Student Achievement

Student Achievement

 

MEASURES OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) identifies, evaluates and publishes goals and outcomes of student achievements appropriate to the institution’s mission, the nature of the students it serves, and the kinds of programs offered, using multiple measures to document success.

SACSCOC Policy Statement on Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure states that an accredited SACSCOC institution is obligated to provide to its students, constituents, and the public information about itself that is complete, accurate, timely, accessible, clear and sufficient. Information that must be provided to the public includes the institution’s statements of its goals for student achievement and the success of students in achieving those goals. Information on student success may include reliable information in retention, graduation, course completion, licensure examinations, and job placement rates and other measures of student success appropriate to institutional mission.

In accordance with SACSCOC requirements and in response to U.S. Department of Education directives regarding student success, Elizabeth City State University identified the Eight-Year IPEDS Graduation Rate metric as a criterion for student success and achievement. The University selected this indicator because the University wanted a valid and reliable way to compare itself to its peers and this indicator reflects the successful graduation of students as captured at the federal level outcome. As of November 2019, the ECSU Eight-Year graduation rate was 40%. By contrast, the completion rate of the set of peer schools the University identified to contextualize its performance on this indicator was an average of 38%. The University considers 38% to be the threshold of acceptability on this criterion of student success.

ECSU also uses a number of internal indicators to evaluate the achievement of its students including enrollment, retention rates, graduation rates, and course completion rates. These criterions are governed by targeted performance goals and peer comparison groups. These performance measures are identified by the UNC-System, IPEDS peer comparison grouping sent to SACS-COC, programmatic accreditation requirements, state performance mandates and national ranking data found in various college ranking guides. Most of these measures, targets and metrics for student achievement are also integrated into ECSU’s strategic plan and the University of North Carolina System’s strategic plan, while others evolve from program accreditation and other institutional priorities. So our data will move from general (UNC System) external targets and achievement to specific (ECSU) internal targets and achievement. Measures and targets included are presented with their respective findings, including continuous improvement efforts.

To ensure appropriateness, targets and criteria of comparison reflect accepted institutional data, methods and metrics, ECSU uses disaggregated data analyzed from various performance measures to inform institutional and operational decisions. In addition, ECSU engages in the strategic planning processes that are established by the UNC system. Since January 2017, metrics and targets from UNC System Strategic Plan have been utilized as an external and internal set of requirements or benchmarks. The Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals in access, student success, affordability and efficiency, economic impact and community engagement, and institutional excellence and diversity. Some of those goals also pertain to targets useful in increasing student achievement at ECSU:

Increase Rural Enrollment

Undergrad Degree Efficiency

Achievement Gaps Undergrad Degree Efficiency

5-Year Grad Rate any Institution

Retention Rate

Course Completion rates

State Licensing Examinations

ECSU selected these student achievement metrics and benchmarks among others in an effort to reflect targeted success across the diversity of the student body. These internal and external criteria and benchmarks are discussed below in addition to the ways in which ECSU monitors student success and carries out continuous improvement in each outcome and target area. Since 2017, ECSU expanded its focus on the enrollment metrics and targets related to the criteria created in consultation with the UNC System Office. The metrics, targets and actuals will follow in the discussion under External Metrics from UNC System Strategic Plan.

Rural Enrollment

Elizabeth City State University is uniquely located in a geographic region with a population that is primarily characterized as both low-income and rural. Often students from this region are first- generation college students. Although ECSU recruits beyond its 21-county service region, the University strategically maximizes its recruitment resources to serve the citizens of northeastern North Carolina. Students whose families did not attend college can have a difficult time navigating the college admissions processes. Hence, rural students and their families who live in economically challenged areas will benefit from ECSU’s proactive recruitment efforts, which include regular high school visits from admissions counselors, assistance for parents in completing the federal financial aid application, financial literacy workshops, etc. ECSU is proud to serve students from the rural counties of the state.

 

Table 1: Rural Enrollment

 
Year (Fall)
 
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Actual
924
943
1035
1094
 
 
Goal
 
 
1041
1187
1344
1508

 

As part of the UNC System’s commitment to increasing access to students from underrepresented populations and geographic areas, this metric is defined as undergraduate students who enroll in a baccalaureate degree within a given academic year and who are from a county designated as “rural” within the state of North Carolina. ECSU seeks to enroll 1508 students from rural counties by 2022, an increase of 434 over the present 2019 actual figure of 1084 rural students.

