Student Achievement

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires that institutions publish student achievement information. In SACSCOC’s Policy on Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure, student achievement information 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 College of Coastal Georgia (Coastal Georgia) evaluates success concerning student achievement consistent with its mission to provide degrees that support the intellectual, economic, and cultural needs of the community and region while promoting student progression and timely graduation. The College's commitment to student achievement is specifically evident in one section of its mission statement:

“…Advocating excellence in scholarship and community engagement, the College promotes student progression and timely graduation through student-centered programs that offer a rich and diverse student experience. Students are prepared for meaningful careers, advanced study, lifelong learning, and participation in a global and technological society. …"

Coastal Georgia has identified several metrics for measuring student achievement. Furthermore, these indicators support the institution’s current strategic plan, Coastal Vision 2021, and in the process establish significant but realistic outcomes and determine a time frame for results. These institutional measures and students’ achievement on these measures are presented below:

Completion Rate

Coastal Georgia’s Key Student Completion Indicator (KSCI) is the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) six-year completion rate. Capturing all post-secondary awards earned by students in each cohort, whether at Coastal Georgia or another institution, better measures the institution’s contribution to student success. Part-time students remain an important part of Coastal Georgia’s enrollment; students often change degree levels; and many students transfer to and graduate from other institutions.

 Criterion Recent Performance
2011 cohort 2012 cohort 2013 cohort 2014 cohort
 6-Year Completion Rate 32% 42% 45% 45%

For each cohort, the NSCRC rate is calculated using the number of students completing any post-secondary award at any institution who began as new degree-seeking students, full or part-time, at Coastal Georgia.

Degrees Awarded

Coastal Georgia’s success as an institution is measured by degrees awarded to meet workforce demands, address affordability and increase access to educational opportunities.

 Criterion Recent Performance
FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
 Associate Level 296 300 296 236 437 323
 Bachelor's Level 276 290 280 320 345 338

The number of credentials awarded in a fiscal year by academic program and award level (career associate, transfer associate, and baccalaureate) is retrieved from Degrees and Awards Conferred reports generated by the Office of Research and Policy Analysis of the University System of Georgia.

Retention Rates

Coastal Georgia set retention rate goals based upon University System of Georgia (USG) data from other state colleges and considerations of its historical performance.

 Criterion Recent Performance
2016 Cohort 2017 Cohort 2018 Cohort 2019 Cohort 2020 Cohort
 Associate Retention Rate 49% 46% 56% 53% 43%
 Bachelor's Retention Rate 58% 59% 57% 64%


This student achievement measure considers the retention of a first-time, full-time degree-seeking student cohort. Each year's denominator is the fall cohort of full-time, degree-seeking students by IPEDS definition; the numerator includes both students who enrolled the following fall and those who completed either associate or bachelor’s degrees but did not return. This definition does not account for all entering students, regardless of their prior college experience or educational pathway – only a select subset of students.

Job Placement/Continuing Education

The U.S. Department of Education considers job placement/continuing education rates essential indicators of quality and student achievement. Credible placement/continuing education rates serve the students' best interests, especially those who are beginning the college application process and enhance public confidence in the role of accreditation.

 Criterion Recent Performance
Class of 2017 Class of 2018 Class of 2019 Class of 2020
 Job Placement / Continuing Education 79% 77% 78% 68%

Note: At the time, the coronavirus pandemic was impacting job placement and continuing education expectations for the Class of 2020.

The Office of Career and Academic Advising utilizes the National Association of Colleges and Employers' (NACE) First Destination Survey to capture new Coastal Georgia graduates' employment and continuing education within six months of graduation (industry standard).

Gateway course completion rate for remedial students

The rate at which students complete required coursework for a degree is a direct indication of progression and has an immediate impact on retention and education costs. The College has effectively restructured how it supports students who arrive on campus with a gap in academic preparation. This recent shift involved moving from traditional remedial education as a standalone enterprise to supporting students in the credit-bearing collegiate level courses that align well with each program of study – promoting gateway course success via co-requisite academic support.

