%

Q2:  1/ 5%

Q3:  4/23%

Q4:  2/11%

Q1: 17/60%

Q2: 5/17%

Q3: 4/14%

Q4: 2/7%

Mean Passing Score

(State Passing Score: 158)

157.85 154.53 166.20
Score Range 100-182

Avg. 144-171


Avg. 143-172


Avg.  162-178

% Passed on All Attempts 100% 100% 100%
Number/Percent of 1st Attempt Passes 20/ 51% 17/ 100% 3/ 60%

Praxis Content Knowledge 5002 Reading/Language Arts


N= 1

No data due to N count


N= 6


N= 25


Reading (Points Earned) out of 31

CIEP: 2.1.1





Q1: 3/50%

Q2: 1/16%

Q3: 2/33%

Q4: 0/0%

Q1: 12/48%

Q2: 1/ 4%

Q3:  9/36%

Q4:  3/12%


Writing, Speaking, and Listening (Points Earned) out of 34

CIEP: 2.1.1





Q1: 3/50%

Q2: 3/50%

Q3: 0/0%

Q4: 0/0%

Q1: 11/44%

Q2:  6/24%

Q3:  6/24%

Q4:  2/8%

Mean Passing Score

(State Passing Score: 157)

160 160.44
Score Range Avg.  141-172

Avg. 153-166


Avg:  148-173

% Passed on All Attempts 100% 100%
Number/Percent of 1st Attempt Passes 5/ 83% 19/ 76%



N= 22


N = 21



Mean 162 167.67 162.91
State Passing Score 159 159 159
Score Range 140-185

Avg. 156-166


Avg.   159-167


Avg.  153-168

% Passed all attempts 100% 100% 100%

1st Attempt Pass

15/68% 13/ 61% 11/100%
Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, including Emergent Literacy Q1: 8/36%

Q2: 7/31%

Q3: 4/18%

Q4: 3/13%

Q1: 10/47%

Q2: 7/33%

Q3: 3/14%

Q4: 1/4%

Q1:  5/45%

Q2: 3/27%

Q3:  1/9%

Q4:  2/18%

Phonics and Decoding Q1: 5/22%

Q2: 9/40%

Q3: 4/18%

Q4: 4/18%

Q1:  9/42%

Q2:  8/38%

Q3:  4/19%

Q4:  0/0%

Q1:  4/36%

Q2:  3/27%

Q3:  3/27%

Q4:  1/9%

Vocabulary and Fluency Q1: 11/50%

Q2: 8/36%

Q3: 2/9%

Q4: 1/ 4%

Q1: 5/23%

Q2: 5/23%

Q3: 5/23%

Q4: 6/28%

Q1:  2/18%

Q2:  3/27%

Q3:  6/54%

Q4:  0/0%

Comprehension of Literacy and Informational Text Q1: 11/50%

Q2:  8/36%

Q3:  2/9%

Q4:  1/4  %

Q1:  8/38%

Q2:  8/38%

Q3:  0/0%

Q4:  5/23%

Q1:  1/10%

Q2:  5/45%

Q3:  5/45%

Q4:  0/0%

Writing Q1: 8/36%

Q2: 7/31%

Q3: 3/13%

Q4: 4/18%

Q1: 8/38%

Q2: 6/28%

Q3: 5/23%

Q4:  2/9%

Q1:  5/45%

Q2:  2/18%

Q3:  4/36%

Q4:  0/0%

Assessment and Instructional Decision Making (constructed Response) Q1:  8/36%

Q2:  5/22%

Q3:  5/22%

Q4: 4/18%

Q1: 5/235

Q2: 4/19%

Q3:  9/42%

Q4: 3/14%

Q1: 7/63%

Q2: 2/18%

Q3: 1/10% 

Q4: 1/10%

Speech Language Pathology Praxis Examination Pass Rates of Test-takers

A key measurement of student success for the Master of Science/Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology program is the Praxis examination passage rates. As such, the program provides annual Praxis exam passage rates ( on their website. ASHA provides a National Summary Report which presents “descriptive statistics on the PRAXIS speech-language pathology test on the highest score only (i.e., excludes multiple scores for a given individual) for all exam participants and for those individuals who have earned a master’s degree plus additional credits, or earned a doctoral degree” ( For the past three years, the following passage rates have been disclosed:

Praxis Examination Pass Rates of Test-takers (On-ground)

Year Reported 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-2020
Number of Test-takers 26 19 28
Number who Passed the Exam 22 17 28
% Passed Exam Rate 85% 90% 100%

Assessment: Faulkner’s MA/MS SLP program seeks to remain on par with national averages for Praxis examination pass rates of test-takers. 

Assessment Results and Analysis: The most recent national average pass rate according to ASHA is 94%. While the program’s current pass rate falls below that percentage, the rate is within the acceptable range for ASHA standards. Furthermore, the three-year average pass rate is 95%, higher than the national average pass rate.

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 threshold of acceptability for graduate school placement and in- field employment at 70% for both areas. 

  • Assessment Results and Analysis: 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. As can be seen in the sampling below, none of the areas tracked for the most recent academic year fall below that threshold of acceptability. 

A sample of tracking results for the 2021-2022 Academic Year is as follows:

Unit Accepted into a Graduate Program in Field (if applied) Employed in Field
Accounting 100% 100%
Business Administration Not Tracked 100%
College of Education: Undergraduate 100% 93%
Computer Science Not Tracked 100%
Interdisciplinary Studies Not Tracked 91%
V.P. Black College of Biblical Studies: Undergraduate 100% 78%