ECSU is making gradual progress toward this goal, and, in the most recently reported data (AY 18/19), is at 1084 up from 1035 in 2018 and 943 in 2017. These rural student enrollment numbers have increased for three years but they are still below the yearly targets set with the UNC System. The margins are small 2018 (-0.6) and 2019 (-8.7). Activities to further annual progress are ongoing.

Undergraduate Degree Efficiency (UDGE)

By 2021-22, ECSU will improve its undergraduate degree efficiency to 18.2 over a base of 12.3. ECSU endeavors to produce graduates for leadership roles and life-long learning. The University’s mission is to recruit, retain, and graduate students who are prepared to become productive members of a global and increasingly interdependent society. Through the enhanced efforts of the Student Success Initiative and other student support services, such as academic advising and career counseling, the University will retain more students through degree completion. For students who cannot return to campus to complete their degrees, ECSU has an online degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies that offers a number of concentrations, giving students the flexibility to find a suitable pathway to degree completion.

Undergraduate Degree Efficiency (UDGE) is the ratio calculated by dividing the total number of undergraduate degrees in the 2018-2019 academic year by the total number of undergraduates enrolled in Fall 2018. Therefore, the UDGE for 2018 is 13.5.

 

Table 2: Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

ACADEMIC YEAR

 

2016-17
2017-2018
2018-2019
2019-2020
2020-2021
2021-2022
ACTUAL 
12.1
13.2
13.5
 
 
 
GOAL
 
13.2
14.4
15.5
16.9
18.2

 

ECSU Dashboard for the improvement goal on undergraduate degree efficiency- The UNC System established the baseline level for this criterion at 12.3, the level achieved in 2015-2016.

ECSU is making gradual progress toward this goal, and, a recently reported data (AY 17/18), 13.2/13.2. In the 2017-2018 year there was a slight reduction in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency in comparison to the target. ECSU matched the yearly target set with the UNC System in the category of Undergraduate Degree Efficiency. Activities to further annual progress are ongoing.

Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

By 2021-22, ECSU will reduce by 50% the achievement gap in undergraduate degree efficiency between male and female students.

Elizabeth City State University recognizes the urgency to retain and graduate students in a timely manner. The University has a particular interest in improving the degree completion achievement gap among male students. Through the Student Success Initiative, the University uses strategic interventions such as at-risk campaigns to monitor targeted students’ academic performance, Academic Wellness Checks to check periodically on students’ academic standing, and other special campaigns to monitor attendance, advising, pre-registration, tutoring, and student adherence to important dates on the academic calendar.

Achievement Gaps are calculated similarly with the total number of males earning undergraduate degrees divided by the total number of male undergraduates enrolled in Fall 2018. In 2018, that ratio is 13.7.

 

Table 3: Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency (Males)

ACADEMIC YEAR

 

2016-17
2017-2018
2018-2019
2019-2020
2020-2021
2021-2022
ACTUAL 
10.3
13.2
13.7
 
 
 
GOAL
 
10.4
10.7
11.1
11.5
12

 

Achievement Gaps are calculated similarly with the total number of males earning undergraduate degrees divided by the total number of male undergraduates enrolled in Fall 2018. In 2017 the actual ratio was 13.2 and the goal was 10.3. In 2018, that actual ratio was 13.7 and the goal was

10.7. In both instances the actual numbers exceeded goals meaning yearly targets are being met in the area of Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency.

ECSU has made major strides in this area over the last two years (2017, 2018) and is already well above the achievement goals set for 2021-2022. In 2017 the actual ratio was 13.2 and the goal was

10.3. In 2018, that actual ratio was 13.7 and the goal was 10.7. In both instances the actual numbers exceeded goals meaning yearly targets are being met in the area of Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency. Activities to further annual progress are ongoing.

Five-year Graduation Rates

Elizabeth City State University is fully committed to the success of our students. The University recently addressed two factors that impact timely degree completion: degree credit hour requirements and academic advising. In fall 2017, the University approved a reduction of degree credit hour requirements from 124-128 to 120 credit hours, which helps students graduate sooner and saves on tuition costs. In addition, the University implemented the 15-to-Finish initiative, which encourages students to enroll in 15 credit hours each semester so that they can complete their degrees in four years. The sooner the students earn their degrees, the sooner they are able to enter the workforce. To further support this goal, the University has invested resources to facilitate degree completion, which include professional advisors and technology to assist in academic advising processes such as degree auditing (a comprehensive academic advising solution to help students graduate on time) and early alert warnings.

Table 4: Five-year Graduation Rates

ACADEMIC YEAR

 

2017
(2012 Cohort)
2018
(2013 Cohort)
2019
(2014 Cohort)
2020
(2015 Cohort)
2021
(2016 Cohort)
2022
(2017 Cohort)
ACTUAL 
40.9%
43.2%
40.2%
     
GOAL
 
37.5%
38.7%
40.0%
41.5%
42.9%

 

The UNC Strategic Plan seeks to improve student outcomes within the System, and as such identified a 5-Year Graduation Rate, which is more broadly defined than the traditional IPEDS method of measuring the graduation rate.

Graduation rates at ECSU have improved over the past three years, 2017-2019. The institution is above the UNC goals set along with the university by over 19%f or the last two years, 2018 and 2019.

The senior administration at ECSU recognizes other metrics which accurately reflect commitment to the University’s mission in addition to the UNC System designed strategic plan initiatives to improve student achievement. Therefore, ECSU includes these additional metrics as part of its compliance with the SACSCOC standard for student achievement. This includes enrollment, retention, 6-year graduation rates and course completion.

 

ECSU General Enrollment Trends

As projected in the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, ECSU has been committed to increasing enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Listed in the chart are the rates from 2012-2019. After a six-year decline ending in 2016, enrollment has methodically climbed from 1357 students in 2016 to 1411 students in 2017 to 1678 students in 2018 to 1773 students in 2019. This is an average percentage increase of approximately 9% over the three-year period. This is significant because the University had been in a free-fall from 2010 to 2016. The 4% increase turned the tide before 2018 when the major increase of 19% occurred in 2018. On the path to enrollment recovery an added factor was the implementation of the UNC tuition reduction plan known as NC Promise, which has impacted student enrollment in a positive manner in 2018 and 2019.

ECSU internal targets for enrollment were based the official Fall enrollment projections sent to UNC Systems office which are used to build prior year budgets.

Not only has enrollment increased for three consecutive years after decreasing for the prior six consecutive years, but enrollment targets were met for two out of three of those years. See Table 5 below:

Table 5: Enrollment Rates with Percentage Increase and Decrease

 
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019

ACTUAL

2878

2421
(-15%)
1867
(-22%)
1585
(-15%)
1357
(-14%)
1411
(+4%)
1678
(+19%)
1773
(+5%)

TARGETS

 

 
 
 
 
1,207
1600
1850

 

ECSU General Internal Metrics, and Disaggregated Data 

Consistent with its mission, ECSU evaluates success with respect to student achievement by measuring the extent to which the University enrolls, retains, and facilitates degree attainment for varied student populations from diverse communities. In order to facilitate execution of this goal, University data are regularly tracked, stored, and reported by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness Research and Assessment (OIERA). These data are readily available on the University’s interactive website.

We present below a contextual snapshot of significant disaggregated enrollment metrics tracked at ECSU. Out of the 25 data categories listed for enrollment, only four categories, or 16%, showed decreases over the two-year period from 2018 to 2019. Overall the highest increases were seen  in the categories of Non-resident Aliens at 100%, and Graduate Students which increased 87.8% percent. In total, overall enrollment at ECSU increased by 5.5% in 2019.

After the disaggregated table profiling ECSU student characteristics, an analysis of specific targeted outcomes will follow.

