Student Achievement | McMurry University

Student Achievement

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When evaluating success with respect to student achievement in relation to the institution’s mission, McMurry University includes retention data, graduation data, job placement data, data on continued education, and state licensing examinations.

The data below demonstrates that students who persist at McMurry achieve at a high rate in completing courses and on certification exams. Students are also successful in gaining employment and pursuing ongoing educational endeavors.


Retention by Semester

The acceptable threshold for retention rates at McMurry University is also determined by a comparison with our peer institutions as reported in IPEDS data. The data reported for 2017 indicates that the average retention rate at the comparison schools of 71%.

The University underwent a strategic planning process in 2013-2014; the plan that emerged from that process included a number of metrics of success including a goal for a retention rate of 62% by 2019 and 72% in time for the University’s centennial in 2023. Success in achieving this goal will more closely align McMurry with national trends.

Concerned with the retention rate, McMurry University partnered with the John Gardner Institute through their Foundations of Excellence program in fall 2014 to conduct a systematic review of institutional practices affecting retention. Following this extensive process, McMurry University appointed Dr. Cindy Martin, Professor of Mathematics at McMurry as the Director of the First Year Experience. Under her leadership, McMurry implemented a First Year Seminar Program in the Fall of 2016. That year, McMurry’s fall to spring retention of first year students improved by ten percentage points over the previous year. Dr. Martin has also implemented a supplemental instruction program, an early alert program, and has improved the advising and orientation process. In the spring of 2018, McMurry was selected to participate in the John N. Gardner Gateways to Completion program, a three-year process that will focus on transforming key “gateway” courses to improve student success and retention.

In the fall of 2017, McMurry University conducted a study of McMurry first-time full-time student cohorts from 2006-2013. The study demonstrated that students who achieve a GPA of 2.5 or above in their first year at McMurry are 2.7 times more likely to retain to the sophomore year and 3.7 times more likely to graduate than those who do not reach a GPA of 2.5. These analyses have already been central in informing a shift in financial aid structuring for students to improve the financial support of students coming to McMurry and to reward students who perform well in their courses.

Table 1: Retention by Semester

Fall Semester Cohorts
First-time, Full-time Freshman

Fall 2007 to Spring 2018

Entry Entering 2nd Sem 3rd Sem 4th Sem 5th Sem 6th Sem 7th Sem 8th Sem Graduates
Sem Class % (#) % (#) % (#) % (#) % (#) % (#) % (#) % (#)
F07 311 82 (256) 57 (177) 49 (153) 43 (134) 42 (131) 40 (124) 35 (108) 39 (122)
F08 332 82 (271) 55 (183) 50 (167) 45 (149) 43 (142) 39 (131) 35 (116) 37 (122)
F09 320 80 (255) 53 (171) 48 (153) 42 (133) 39 (126) 37 (117) 33 (105) 36 (115)
F10 280 85 (237) 61 (170) 53 (147) 44 (124) 43 (119) 37 (104) 33 ( 92) 37 (103)
F11 330 84 (278) 60 (199) 53 (174) 46 (152) 45 (148) 36 (119) 31 (101) 37 (121)
F12 303 84 (256) 59 (179) 54 (163) 39 (119) 37 (112) 34 (109) 31 ( 94) 32 ( 98)
F13 249 82 (204) 52 (130) 47 (118) 43 (107) 40 ( 99) 34 ( 85) 30 ( 74) 29 ( 73)
F14 207 86 (178) 63 (130) 57 (117) 45 ( 93) 43 ( 90) 40 ( 82) 34 ( 71) 5 ( 10)
F15 297 72 (213) 52 (156) 47 (140) 39 (117) 36 (106) .3 ( 1)
F16 284 84 (239) 62 (177) 57 (161)
F17 246 85 (208)
Revised 1/26/2018 - McMurry Office of Institutional Research

 

Fall Freshman Cohort Graduation Rate

The acceptable threshold for graduation rates at McMurry University is determined by a comparison with our peer institutions as reported in IPEDS data. The data reported for 2017 indicates that the average graduation rate of the comparison schools 48%. McMurry’s graduation rate for each of the 2008, 2010, and 2011 cohorts was 36%. The University underwent a strategic planning process in 2013-2014; the plan that emerged from that process included a number of metrics of success including a goal for a graduation rate of 40% by 2019 and 44% by 2023. Success in achieving this goal will more closely align McMurry with our peer comparison group.

