Student Achievement Measures

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 (CCGA) 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. CCGA'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. …"

CCGA has identified several metrics for measuring student achievement effectiveness of its work toward mission fulfillment; furthermore, these indicators support CCGA’s 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:

Job Placement/Continuing Education

The U.S. Department of Education considers job placement/continuing education rates to be important 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 Target Value (Goal)
Spring 2017 Spring 2021
Job Placement / Continuing Education 78% 82%

The Office of Career Services utilizes the National Association of Colleges and Employers' (NACE) First Destination Survey to capture information regarding new Coastal Georgia graduates' employment and continuing education within six months of graduation (industry standard). According to the NACE, 81% of bachelor's degree graduates in the Class of 2016 were employed or continuing their education six months following graduation. The percentage of students working or enrolled within six months after earning a degree ranged from a low of 78% in 2017 to a high of 80% in 2020. The average annual difference was 0.3 percentage points. The minimum threshold of acceptability is 80% and the target is 82%, both informed by the levels of employment secured and levels of graduate school acceptance of Coastal Georgia graduates at the time of degree completion over time.


This measure considers the persistence of a first-time, degree-seeking student cohort. The fall-to-fall retention rate is reported according to University System of Georgia Academic Data Commons (USG ADC) standards. The denominator for each year is the fall cohort of full-time, degree-seeking students by IPEDS definition; however, 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.

Criterion Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
2016 Cohort 2020 Cohort
Associate Retention Rate 49% 57%
Bachelor's Retention Rate58%68%

Coastal Georgia set retention rate goals based upon Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data from peer schools along with considerations of the historical performance of the institution. In terms of a minimum threshold of acceptability, an associate retention rate of 53% and a baccalaureate rate of 65% have been set. This determination is based on an average of peer institutions in IPEDS for freshman-to-sophomore student retention rates.

The three-year and six-year graduation rates for associate and baccalaureate degree-seeking students are based on data provided to the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, which defines overall graduation rate for colleges and universities as the progress of associate and baccalaureate students who began their studies as a first-time, full-time degree-seeking freshman cohort to see if they complete a degree within 150% of normal time for the program in which they are enrolled. This definition does not account for all entering students, regardless of their prior college experience or educational pathway – only a select subset of students.

Criterion Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
2014 cohort 2018 cohort
Associate three-year graduation rate 9% 13%

2011 cohort 2015 cohort
Bachelor's six-year graduation rate 23% 27%

The minimum thresholds of acceptability are informed by Coastal Georgia's three-year IPEDS associate graduation rate and six-year National Student Clearinghouse Completion Rate for baccalaureate degree-seeking students. The minimum level of acceptability of 11% and 25% is based upon the three-year average of associate and bachelor's degree graduation rates, respectively. The targets of 13% and 27% are based upon three-year (associate) IPEDS graduation rates and six-year (baccalaureate) National Student Clearinghouse completion rate of Coastal Georgia and its peer institutions. Examination of institutional and peer institution data supports the establishment of the graduation threshold of acceptability and goal achievement.

Six-year baccalaureate graduation rates are disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity, financial aid category, and generation to address issues with regard to persistence. Monitoring data associated with each of these supports the College's efforts to ensure that it is serving its constituents in an equitable manner. Coastal Georgia computed the aggregated and disaggregated six-year outcomes on the National Student Clearinghouse methodology provided by SACSCOC.

Course Completion
The rate at which students successfully complete required coursework for a degree is a direct indication of progression, and has immediate impact in retention and cost of education. Research has suggested the longer it takes a student to complete their educational goal, the less likely they are to do so. Through efforts like Gateways2 Completion, the institution strategically focuses on high enrollment courses* that do not have high completion rates* to improve the delivery and support structures for these courses. In addition, 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 concentrating on supporting students in the credit-bearing collegiate level courses that align well with each individual program of study – promoting gateway course success via co-requisite academic support.

Criteria Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
AY 2016-17 AY 2020-21
High enrollment courses with high completion rates* 39% 45%
Gateway course completion rate for remedial students 68% (English)
50% (Mathematics)
71% (English)
56% (Mathematics)

Coastal Georgia's goals for high completion rates in high enrollment courses and Gateway course completion rates for remedial students are based on previous completion rates and the impact successful completion of these courses has on time to graduation. Over the past three years, the completion rates for these courses has improved. Coastal Georgia considers a 42% completion rate in high enrollment courses and Gateway course completion rates for remedial students at 68% in English and 52% in Mathematics to be a minimum threshold for success based on a three-year average.

Student Engagement
Student engagement relates to students’ involvement in High-Impact Practices (HIPs), namely, co-curricular activities that help foster student development, encourage teamwork and collaboration, promote synergistic student-faculty connections, provide real-world applications, and demand reflection and integrated learning. The College utilizes the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to collect and assess select high-impact practices involving freshmen and seniors.

Criteria Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
Freshmen Spring 2020 Spring 2023
Study Abroad 1% 3%
Service-Learning 50% 55%
Undergraduate Research 5% 8%

Study Abroad 10% 15%
Service-Learning 85% 90%
Undergraduate Research 40% 45%

The better Coastal Georgia gets to know its students, the better students get to know Coastal Georgia, and the better able they are to engage in curricular and co-curricular activities. Bottom line – students who are involved are more likely to stay and finish their program of study. This measure allows the College to evaluate itself against other institutions of comparable demographics involved in high-impact practices.The goal for student engagement – high-impact practices is to score equal to peer institutions and ahead of Carnegie Classification in 2023, the next time the institution will disseminate the NSSE based on the University System of Georgia timeline. Minimum thresholds of acceptability for freshmen (study abroad [2%], service-learning [52%], and undergraduate research [6%]) and seniors (study abroad [12%], service-learning [87%], and undergraduate research [42%]) is adequate, given a three-year average of high-impact practices scores from previous surveys.

CCGA uses the Graduating Student Survey (GSS), administered at the end of spring term, to assess student satisfaction with their college experience at the institution. Student satisfaction continues to be a key component of academic success, especially the student support services offered.

Criteria Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
Spring 2017 Spring 2021
Overall college experience ('very satisified' or ''satisfied') 79% 83%
Overall student life experience ('excellent' or 'good') 74% 78%
Degree requirements completed on time ('yes') 75% 80%
Made satisfactory academic progress while employed ('yes') 90% 95%
Recommend CCGA to prospective students ('definitely' or 'probably') 85% 89%

Professional Licensure / Certification
The success of graduates in many professional fields, especially in healthcare and teacher education, require licensure or certification to practice or enter the workforce; therefore, measuring the success of students in passing licensure and certification exams is an important success indicator in developing a qualified workforce.

Criteria Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
AY 2016-17 AY 2020-21
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) 100% 100%
edTPA teacher preparation assessment 98% 100%
Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) 100% 100%
National Council Licensure Examination (AS Nursing) 100% 100%
National Council Licensure Examination (BS Nursing) 100% 100%

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

Criteria Recent Performance Target Value (Goal)
FY 2017 FY 2021
Associate Level 296 308
Bachelor's Level 276 300

*High enrollment corresponds to courses with an average enrollment greater than 100 students per academic year; a completion rate (A, B, C, S rate) greater than or equal to 80% is considered high.

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