Table 6: Disaggregated Table Profiling ECSU Student Characteristics

Enrollments

 

 

2017
2018
2019
Percentage Change from 2018 to 2019
TOTAL ENROLLMENT
1411
1677
1769
5.5%

Career Code

Undergraduate
1368
1636
1692
3.4%
Graduate
43
41
77
87.8%

Gender

Female
792
970
1060
9.3%
Male
619
707
709
0.3%

Residency

In-State
1295
1391
1460
5.0%
Out-of-State
116
286
309
8.0%

 

 

 

 

Race/Ethnicity


 

 

Non-Resident Alien
1
5
10
100.0%
Race Unknown
78
71
56
-21.1%
Hispanic
46
68
74
8.8%
Am. Indian or Alaska Nat.
5
8
6
-25.0%
Asian
12
10
11
10.0%
Black or African American
961
1160
1213
4.6%
Nat. Hawaiian of Other Pacific
5
2
1
-50.0%
White
268
293
317
8.2%
2 or More Races
33
60
81
35.0%

Full/Part Time

Full Time
1195
1433
1542
7.6%
Part Time
216
244
227
-7.0%

Citizenship

U.S Citizen
1404
1664
1747
5.0%
Non-Resident Alien
1
5
10
100.0%
Resident Alien
6
8
12
50.0%

Pell Grant

Yes
865
1020
1101
7.9%
No
546
657
668
1.7%

Rural

Yes
1047
1163
1238
6.4%
No
364
514
531
3.3%

 

ECSU has shown consistent improvement in enrollment since 2017 and 2018 as well as increases in Pell Grant recipients, Full Time Students and Rural Students.

Retention

Overall persistence/retention of first-time full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates is tracked and reported regularly by Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (OIERA). In addition to enrollment, retention is a critical component of the University’s Strategic Plan 2014-19 as well as the primary focus of the University's Degree Completion Plan 2016. In early 2016, each campus in the UNC System was charged with submitting a plan to improve completion for all students so that the North Carolina may realize the economic, academic and civic advantages of a more educated workforce.

The chart below shows 2018 and 2019 first year retention rates disaggregated into several categories. There were 416 New First-Time Full-Time Freshman in 2018 and 385 in 2019. The most significant increases occurred amongst female students, African American Students and Non-Rural Students. The overall retention increased over 3 points from 2018 to 2019.

Table 7: Disaggregated Retention Rates

ECSU Disaggregated 1st year Retention Rates

 

Overall

Male

Female

African American

Caucasian

Other Races

Rural

Non-Rural

2018

70.1%

70.1%

70.2%

72.3%

56.9%

71.0%

69.7%

71.0%

2019

75.6%

67.1%

77.5%

77.5%

58.1%

62.3%

71.0%

76.6%

% difference

3.2%

-3.0%

7.3%

5.2%

1.3%

-8.7%

1.2%

5.7%

 

ECSU has target performance levels or goals and peer institutions, determined by the UNC System for all indicators. The fall-to-fall retention rate for first time freshmen at ECSU increased between fall 2015 (67.8) and fall 2016 (73.9), fall 2017 (72.5), and fall 2018 (70.6). For the cohort of all full-time undergraduate students who entered ECSU as freshmen in fall 2015, (73.9) were still enrolled in fall 2016. This exceeded the benchmark of 71 that the UNC System Office had established for our peer comparison institutions. The first year retention rate of approximately 72.5%, for the 2017 cohort rate target was above its UNC peer institutions average of 71%.

Table 8 shows the first-year retention rate from 2007-2019 cohorts. The table shows a first-year retention rate of 72.9 that is above 71% for the three-year period 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Data on retention rates are also collected for the University’s official peer institutions. These national peer institutions are chosen in consultation with UNC System Office on the basis of their similarity to ECSU in terms of location, student population, etc. These data show that in 2017, 2018 and 2019 the ECSU retention rate was slightly above the average rate of 71% for the peer institutions as a whole. (See Table 8) First Year Retention Rate

Table 8: First Year Retention

 
Peers
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
2007
72
76.7
61.8
54.8
27
7.8
3.1
2008
72
76.3
58.6
52.8
31.9
11.8
2.8
2009
72
73.6
56.1
47.7
26.4
5.9
0.9
2010
72
77.3
58.2
47.9
24.8
5.7
2.9
2011
72
79.1
55.6
49.1
19.9
5.7
3.8
2012
72
72.5
56
49.1
25.6
8.9
3.4
2013
72
68.3
53.4
48.9
27.8
8.4
2.2
2014
72
73.5
57.4
49.8
29.2
6.2
2.4
2015
71
67.8
49.6
48.1
25.8
11.2
 
