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 Univeristy’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 four of the last five years. The freshman cohort entering in the Fall of 2016 recognized a sophomore retention rate of 84.6%, outpacing both institutional five year trend data and the identified target.

Cohort Retention by Semester, Traditional Undergraduates

  2011 Cohort 2012 Cohort 2013 Cohort 2014 Cohort 2015 Cohort 2016 Cohort
as Second Semester Freshmen 95.1% 90.7% 95.0% 93.4% 90.0% 93.8%
as Sophomores 84.1% 79.8% 81.4% 80.2% 81.6% 84.6%
as Juniors 75.3% 71.4% 72.4% 70.3% 71.5%  

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 68.5%, surpassing the established target and institutional five year trend data.

Cohort Graduation Rate, Traditional Undergraduates

  2006 Cohort 2007 Cohort 2008 Cohort 2009 Cohort 2010 Cohort 2011 Cohort
4 year graduation rate 64.5% 56.1% 55.6% 53.3% 51.9% 57.5%
6 year graduation rate 75.7% 64.1% 65.8% 62.9% 63.2% 68.5%

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, 2012-17

  Freshmen Seniors
  Asbury Mean National Percentile Asbury Mean National Percentile
Critical Thinking 111.88 67 115.61 85
Reading 118.08 72 120.06 68
Writing 115.25 78 117.67 87
Math 114.74 72 116.85 82
Humanities 114.68 69 118.48 85
Social Sciences 113.51 72 116.67 88
Natural Sciences 115.34 66 118.06 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 2011-17

  Freshmen Average  2011-16 Senior Average  2012-17 Value Added
SLO 1: Christian Faith & Culture 48.6% 62.3% 13.7%
SLO 2: Human Thought & Creative Expression 52.9% 61.8% 8.9%
SLO 3: Society & Global Responsibility 43.2% 53.1% 9.9%
SLO 4: Quantitative & Critical Literacy 60.8% 65.3% 4.5%
SLO 5: Natural World & Environment 52.5% 60.3% 7.8%
Overall 50.4% 59.0% 8.6%

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, 2014-2017

  2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Biology 154 Equal 152 Equal 154 Equal 156 Above
Business 151 Equal 151 Equal 146 Below 154 Above
Chemistry 148 Equal * * 147 Equal * *
English 166 Above 168 Above 167 Above 165 Above
Math 164 Equal 149 Equal 174 Above * *
Music * * * * 158 Above 155 Above
Political Science 156 Above 159 Above * * 147 Below
Sociology 150 Above 153 Above 158 Above * *

ACAT Results, 2014-2017

  2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Art 46 Equal 44 Equal 35 Below 57 Above
Psychology 87 Above 84.5 Above 82 Above 90 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, 2012-16

  2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Kentucky State Pass Rate 98% 95% 92% 93% 96%
Asbury Pass Rate 100% 86% 82% 87% 93%

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, 2012 – 17

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Overall 3.23 3.28 3.29 3.26 3.25 3.21
Cornerstone 1: Scripture 3.15 3.18 3.22 3.16 3.18 3.10
Cornerstone 2: Holiness 2.89 3.01 2.94 2.90 3.03 2.91
Cornerstone 3: Stewardship 3.23 3.27 3.30 3.28 3.25 3.10
Cornerstone 4:  Mission 3.59 3.59 3.59 3.60 3.56 3.59
Christian Formation 3.21 3.26 3.28 3.24 3.22 3.20

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, 2010 – 2016 

  2010 2012 2014 2016 AU Avg 2012 CCCU Mean
Campus item 1: Being on this campus is contributing to my spiritual growth. 5.95 5.79 5.86 5.87 5.87 5.85
Campus item 2: My understanding of God is being strengthened by classroom and/or campus experiences. 6.05 5.87 5.93 5.96 5.95 5.91
Campus item 3: Faculty, administrators, and/or staff are helpful to me in processing issues related to my faith. 5.85 5.81 5.89 5.91 5.87 5.74
Campus item 5: This campus provides adequate opportunities for involvement in ministry. 6.03 5.93 5.95 6.00 5.98 6.01
Campus item 6: Given where I am spiritually right now, this campus is a good fit for me. 6.04 5.93 5.96 5.99 5.98 5.9

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 2017 traditional undergraduate cohort, 99.5% 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, 86.3% 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 2016 Alumni Survey (given to those who graduated between 2000 and 2015) indicates that 96.9% of respondents who applied to graduate school were accepted, with 88% of these being satisfied with the graduate program they chose. 93.9% of respondents reported agreement with the statement, “I find my occupation fulfilling.” Among young alumni, 70% of respondents reported their Asbury experiences have left them “Very Well Prepared” or “Prepared” for life beyond the university.

Assessment reports available for download:

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.