The U.S. Secretary of Education recognizes accreditation by SACS Commission on Colleges (“SACSCOC”) in establishing the eligibility of its accredited institutions to participate in programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended, and other federal programs. Federal statutes include mandates that the SACSCOC review an institution in accordance with criteria outlined in the federal regulations developed by the U.S. Department of Education. As part of the review process, institutions are required to document compliance with those criteria responding to federal mandates and the SACSCOC is obligated to consider such compliance when the institution is reviewed for initial membership or continued accreditation. One such criteria is Federal Requirements Standard 4.1, which states, “The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. Criteria may include: enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; or other means of demonstrating achievement of goals.”
Wade College uses Persistence and Retention Rates, Qualifying Professional Portfolio Critique, Graduation Rate, and Graduate Employment Statistics to evaluate student achievement. Tracking and assessment of each of these measures of student success aligns with the institution’s mission to help students to “provide its diverse student population with the skills and knowledge to be a productive part of American society” and to “develop the competencies necessary for immediate employment and career advancement in their chosen fields.” Continuous evaluation of these methods allows the college to ensure that administrators, faculty, student services, academic affairs, and career services are effectively supporting this mission.
Persistence and Retention Rates
Wade College believes that among the most important measures of institutional effectiveness and student satisfaction is our persistence and retention rate. The institution is committed to providing a dynamic and challenging educational program complete with support services and career opportunities available to all of its students. The institution has established, as a goal, a 85% persistence and retention rate for each trimester of instruction.
For the 2014–2015 academic year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015), actual persistence and retention rates were as follows: 86% for the fall 2014 trimester; 88% for the spring 2015 trimester; and 86% for the summer 2015 trimester. Such data reflects the retention rates for all matriculating students regardless if they are either first-time, full-time undergraduate students or not; additionally, the institution tracks the data by trimester, not by a yearly cohort.
Qualifying Professional Portfolio Critique Scores
Wade College believes that practicing presentation and interview skills is an important component of a student’s success in preparation for professional experiences in his or her chosen industry. The Professional Portfolio Critique (“PPC”) consists of each student presenting his or her portfolio to a professional industry panel, who evaluate each student’s portfolio and presentation based on overall organization, knowledge of the concentration, communication skills and professionalism, enthusiasm and energy, readiness for a professional interview, and greatest strengths and weaknesses. In order to be eligible to present at the PPC, students must make a qualifying score of 80% or higher during the Pre-PPC faculty and administration review of their portfolios. The institution has established that, as a goal, 50% of graduating associate-level students will meet the qualifying score of 80% and be permitted to attend the PPC.
For the 2014–2015 academic year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015), actual percentages of associate-level graduates who met the qualifying criteria to be considered for PPC advancement were as follows: 38% for the September 2014 graduates; 57% for the January 2015 graduates; and 48% for the May 2015 graduates.
Wade College believes that a strong graduation rate is an excellent indicator of overall institutional effectiveness. The institution holds itself accountable for providing the resources and support services for students to be able to successfully complete the program. The institution has established, as goals, a 60% and 70% graduation rate for each incoming class, at both the associate and baccalaureate degree levels, respectively.
These graduation rates reflect that of all matriculating students regardless if they are either first-time, full-time undergraduate students or not; additionally, the institution tracks the data by trimester cohort, not by a yearly cohort. The graduation rates of each graduating class for the 2012–2013 academic year (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) reflect those students who have completed their degree program within 150 percent of normal time for completion.
Actual percentages of associate-level graduates who graduated within 150 percent of normal time for completion were as follows: 56% for the October 2012 cohort; 55% for the February 2013 cohort; and 74% for the June 2013 cohort. Actual percentages of baccalaureate-level graduates who graduated within 150 percent of normal time for completion were as follows: 63% for the October 2012 cohort; 92% for the February 2013 cohort; and 78% for the June 2013 cohort.
Graduate Employment Statistics
The mission of the Office of Career Services is to support and empower students and alumni on their career paths by teaching lifelong employability and career management skills, and providing resources, guidance, and learning opportunities to help them successfully gain employment and manage their careers. The Office of Career Services offers students and alumni one-on-one career advising, resources for employability development, access to a dynamic online job board and resume builder (Wade Career Connection), on-campus workshops, recruiting events such as Job Fairs, opportunities to connect with industry professionals and prospective employers, and many other resources and services for the purposes of:
- Helping students and alumni navigate the career search process for gainful employment;
- Promoting understanding about the necessary competencies and skills required to qualify for immediate employment and career advancement; and
- Encouraging students and alumni to be engaged in continual self-improvement and professional development to maintain long-standing careers in the merchandising and design fields.
The Office of Career Services collects data on graduates to identify employment statistics through survey information collection at the time of a student’s graduation, periodic follow-ups via email or telephone, graduate visitations, and telephone calls and emails to the college. These statistics provide a long-term measure of institutional effectiveness. Feedback from graduate employment is used as institutional research on the adequacy of curriculum competencies, learning outcomes, and program reviews. The institution has established, as a goal, an 85% rate of graduate employment in a related field within one year of graduation.
Actual employment statistics of each graduating class for the 2013–2014 academic year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) follow:
Associate of Arts Degree: 84% for the September 2013 graduates; 90% for the January 2014 graduates; 85% for the May 2014 graduates; and 86% overall.
Bachelor of Arts Degree: 100% for the September 2013 graduates; 78% for the January 2014 graduates; 94% for the May 2014 graduates; and 91% overall.