Student Achievement – Asbury University
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Asbury University considers its mission a success only as our students succeed, and thus all efforts in Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning focus ultimately on identifying best practices in equipping students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. We monitor student achievement in four key areas:

  1. Retention and graduation
  2. Academic excellence: general education and major field testing
  3. Spiritual vitality
  4. Preparation for vocation

Goals for achievement and summary data of accomplishment are highlighted below. To see full details and analysis within the context of the University’s strategic planning process, please view the Annual Report of Institutional Progress files at the bottom of the page.

Retention and Graduation

As a member of both the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AICKU), tracking student retention and program completion affords Asbury the opportunity to benchmark against private institutions that are of similar mission (in the case of CCCU) and represent independent institutions within the Commonwealth of Kentucky (in the case AICKU).

For traditional undergraduates, we have established a target goal of 80% retention from the freshman to sophomore year. This target of 80% was identified as it represents exceeding both the CCCU mean (73.3%) and the AIKCU mean (70.2%). Surpassing this identified target represents achieving the top quartile of the CCCU. Asbury celebrates achieving a freshman to sophomore retention rate over 80% in seven of the last eight years. The freshman cohort entering in the Fall of 2018 recognized a sophomore retention rate of 82.1%, outpacing the identified institutional target.

Cohort Retention by Semester, Traditional Undergraduates

  2014 Cohort 2015 Cohort 2016 Cohort 2017 Cohort 2018 Cohort 2019 Cohort
as Second Semester Freshmen 93.4% 90.0% 93.8% 92.8% 90.8% 87.0%
as Sophomores 80.2% 81.6% 84.6% 81.1% 82.1%  
as Juniors 70.3% 71.5% 74.2% 73.0% 74.4%  

Asbury also benchmarks with both the CCCU and AICKU to determine an appropriate and rigorous six year graduation target rate of 65%. As with sophomore retention rates, Asbury seeks to outpace the mean of the CCCU (mean of 53.6%) and AIKCU (mean of 47.8%). Achieving this identified target of 65% would also achieve performance within the top quartile of CCCU schools. The cohort entering Asbury University in the Fall of 2011 realized a six year graduation rate of 68.8%, surpassing the established target and institutional five year trend data.

Cohort Graduation Rate, Traditional Undergraduates

  2010 Cohort 2011 Cohort 2012 Cohort 2013 Cohort 2014 Cohort 2015 Cohort 2016 Cohort
4 year graduation rate 51.9% 57.5% 50.3% 56.8% 52.5% 56.0% 59.5%
6 year graduation rate 63.2% 68.8% 60.9% 68.3% 63.0%    

Academic Excellence

The Foundations general education program is constructed around five student learning outcomes. This liberal arts core is routinely evaluated by a balanced assessment system that incorporates two primary measures, the General Education Proficiency Assessment (GEPA, developed in-house), and the ETS Proficiency Profile (EPP). Student cohorts are tracked longitudinally using the GEPA and EPP from the time they enter as freshmen until they graduate as seniors. 

Asbury has set its EPP benchmark rigorously, expecting annual means to meet or surpass the national 75th percentile. Scores indicate that when compared with these national norms, our students outperform the majority of their peers in critical thinking, reading, writing, math, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  

EPP Results, 2012-20

  Freshmen (2012-16) Seniors (2016-2020)
  Asbury Mean National Percentile Asbury Mean National Percentile
Critical Thinking 111.70 77 114.06 90
Reading 117.88 77 119.73 80
Writing 115.06 87 115.85 83
Math 114.62 84 115.43 80
Humanities 114.50 75 118.00 90
Social Sciences 113.40 81 115.43 83
Natural Sciences 115.16 83 116.94 83
Total Score 446.69 86 452.43 87

As GEPA is an internal instrument, achievement is primarily measured in gains from freshman to senior year, with an extra benchmark for senior scores at a mean of 50%. Annual scores indicate that all student learning outcomes evidenced appropriate value added.

GEPA Mean Scores of Freshmen and Seniors, Associated Gains 2014-19

  Freshmen Average  2014-16 Senior Average  2018-19 Value Added
SLO 1: Christian Faith & Culture 49.4% 66.6% 17.2%
SLO 2: Human Thought & Creative Expression 53.9% 63.6% 9.7%
SLO 3: Society & Global Responsibility 43.8% 55.5% 11.7%
SLO 4: Quantitative & Critical Literacy 61.7% 64.7% 3.0%
SLO 5: Natural World & Environment 53.1% 55.2% 2.1%
Overall 52.4% 61.1% 8.7%

Many individual academic programs also administer major field tests as a key component to their annual program assessment. Asbury administers the following nationally-normed exams: Biology, Business, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Music, Political Science, and Sociology (ETS Major Field Tests); Art and Psychology (ACAT Exams); MBA (Peregrine); and PRAXIS (Education). Academic units pursue a benchmark of annually surpassing national/state means, and when compared, the institution performs favorably.

MFT Results 2015-2020

  2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Biology 154 Equal 156 Above * * * * 163 Above
Business 146 Below 154  Above 156 Above 154 Above * *
Chemistry 147 Equal * * 168  Above * * 152 Above
English 167 Above 165 Above 175 Above 156 Above * *
Math 174 Above * * 152 Below * *    
Music 158 Above 155  Above 155  Above 150 Equal 151 Equal
Political Science * * 147 Below * * 144  Below 154 Equal
Sociology 158 Above * * 154 Above * * 162 Above

 

ACAT Results, 2014-2018

  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Art 44 Equal 35 Below 57 Above 33 Below
Psychology 84.5 Above 82 Above 90 Above 63.5 Above

Peregrine Results, 2017-18

  2017 (Cohort 1) 2018 (Cohort 2)
Asbury M.B.A. Mean 52.1% 45.9%
National Mean, all M.B.A. Programs 57.7% 57.7%

PRAXIS Results for APS and Traditional Undergraduate Program Completers, 2014-2019

  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Kentucky State Pass Rate 93% 96% 97% 96% 94%
Asbury Pass Rate 87% 93% 93% 95% 94%

Spiritual Vitality

Asbury employs two main assessments, the internally developed Cornerstone Assessment Survey (CAS) and the Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), to measure how students are growing in their faith and its impact on their personal habits and behaviors.

The CAS captures students’ level of commitment to each of the four cornerstones outlined in the 2009 QEP, the Cornerstone Project, with a fifth category of spiritual growth entitled Christian Formation. Benchmarking is set at an annual overall score (mean of means) of 3.25.

Cornerstone Assessment Survey Results, 2014-2018

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Overall 3.29 3.26 3.25 3.21 3.22
Cornerstone 1: Scripture 3.22 3.16 3.18 3.10 3.16
Cornerstone 2: Holiness 2.94 2.90 3.03 2.91 2.95
Cornerstone 3: Stewardship 3.30 3.28 3.25 3.10 3.26
Cornerstone 4:  Mission 3.59 3.60 3.56 3.59 3.51
Christian Formation 3.28 3.24 3.22 3.20 3.18

Likewise, Asbury University submits items relating to spiritual growth and practice and missional alignment to the SSI for external datapoints. These items are also assessed as part of the Cooperative Assessment Program of the CCCU, thus providing data for interpretation and analysis in these formative areas. Benchmarks are set at meeting or exceeding the CCCU mean.

Campus Items on SSI Results 2012-2020

  2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 AU Avg 2019 CCCU Mean
Campus item 1: Being on this campus is contributing to my spiritual growth. 5.79 5.86 5.87 5.83 5.65 5.83 5.68
Campus item 2: My understanding of God is being strengthened by classroom and/or campus experiences. 5.87 5.93 5.96 5.9 5.84 5.93 5.79
Campus item 3: Faculty, administrators, and/or staff are helpful to me in processing issues related to my faith. 5.81 5.89 5.91 5.78 5.84 5.85 5.74
Campus item 5: This campus provides adequate opportunities for involvement in ministry. 5.93 5.95 6.00 6.08 5.77 5.96 5.93
Campus item 6: Given where I am spiritually right now, this campus is a good fit for me. 5.93 5.96 5.99 5.89 5.75 5.93 5.79

Preparation for Vocation

Asbury’s Alumni Survey asks graduates to provide their employment details and to weigh in on how well the institution has prepared them for their next steps in life. The Office of IESP has set a benchmark of 80% of respondents in agreement with survey items.

One such item is job or graduate school placement within six months of graduation. For the 2020 traditional undergraduate cohort, 95.2% of respondents report being employed, in graduate/professional school, pursuing additional undergraduate studies, serving in the military, or completing post-graduate internships or year of service/volunteerism. Of these respondents, 78.3% report being employed full time or attending graduate school.

Our mission includes seeking to prepare students for, “for lifelong learning, leadership and service to the professions, society, the family and the Church,” and so tracking the activity of our alumni is key. The 2020 Alumni Survey (given to those who graduated between 2000 and 2020) indicates that 98.2% of respondents who applied to graduate school were accepted. 87.4% of respondents reported agreement with the statement, “I find my occupation fulfilling.” Among young alumni, 87.5% of respondents reported their Asbury experiences have left them “Extremely Well Prepared”, “Very Well Prepared”, or “Moderately Well Prepared” for life beyond the university.

Assessment reports available for download:

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2019

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2018

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2017

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2016

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2015

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2014

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2013

Annual Report of Institutional Progress for Asbury University, 2012

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning houses data at the departmental (academic and administrative) and institutional level. To request additional data, please contact us at assessment@asbury.edu.