Section 4: Federal Requirements
4.1 Student achievement
The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement including, as appropriate, consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates.
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) evaluates success with respect to student achievement in myriad ways, including course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates. Institutional graduation rates and one year retention rates for the institution as a whole are also reviewed on an annual basis and reported in the University’s web-based Factbook.
Course Completion can be defined as the proportion of students enrolling in individual courses who receive credit grades for completing the course. Appropriate evaluation should include a systematic assessment of the proportion of low (D and F) and high (A and B) grades awarded in each class and changes in trends over time. Each semester, IT provides the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research (OPEIR) with a Grade Distribution Report. These reports are sent to academic deans each semester. Since Fall 2006, each fall report is scanned and placed on the OPEIR web site. This digital access makes course completion rates readily available to deans, department heads, and university committees for general course review, program review, and annual planning and evaluation.
State Licensing Examinations
Graduates of many professional programs are required to complete state licensing examinations which assess a level of competence necessary to practice the profession. Such exams are given to graduates of the teacher education, nursing, engineering, and physical therapy programs. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) requires institutions to report licensure examination results in these programs. These results are monitored and used in planning and program evaluation by the departments offering the licensure programs. For example, monitoring of Praxis II results (education licensing exam) for students in the Teacher Preparation Academy has resulted in shifting some course content to introductory courses, while some special education classification content was moved to courses that include curriculum development and assessment.
Results of these and other examinations are posted to the OPEIR website beginning with results of the 2006-07 examinations.
Job Placement Rates
Job placement rates are defined as the extent to which graduates of professional programs are employed in their major field of study two years after graduation. As required by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, UTC administers a biennial survey (twice during every five-year Performance Funding cycle) of alumni who graduated two years prior to the survey. The following questions are asked, related to employment and post-graduate education:
What is your present employment status?
Are you employed in your major field?
How did you find your first job after graduation?
What is your current annual salary?
Are you currently enrolled in a college or university?
Results of the survey are scanned and reported electronically to all deans and department heads, with summaries for the university, each college, and each program. Beginning with the fall 2007 administration, alumni survey results are on the OPEIR web site.
Additionally, the Office of Placement and Student Employment asks recent graduates to report their job placement through an online survey. The results are compiled in a report for each graduating class and include identification of employer and anecdotal comments about the services on the Office of Placement and Student Employment.
Retention and Graduation Rates
UTC has monitored and reported aggregated one-year retention and six-year graduation rates for cohorts of entering first-time freshmen for the past twenty-five years. Both rates are reported annually to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the six-year graduation rate is reported on a yearly basis to the Department of Education. One-year retention, migration (to other programs), and attrition rates are also monitored and reported annually for each academic program. In 2008, UTC established an Center for Advisement and Student Success to monitor and improve these rates. This office is responsible for significant research and evaluation of practices that improve student retention. This research resulted in the FAST (Freshman Academic Success Tracking) Program that encourages first-year students to attend class. This program grew out of substantial data reporting the increase in student success based on class attendance. After a one-year pilot and one year in full implementation, UTC has seen retention rates increase significantly (see table link above). Other initiatives, such as tutoring and supplemental instruction, are also administered by the Center for Advisement and Student Success.
- Graduation Rates
- One-year Retention Rates
- UTC Factbook
- UTC Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research Fact Book: Grade Distribution (Fall 2009)
- UTC Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research Fact Book: Grade Distribution, 5-Year Trend
- THEC Statutory State Licensing Examination Reports
- Licensing Exam Results, OPEIR web page
- Tennessee Performance Funding
http://www.state.tn.us/thec/Divisions/AcademicAffairs/PerformanceFunding/performance_pdfs/PF 2005-10 Cycle Standards FINAL 7-25-05 Revised 6-1-09.pdf
- Alumni Survey Results, OPEIR web page
- Office of Placement and Student Employment Web Page:
- Recent Graduate Job Placement Survey
- Office of Placement and Student Employment Graduation Report 2008
- Office of Placement and Student Employment, Graduation Survey Comments 2008
- Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research Fact Book: One-Year Retention Statistics
- Six-year Graduation Rates
- Center for Advisement and Student Success
- Freshman Academic Success Tracking (FAST)
- Retention and Student Success Web Page: