The Southern Association of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) policy statement on “Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure” directs higher education institutions to provide information about student goals and achievement and to make that information publicly available through a website. The specific requirement is stated as follows:
The institution publishes 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.
The University of Mary Washington offers the following information about student achievement and success: student retention rates, graduation rates, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s student success index, post-completion wage outcomes, employment and job placement, and graduate school attendance. Information presented at this web page will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.
UMW monitors and evaluates retention rates as one indicator of student achievement. Over the past decade, these rates have been both strong and stable indicators of successful progression through the curriculum.
|Retention of First-Time, Full-Time Students to the Second Year|
|Fall Term Retained||Cohort (# in class previous fall)||# Retained||Rate|
|Source: SCHEV “SCHEV Research Retention Report-RT01 (First-time, Full-time Students).|
UMW monitors and evaluates graduation rates as another indicator of student achievement. Again, over the past decade, these rates have been strong and stable indicators of student success.
|Graduation Rates (Four Year, Five Year, Six Year)|
|Cohort Year Enrolled||Grads in 4 years||Grads in 5 years||Grads in 6 years||Total|
|Adj. Cohort||N||%||N||%||N||%||6 Year Rate|
|Source: State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) GRS10: Graduation Rates of Virginia Traditional Four-Year Institutions|
Initiative Designed to Boost Student Success
UMW has launched a number of student success initiatives designed to boost student degree completion and success. These range from changes in the scheduling of required first-year seminars to improvements in advising to the introduction of a new mobile “app” that enhances the University’s capacity to communicate directly with students while guiding them through critical pathways necessary for completion and connecting them with essential resources necessary for success. The complete list of student success strategies summarizes a number of other initiatives either underway or planned.
Student Success Index
The State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) displays the Student Success Index (SSI) to provide a holistic view of student success that goes beyond the narrow definition of the IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey (GRS) which is based on students entering as first-time in college with full-time enrollment at entry. The SSI includes part-time and transfer students and provides varying amounts of time to complete a degree or continue enrollment to be counted as success.
The University of Mary Washington’s results are available at the website for SCHEV’s SSI. Results for students entering in 2015-16 (the most recent year for which complete data is provided) show that UMW has a 72% student success index on normal time to completion. For all four-year public institutions in Virginia, the student success index score is 69% (for the normal time to completion criterion). For all four-year institutions in Virginia, the student success index score is 57% (normal time to completion criterion).
Post Completion Wage Outcomes
Through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Longitudinal Data System, which is required by HB 936 of 2012, SCHEV reports wage and enrollment outcomes on a subset of graduates. The University of Mary Washington’s results are available at SCHEV’s website for post completion wages. Results reported are from calendar year 2018 (the most recent data available). UMW Bachelor’s graduates from 2014-2015 had a reported average wage/salary of $44,606. For Bachelor’s graduates from 2016-2017, the reported average wage/salary was $29,538. Master’s degree graduates from 2014-2015 had a reported average wage/salary of $55,485. For Master’s graduates from 2016-2017, the reported average wage/salary was $51,001.
The following caution is noted on the SCHEV website: “In using the data contained within these reports, users should exercise great care to understand the limitations of the available data and their meaning. Wage outcomes of graduates do not measure the quality or effectiveness of any institution. Instead, they provide basic facts about the experiences of graduates after entering the workforce and indications as to broadest levels of outcome in the Commonwealth — full-time employment, part-time enrollment, and enrollment in higher-level programs.”
In addition, the UMW Center for Career and Professional Development surveys graduates six months after graduation. Graduates who indicate full-time employment are asked to share their starting salary. This is not a mandatory question. For the Class of 2019, 125 of 522 provided salary data. The average starting salary reported was $46,563. Median salary reported was $43,000.
Employment, Job Placement, and Graduate School Attendance
UMW evaluates the employment and job placement of its graduates through a First Destination Survey distributed six months after graduation. The Class of 2021 survey revealed that, among respondents who graduated between July 1, 2020 and July 30, 2021, 90% of graduates for whom the University has credible information are employed (64%), attending graduate school (24%), or are engaged in career-related endeavors (e.g. internship, volunteer or military service) (<3%). Only 9% were seeking education or employment six months after graduation.
These results are representative and consistent with what UMW has observed in previous studies of post-graduation outcomes. The infographic for the class of 2020 shows that 67% of those surveyed were employed either full of part-time. Another 22% were in graduate school, volunteer service, or the military. This 89% rate of career outcomes places UMW ahead of the results obtained nationally and by public institutions. The infographic for the class of 2019 reports that 71% of UMW graduates at the time of that survey were employed; this shows that UMW graduates are showing consistency in their ability to gain employment upon graduation. UMW graduates continually achieve better post-graduation career outcomes than the national average and the average for public institutions.