2016
71
73.9
58.1
46.1
22.3
 
 
2017
71
72.5
61.9
51.0
 
 
 
2018
71
70.6
57.2
 
 
 
 
2019
71
75.6
 
 
 
 
 

 

For the past three years 2017, 2018, and 2019 ECSU has exceeded UNC Peer rates for first year retention. ECSU has also exceeded UNC Peer institutions retention rates 9 years out of 13 as shown in Table 8. ECSU has at least equaled and slightly performed better than the UNC peers for the past three years. On average, ECSU has a 72.9% 1st year retention rate over 3 years which is slightly above the 71% amongst UNC peers. ECSU has maintained a steady level of consistency in 1st year retention and has implemented programs such as the First Year Experience and Peer Tutoring to help increase retention rates.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, satisfaction surveys were distributed to students who visited the Office of Retention. A total of 53 of the 130 (40.8%) students who had appointments with the Office of Retention completed a survey. The data shows that 49 of 53 (92.5%) students are willing to return next semester; 47 of 53 (88.7%) students scheduled an appointment with the Office of Retention; 46 of 53 (87.9%) students are users of the retention software; and 45 of 53 (85.0%) students viewed the Office of Retention services as helpful or beneficial. The surveys from the Office of Retention were used to measure the level of satisfaction with retention services. This offered the Unit opportunities for improved outcome-based assessment data and analysis. The survey results were used to improve retention at the University by matching the student with an advisor to ensure individualized services. In addition, modifying types of student contact via internet, phone, email, and face to face were targeted and implement to increase greater buy-in and accountability for academic success. To improve ECSU retention services in 2019 assessment outcomes, additional survey questions were created to gain deeper understanding of the institution’s at-risk students’ perception and the impact that frequency of service has on the retention. We also put in place a revised student academic success contract for greater student buy- in and accountability.

 

Graduation Rates

Graduation is also a critical component of the University’s Strategic Plan 2014-19 as well as the primary focus of the University's Degree Completion Plan 2016. In early 2016, each campus in the UNC System was tasked with submitting a plan to improve completion for all students so that the state of North Carolina will realize the economic, academic and civic advantages of a more educated workforce.

The University set a six-year and eight-year graduation rate target at or above its peer institutions average and the UNC system average. ECSU has progressed, with its graduation rate for first-time, full-time students remaining approximately 39% for the cohorts between Fall 2007 to Fall 2009. This is the same as the peer institutions average and 8 points below the UNC system average.

Table 9: Disaggregated 6-year Grad Rates

ECSU Disaggregated 6-year Graduation Rates

 

Overall
Male
Female
African American
Caucasian
Other Races
Rural
Non- Rural
2013
37.0%
26.6%
46.4%
40.7%
14.3%
36.4%
34.5%
42.9%
2014
43.1%
42.4%
43.6%
43.7%
39.4%
44.4%
45.8%
35.7%
% difference
6.1%
15.8%
-2.8%
3.0%
25.1%
8.0%
11.3%
-7.2%

 

The above chart shows 2013 and 2014 graduation rates disaggregated into several categories. There were 322 New First-Time Full-Time Freshman in 2013 and 209 in 2014. The most significant increases occurred amongst Caucasian students, Male Students and Rural Students. The overall grad rate increased over 6 points from 2013 to 2014.

Graduation Rates are based on the IPEDS methodology: The entering cohort includes degree undergraduates who enrolled for the first time in college either in the fall or in one of the two preceding summer sessions and who are enrolled full-time in that fall. These criteria are based on a cohort of first-time freshmen continuously enrolled until graduation and do not include transfer students or returning students.

Table 10 below documents the graduation rates for four, five, and six year graduates along with UNC peer groups. Since 2007, ECSU has averaged a 39.2% 6-year graduation rate over a 7 year period. That rate, while below the Target UNC rate is consistent with ECSU’s peer institutions comparison target rates. The 2014 cohort shows a nearly 5% increase in the 5-year graduation rate and is the highest graduation rate (38.7) since 2007.

Table 10. 6-Year Graduation Rates Goals and Actuals

 
Peers
4 year
5 year
6 year
2007
39
21.4
37.7
41.5
2008
39
14.9
31.8
39.2
2009
39
16.1
33.6
38.8
2010
39
16.3
33.3
36.6
2011
40
22.7
33.2
37.5
2012
39
21.1
34.9
42.4
2013
39
18.3
33.9
38.4
2014
 
21.5
38.7
 
2015
 
19.4
 
 

 

In the last 7 years (2007-2013), ECSU has equaled its peers in terms of 6 year graduation rates and have exceeded those rates in 3 out of the 7 semesters listed in the table above.

Table 11 shows 2010 to 2012 8 year graduation rates disaggregated into several categories. There were 576 New First-Time Full-Time Freshmen in 2010, 387 in 2011 and 523 in 2012. The most significant increases occurred amongst Caucasian students, female Students and Rural Students. The overall 8-year graduation rate increased over 2.7 points from 2010 to 2012.

Table 11

ECSU Disaggregated 8-yr graduation rates
 
 
Overall
 
Male
 
Female
African-American
 
Caucasian
Other Races
 
Rural
Non- Rural
2010
39.9%
31.6%
46.6%
41.9%
26.7%
42.6%
45.6%
38.5%
2011
39.8%
32.1%
45.5%
39.2%
41.2%
39.4%
42.2%
32.8%
2012
42.6%
32.9%
50.3%
45.3%
36.8%
24.0%
48.7%
37.3%

 

As stated earlier, the completion rate of the set of peer schools the University identified to contextualize its performance on this indicator was an average of 38%. The University considers 38% to be the threshold of acceptability on this criterion of student success.

Table 12 below documents the graduation rates for four, six, and eight-year graduates along with peer groups. Since 2009, ECSU has averaged a 39.9% 8-year graduation rate over a 3-year period. That rate is above the ECSU’s peer institutions 38.6% comparison target rates. The 2011 cohort shows a nearly 2 percentage point increase in the 8-year graduation rate and the highest graduation rate (39.9) in 2009 and 2010.

Table 12

Cohort
Peer Rate
ECSU
4 Year Rate
ECSU
6 Year Rate
ECSU 8
Year Rate
2009
39
16.1
38.8
39.9
2010
39
16.3
36.6
39.9
2011
38
22.7
37.5
39.8
2012
-
21.1
42.4
-
2013
-
18.3
38.4
-
2014
-
21.5
-
-
2015
-
19.4
-
-

Source: IPEDS Data

In the last 3 years (2009-2011), ECSU has equaled or been greater than its peers in terms of 8-year graduation rates and have exceeded those rates in all 3 years listed in the table above.

ECSU’s commitment to increasing the graduation rate of students is evidenced through its increased focus on academic advising. Although initially purchased for its early-alert warning features, GradesFirst (E4U) has played a key role in enhancing the academic advising ECSU offers to its students. The GradesFirst advising management platform enables advisors and students to seamlessly schedule appointments and share advising information electronically with various stakeholders across campus. Although technology continues to play a key role in improving the timely degree completion of ECSU students, enhancing academic advising remains a central component of ECSU’s student success initiative. All faculty received initial training on how to use GradesFirst to respond to Progress Report Campaigns and record attendance during the Fall 2018 Faculty Institute; however, faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science received additional training and participated in a pilot study to investigate how GradesFirst could be used to develop a comprehensive advising model throughout the 2017-2018 academic year.

 

Course Completion

A vital part of ECSU’s preparation of students and student retention is course completion. General Studies and all academic programs review course completion data each semester, and these data is factored in as a part of continuous improvement on the course level as well as in academic program assessment. Successful course completion at the undergraduate level could be an earned A, B, or C, depending on the course, the level of the course, and whether or not it is an elective or a major course. Some courses, though a smaller number, can be completed with a grade of D. Through retention efforts, the University provides assistance to students to reduce the number of course repeats.

Table 13 below represents course completion grades of A, B, C, and D. Course completion rates at ECSU have maintained at an average of 90% over an eight semester period. From Fall 2016 to Fall 2019, ECSU has consistently averaged greater than 94% completion rates overall. Since Fall 2017, 100-200 level and 300-400 level courses have remained in the low to mid 90’s course completion rate as well as overall. 500-600 level courses have cycled down to Spring 2015 level in Fall 2019.