Table 2: Fall Freshmen Cohort Graduation Rates

First-time, Full-time Freshman

Through August 2017 Graduation

Number of graduates from the cohort graduated during the: 6th Year
Total
Total
Grads
Cohort Cohort
#
3rd
year
4rd
year
5rd
year
6rd
year
7rd
year
8rd
year
# (%) # (%)
2004 280 7 69 24 7 0 2 107 (38) 109 (39)
2005 290 9 68 23 5 2 2 105 (36) 109 (38)
2006 305 7 63 37 7 2 2 114 (37) 118 (39)
2007 311 5 72 36 5 3 1 118 (38) 122 (39)
2008 332 5 71 34 10 >1 1 120 (36) 122 (37)
2009 320 8 76 24 5 2 0 113 (35) 115 (36)
2010 280 8 71 17 5 2 101 (36) 103 (37)
2011 330 14 77 24 5 120 (36) 120 (36)
2012 303 5 73 19 97 (32)
2013 249 11 59 70 (28)
2014 207 5 5 ( 2)
2015 297 1 1 (.3)

 

Course Completion

McMurry University examined the rate at which students’ efforts contribute toward attaining their degree as a measure of undergraduate student achievement. As an indicator of productivity, McMurry opted to look at the rate with which students completed their courses and found that students successfully completed their courses over 87% of the time.

Table 3: Course Completion Rate indicates that for the past three years the completion rate for McMurry students has held steadily at approximately 89%.

Table 3: Course Completion Rate 


Semester # Grades
Awarded
# Non-completion
Grades
Sum of
Noncompletion
Grades
Completion
Rate
Noncompletion
Rate
F W WP WF I
Fall 2015 5169 286 162 161 37 * 646 87.50% 12.50%
Spring 2016 4270 265 102 136 51 * 554 87.03% 12.97%
Fall 2016 5205 243 90 85 14 * 432 91.70% 8.30%
Spring 2017 4606 274 115 72 21 * 482 89.54% 10.46%
Fall 2017 5414 297 119 78 15 1 510 90.58% 9.42%
Spring 2018 4888 302 137 81 27 17 564 88.46% 11.54%
3-year Totals 29552 1667 725 613 165 18 3188 89.14% 10.87%
* All incomplete grades have been converted to a grade by the time this report was completed.


Success Dynamics

McMurry University has a very diverse, financially fragile student population (over 50% Pell eligible). While this population often benefits from a small, personal environment, their finances often lead to a stop out or transfer out situation. Thus, McMurry has adopted the National Student Clearinghouse Total Completion Rate (NSCTCR) as its completion indicator.

Table 4: Success Dynamics provided below presents an overview of the various initiatives taken or recently implemented by McMurry University to address the NSCTCR and retention concerns of the institution.

Table 4: Student Success Dynamics


Dynamic Description
John Gardner Institute Foundations of Excellence Led to the creation of a First Year Seminar program, supplemental instruction in select high failure rate classes, an early alert system for at risk students, and changes to the advising and summer registration processes.
John Gardner Institution Gateways to Completion Program Participation in this program will improve student success in key “gateway” courses. McMurry has just begun its participation in the Gateways to Completion process and has identified six courses that will be the focus of a three-year process of improvement.
English for Academic Purposes This program is designed to provide opportunities for McMurry’s international students to improve their reading and writing skill prior to matriculation into the undergraduate program.
Department Heads Professional Development In the summer of 2018, nine department heads attended the Council of Independent Colleges workshops for department heads. In these workshops they were able to learn more about the role of the department head in promoting student success.
Supplemental Instruction Upper class students provide supplemental instruction for course with high failure rates. They attend the class along with the other students and then provide further instruction at alternate times. Attendance in supplemental instruction is now required in several courses.
Virtual Campus The development of a virtual campus is designed for student success with adult learners. McMurry has two fully online programs : Business and Criminal Justice
Academic Enrichment Center This center provides tutoring opportunities for student and other academic support services.
Developmental Studies Program The courses in this program are designed to provide students with the remediation needed to support student success in future coursework.
Retention
Study
As cited previously in this section, McMurry conducted a study regarding student retention that led to reforms in the awarding of student aid.
Modular College Algebra The course meets every day of the week (for an eight-week term) and is highly successful in improving the mathematical skills of students.
Integrated Reading and Writing This co-requisite approach to teaching introductory English has been highly successful. Students enroll in the “credit bearing” English course while also attending a developmental writing lab.


Teacher Certification


The State of Texas has changed several certification exams, making them more rigorous. The State has also made changes to required pass rates.

McMurry University’s overall pass rate for the past five years is 90%, well above the State’s expectation.