 Criterion Recent Performance
AY 2016-17 AY 2017-18 AY 2018-19 AY 2019-20 AY 2020-21
 Gateway course completion rate for   remedial students 68%

Coastal Georgia's goals for high completion rates in Gateway course completion rates for remedial students are based on previous completion rates, the impact successful completion of these courses has on time to graduation. 

*The significant decrease in gateway completion rate for students in corequisite remedial English occurred primarily among students taking corequisite courses online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons are being assessed so that improvements in online delivery can be implemented.

Student Engagement – High-Impact Practices

Student engagement relates to students' involvement in High-Impact Practices (HIPs), namely, co-curricular activities and programs that encourage teamwork and collaboration, promote synergistic student-faculty connections, provide real-world applications, and demand reflection and integrated learning.

 Criterion Recent Performance Target
2017 2020 2023
 Study Abroad 0% 1% 3%
 Service-Learning 46% 48% 49%
 Undergraduate Research 2% 5% 5%
 Study Abroad 6% 7% 9%
 Service-Learning 80% 77% 82%
 Undergraduate Research 35% 19% 37%

The College utilizes the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to assess participation in high-impact practices involving first-year students and seniors. The USG funds participation in the NSSE for its institutions once every three years. The next iteration of the NSSE will be disseminated in 2023.

Student Satisfaction

The Graduating Student Survey gives the College the capacity to obtain opinions from seniors just before graduation. Results are used to examine Coastal Georgia's institutional effectiveness in offering students a quality educational experience and identifying areas where improvements are needed as part of a continuous quality improvement process.

 Graduating Student Survey Statements
Recent Performance
Spring 2017 Spring 2018 Spring 2019 Spring 2020 Spring 2021
 Overall academic experience ('excellent' or
79% 87% 89% 85% 92%
 Overall student life experience ('excellent' or
74% 75% 87% 70% 87%
 Degree requirements completed on time   ('yes') 65% 81% 90% 87% 93%
 Made satisfactory academic progress while   employed ('yes') 35% 95% 94% 94% 95%
 Recommend CCGA to prospective students   ('definitely' or 'probably') 85% 86% 92% 88% 92%

Targets were established at 90% for all measures, recognizing that the vast majority of CCGA's students should express satisfaction on each of these measures, even if improving experiences in some areas means closing a larger gap than exists for others.

Professional Licensure/Certification

The success of graduates in many professional fields, especially in healthcare and teacher education, requires licensure or certification to practice or enter the workforce; therefore, measuring students' success in passing licensure and certification exams is a critical success indicator in developing a qualified workforce.

 Criterion Recent Performance
AY 2016-17 AY 2017-18 AY 2018-19 AY 2019-20 AY 2020-21
 American Registry of Radiologic
 Technologists (ARRT)
100% 92% 93% 80% 100%
 Georgia Assessments for the Certification of
 Educators (GACE)
100% 100% 94% 97% 93%
 National Council Licensure Examination
 (AS Nursing)
100% 100% 100% 92% 84%
 National Council Licensure Examination
 (BS Nursing)
100% 97% 94% 94% 96%

Note: Scores for AY 2019-20 were affected by students’ inability to re-test due to COVID-19 related testing-center closures.

Licensure and certification examination pass rates are benchmarked against previous years' results and industry rates. Coastal Georgia aims for 100% of students in Radiologic Science, Nursing, and Teacher Education to pass their respective licensure/certification exams. Radiologic Science and Nursing programs are considered successful if the assessment score is either at or above the comparison score – a national average of 75% for Radiologic Science and 80% for Nursing. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has an 80% or higher pass rate requirement.

Integration of Student Achievement Goals to Institutional Planning

Coastal Georgia subscribes to an institutional effectiveness structure that is cohesive, comprehensive, and addresses annually required assessment and systematic evaluation review cycles of academic programs, academic support units, and administrative support services campus-wide to ensure student achievement and student success. In addition, this framework maps and links the units to the institution's Core Values, Strategic Goals, Strategic Master Plan Priorities, SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation, and Professional Accreditation or Affiliation requirements.

As student success initiatives are implemented and metric results are carefully monitored, the College believes its standards and retention & graduation strategies are clear evidence of a strong philosophical commitment to graduation with distinction as the overarching campus priority.