Table 13 Course Completion Data

 
Spring
2015
Fall
2015
Spring
2016
Fall
2016
Spring 2017
Fall
2017
Spring 2018
Fall 2018
Spring 2019
Fall 2019
100-200
Course
Levels
85%
86%
85%
93%
93%
94%
93%
95%
96%
95%
300-400
Course Levels
89%
91%
89%
95%
96%
96%
97%
95%
98%
96%
500-600
Course Levels
89%
87%
89%
93%
99%
98%
100%
99%
98%
86%
Overall
88%
89%
88%
94%
95%
95%
95%
95%
97%
95%

 

Between 2017 and 2019, course completion rates for 100- and 200-level courses consistently remained above 85%; however, since those passage rates revealed that 15% did not have overall passage rates, ECSU identified and addressed those courses that had high D, F, W rates. The Department of General Education consistently offered tutoring for select high populated 100-and 200-level courses, but tutoring was not always available for major specific 100-and 200-level courses. Although additional tutoring was offered across campus through externally funded programs such as Student Support Services and other federal grants, a lack of coordination between General Education and other tutoring initiatives made it difficult for both students and instructors to locate the resources they needed. Furthermore, the lack of communication between units meant that extensive tutoring was offered in one course while other key courses went without tutors.

 

DFW% Rates 3-year average with Focus on Fall 2016 to Fall 2018 Changes

 Improvements in DFW% rates are seen best as decreases or negative percentages. Based on the courses displayed in the table below, the original 3 year average (2012-2014) of DFW percentages decreased from 30% overall to 27% in Fall 2016 and 25% in Fall 2018. The decrease shows that less students are earning D, F or W in these classes overall. 9 of the 26 classes listed in the table above have seen decreases over 10% since 2012-2014 and one class (BUAD 241) has seen its DFW rate fall from 36% to 0%. This is marked improvement over the earlier 3-year average.

Overall, 65% of the courses selected for targeted tutoring saw a decrease in D, F, W rates. From Fall 2016 to Fall 2018 improvements were seen in a significant number of courses. At least 15/22 or 68% of the courses identified for their DFW rates in Fall 2018 decreased. Therefore, departments continue to refine the tutoring model and improve monitoring DFW rates. These statistics indicate a continued need to not only get the word out to students about the availability of tutoring services, but the importance of routine monitoring throughout the semester, a major focus of the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 tutoring campaigns.

Table 14 DFW% Rates Fall 2012-14 3-year average with Fall 2018 Changes

Prefix
COURSE
DFW% Rates
Fall 2012-14
3-year avg.
Fall 2018
Fall 2018
% Change
ACCT
210
18%
28%
10%
ART
100
26%
17%
-9%
BIOL
101
49%
46%
-3%
BUAD
115
21%
25%
4%
BUAD
190
11%
12%
1%
BUAD
241
36%
0%
-36%
CSC
114
50%
9%
-41%
CSC
115
21%
14%
-8%
ECON
201
21%
9%
-12%
ECON
202
20%
-
-
EDUC
210
26%
30%
4%
ENGT
205
29%
-
-
GE/ENG
100
19%
-
-
GE/ENG
102
40%
19%
-21%
GE/ENG
103
45%
21%
-24%
GE/CCS
111
49%
33%
-16%
GE/MATH
115
32%
17%
-15%
GE/MATH
118
34%
23%
-11%
GE/PE
185
20%
-
-
MATH
165
24%
20%
-4%
MATH
265
11%
30%
-19%
MUS
212
41%
15%
-26%
PHYS
181
48%
73%
25%
PHYS
182
54%
60%
6%
SOC
201
15%
14%
-1%
SPAN
101
27%
42%
15%

 

Many of the courses listed have seen slight to significant decreases in DFW rates since the 2012- 2014 average. Overall, the DFW rates decreased from 30% to 25%. Since 2012-14, ECSU has transitioned its GE courses to program-based courses. With these courses, the DFW rates have shown at least a 10% decrease which is a sign of improvement.

 

Educator Preparation Program Licensure Exam Pass Rates Education

Continuously for several years prior to 2014, ECSU students performed extremely well on teacher licensure exams, having a 96% pass rate in year 2013-14. With recent changes to licensure exams in North Carolina, the scores have drastically decreased. ECSU uses the state pass rate of 70% over a two-year cycle. The 70% (target) threshold is part of a weighted system (with other indicators) the NC State Board of Education requires in the EPP accountability model. Aggregate performance rates in a given two-year average may fluctuate as a result of first/second-time test completers. North Carolina is in the process of altering the weighted accountability system. The cycle and thresholds will undergo revisions. The North Carolina State Board of Education requires teachers to take and pass licensure exams associated with their respective disciplines to receive a NC Professional License. All candidates are reflected in an aggregate performance. In the last three years, North Carolina has changed the definition of “pass” as applied to statewide Educator Preparation Programs (EPP). Candidates pass if they achieve a satisfactory score on the first or subsequent attempt within a two-year cycle of data. This allows one candidate to be counted as both a “pass” and “not pass” in the same two-year data cycle. A candidate who does not pass on the first attempt may attempt the exam multiple times after the initial year.

From 2017 to 2019, supplemental instruction, boot camp, course redesign, teaching the test, new teacher mentoring programs and other strategies were initiated and are being implemented to ensure improvement in ECSU’s pass rate. Although the percentage pass rates are not statistically significant because of the low number of graduates who took the exams in 2017-2018 and 2018- 2019, the pass rates increased to 66% and 100% respectively with the few students who took the exams. Enrollment in education programs resulting in license is low at ECSU at this time. However, with the students who do matriculate through these programs most of them now earn their license to instruct. This establishes that our efforts to improve pass rates for license exams in the ECSU Education Department are having positive results with the students that the institution instructs.

 

Table 15 ECSU Pass/Fail Rates on NC Professional License Exam

 
2013-14
2014-15
2015-16
2016-17
2017-18*
2018-19
ECSU #takers
 
25
11
18
6
3*
ECSU #passers
 
16
5
5
4*
3*
ECSU %pass rate
 
96%
 
64%
 
45%
 
28%*
 
66%*
 
100%*
NC Pass rate
96%
90%
77%
88.4
84.7%
80.2
Minimum
70%
70%
70%
70%
70%
70%
* 2017-2018 Not statistically significant          2018-2019 Not statistically significant
 

The ECSU Education program continues to address the low pass rate amongst test takers. The most recent exams for Elementary and Special Education, the Foundations of Reading and the General Curriculum, became effective in 2014. In 2018, nearly 2,400 incoming teachers failed the state-mandated exam. In April 2019, the North Carolina State Board of Education changed the General Curriculum exam requirements by excluding the multi-subject area. This change now incorporates math only with an option to take the ETS Praxis Math. The Foundations of Reading exam has remained the same, but provisions have been made for lead teachers who continue to fail the exam.

Though this concern is statewide and the state of North Carolina has incorporated revisions to meet the teacher demand, the Department of Education has incorporated the following: Identified courses in each program now prepare candidates for licensure exams. A detailed outline explaining the knowledge and skills that the test measures, test objectives, sub areas, test design, and practice tests are covered to assist students in being successful. A Blackboard resource page was created for Education majors. Resources such as exam preparation materials, including online resources, are available to students. These resources afford opportunities for students to study at their own pace.

The state of North Carolina now requires all education majors to complete an edTPA portfolio. The edTPA is a subject-specific assessment that includes a review of the teacher candidate’s authentic teaching materials that documents and demonstrates their ability to effectively teach subject matter to all students. This new edTPA requirement supports student content knowledge for satisfying licensure exams. The Department of Education now requires all candidates to take and satisfy licensure exams prior to graduation. This curtails candidates taking exams later, after graduation. Candidates who fail to meet the new requirement will not be referred for a North Carolina license. ECSU’s Education Department’s decision to move in this direction was based on an internal need to increase enrollment to ECSU Education programs and take measures to improve pass rates.

Comprehensive summary tables present a picture of ECSU metrics, their targets and achievement measures that show student success and achievement are central priorities.

Woven throughout the university’s efforts are assessment efforts driven by continuous improvement activities throughout a student’s matriculation through ECSU to graduation and beyond.