Concordia University Texas (CTX) documents undergraduate and graduate student achievement outcomes that reflect its mission of developing Christian leaders and utilizes this information for improvement. Student achievement is measured, evaluated, and tracked using six outcomes that fall within three broad categories:
- Retention and Completion
- Academic Engagement and Proficiency
- Licensure, Certification, and Post-Graduate Activities
Current measurement, evaluation, and tracking of achievement outcomes are summarized below. Thresholds of acceptability for student achievement are generally set by CTX to align or exceed those of national student samples, our IPEDS Comparison Group, private institutions of similar size, or standards set by licensing bodies such as the Texas Education Agency. Measures of student achievement that consistently fall below a set threshold are identified by academic leadership and targeted for improvement.
Retention & Completion
- Between 2011 and 2018, an average 51% of first-time, fulltime CTX freshman returned for their second year
- Over this same time period, CTX reduced two-thirds of gap between its retention rate and that of its IPEDS comparison group (i.e., from -19% for Fall 2011 to -7% for Fall 2018)
- On average, 37% of first-time, fulltime freshman entering CTX between 2006 and 2013 graduated from CTX within six years
- Over this time period, CTX reduced nearly half of the gap between its six-year graduation rate and that of its IPEDS comparison group (i.e., from -17% for 2006 to -10% for 2013)
Completion rates are also measured, evaluated and used to improve CTX graduate degree programs. Currently the CTX MBA program graduates 85% of its entering students on average and the CTX MED program graduates 87% of its students on average.
Academic Engagement & Proficiency
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
CTX has administered the NSSE annually each Spring semester since 2009 to freshman and senior undergraduates. NSSE results are tracked and reviewed annually in the form of educational engagement indicators (EIs) reported by undergraduates as well as the degree to which they take advantage of institutional opportunities regarded as high-impact educational practices (HIP). While some NSSE engagement indicators used as markers of student learning outcomes (Higher-Order Learning, Reflective & Integrative Learning, and Quantitative Reasoning, three additional NSSE IEs are tracked and evaluated as indirect measures of student achievement related to our mission of developing Christian leaders: Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, and Discussions with Diverse Others. CTX senior undergraduates consistently report levels of engagement and participation in high-impact practices at and above those of other private institutions in our geographical region. NSSE results are used by faculty, academic administrators, and academic support units to evaluate institutional effectiveness and guide continuous improvement efforts targeting student achievement outcomes. The SSI has been administered regularly to undergraduates since 2009 and the ASPS administered to adult students and PSOL to online students beginning in 2016.
Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), Adult Student Priorities Survey (ASPS) and Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL)
CTX also uses results from SSI, ASPS, and PSOL to evaluate how student satisfaction is associated with student achievement among our undergraduate, adult degree completion, and online degree programs. Results from these surveys are linked with student retention and completion rates and provided to faculty, academic administrators, and academic support units to evaluate institutional effectiveness and guide continuous improvement efforts targeting student achievement outcomes.
Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) and Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+)
Between 2008, CTX has utilized direct measures of academic proficiency to evaluate undergraduate student achievement of intellectual and academic skills supporting the mission. Between 2008 and 2015, the completion of the CAAP was a graduation requirement of all undergraduate students. As seniors, Concordia undergraduates consistently scores at or above the national average on CAAP proficiency measures of reading, writing, critical thinking, and science reasoning. However, Concordia undergraduate proficiency in mathematics has tended to be at or below the national CAAP average. These results have been used to guide improvement to general education and educational curricula. For example, changes to math placement procedures for that better identified students likely to benefit from a developmental course in mathematics were implemented after 2008-2009 that resulted in the substantial gain and maintenance of math proficiency of seniors at or near the CAAP national average.
The CLA+ was chosen to replace the CAAP in 2016 because of its ability to provide a "value-added" measure of academic proficiency on a set of skills and abilities aligned more closely with CTX’s educational goals and objectives. An initial pilot administration of the CLA+ found a sample of 80 CTX Seniors scored significantly higher than a sample of 55 CTX freshman on the CLA+ Total Score, Performance Task, and Selected-Response Questions. Comparison of CLA+ Mastery Levels obtained by these samples found that 40% of Freshman scored at the Below Basic level of mastery and 92% of seniors scored above the Below Basic mastery level. These results were used by the General Education Committee to guide the improvement of student learning outcomes critical for undergraduate student achievement.
Licensure, Certification & Post-Graduate Activities
Student achievement is also measured and evaluated using licensure, certification, and employment rates of CTX graduates.
Graduates of our both our undergraduate and graduate education programs have, on average, historically high rates of passing Texas Education Agency (TEA) exams required for public school certification as teachers and administrators. Recognition of passing rates at 86% for MEd Principal Certification has led to curricular changes designed to better prepare graduate students in this program for certification.
Achievement of students enrolled in our undergraduate nursing program is tracked annually using graduation rates, National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) passing rates, and the percent of graduates certified as Registered Nurses (RN). Over 90% of students complete the BSN program and 99% of graduates pass the NCLEX exam required for RN licensure. According to rncareers.org, this pass-rate places CTX in the top four BSN programs in Texas and in the top ten nationally.
CTX began tracking undergraduate employment outcomes and participation in postgraduate education in 2017 using the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium's First Destination Survey. Results from the HEDS First Destination Survey in 2020 found that 63% of respondents reported being employed full-time after graduation, almost double that of other institutions participating in the survey (38%). In addition 12% reported continuing with the education at the post-graduate level, and 18% seeking employment.
[Updated February 2021]