The score table below reflects TExES certification exams taken by McMurry students seeking Texas Standard Teacher Certificates through McMurry’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Because students major in the specific content area and minor in pedagogy, the following table reflects directly on the discipline-related academic programs at McMurry.

Table 4: Certification Exam Results


Area Year # Tests
Attempted
# Tests
Passed
Success
Rate
McMurry Totals for Years Reported 2013-
2017
543 370 90.27%
Art 2014 1 1 100.0%
2017 1 1 100.0%
Business 2014 1 0 0%
2016 1 1 100.0%
English Language Arts & Reading (Grades 7-12) 2013 4 4 100.0%
2014 3 3 100.0%
2015 2 2 100.0%
2016 1 0 0%
2017 3 1 33.3%
English as a Second Language Supplemental 2013 4 2 50.0%
2014 8 7 87.7%
2015 1 1 100.0%
Core Subjects EC-6 and Generalist (Grades EC-6) 2013 25 21 84%
2014 18 16 88.9%
2015 18 16 88.9%
2016 1 1 100.0%
2017 5 2 40.0%
History (Grades 8-12) 2014 4 3 75.0%
History (Grades 7-12) 2016 1 1 100.0%
2017 4 2 50.0%
Math (Grades 4-8) 2013 2 2 100.0%
2014 1 1 100.0%
2017 1 0 0%
Math (Grades 7-12) 2013 4 4 100.0%
2014 4 2 50.0%
2015 2 1 50.0%
2016 4 4 100.0%
Music 2013 3 1 33.3%
2014 2 2 100.0%
2015 3 3 100.0%
2016 2 2 100.0%
2017 2 2 100.0%
Physical Education 2013 7 7 100.0%
2014 1 1 100.0%
2015 1 1 100.0%
2017 3 2 66.7%
Science (Grades 4-8) 2014 1 1 100.0%
Science (Grades 7-12) 2015 1 1 100.0%
Life Science 2013 1 1 100.0%
Physical Science 2013 2 2 100.0%
Social Studies (Grades 4-8) 2014 2 2 100.0%
2015 1 0 0%
Technology Applications 2014 3 2 66.7%
Theater 2016 2 2 100.0%
Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities 2013 51 51 100.0%
2014 44 41 97.6%
2015 41 40 98.5%
2016 36 34 94.4%
2017 44 41 92.3%

 

Nursing Certification

The threshold for success on the NCLEX-RN certification exam is established by the Texas Administrative Code- first-time test-takers must pass with a rate of 80% on the NCLEX-RN certification exam. For the three years prior to the 2017-2018 academic year, McMurry students in the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing (PHSSN) failed to make the 80% threshold and in the fall of 2016 the school was placed on “conditional” status, meaning that a new class could not be accepted into the school. The University responded by appointing a new dean and creating an action plan for improvement following a review in the fall of 2016 by the Texas Board of Nursing. The result was a pass rate of 92% for the class graduating in the spring of 2017. The School was returned to full approval in the Fall of 2017 [6].

An appropriate threshold of success for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam is suggested by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in their 2014 Annual Report [7]. In 2014, the AANP reported that the national initial-exam pass rate was 87.5%. The pass rate for Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing students completing the Family Nurse Practitioner exam averages 95.2% during the past five years and has not fallen below 90% in that span.

 

Table 5: Nursing Certification Pass Rates


Track Year # Students
Taking NCLEXRN
for First
Time
NCLEX-RN Pass
Rate for First
Time Test Takers
NCLEX-RN Pass
Rate for All Test
Takers
BSN 2010 136/161 84.47%
BSN 2011 104/148 70.27% 83.11%
BSN 2012 68/83 81.93% 91.57%
BSN 2013 47/56 83.93% 94.64%
BSN 2014 58/84 69.05% 99.00%
BSN 2015 42/56 75.00% 89.00%
BSN 2016 27/35 77.14% 91.00%
BSN 2017 23/25 92.00% 100.00%

 

Table 6: Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Pass Rates

Year Certification
Organization
Certification Exam (by
population focus area
Number of
Students Passing
Exam
Certification Pass
Rate**
2013 AANP Family Nurse Practitioner 9/10 90%
2014 AANP Family Nurse Practitioner 5/5 100%
2015 AANP Family Nurse Practitioner 6/6 100%
2016 AANP Family Nurse Practitioner 7/8 87.5%
2017 AANP Family Nurse Practitioner 7/8 87.5%
* American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
91.89% 5-year pass rate (2013-2017)


Job Placement Rates

McMurry University recognizes its reported rate of 81.6% for job placement and continuing education as an acceptable indicator of achievement for graduating students.

McMurry University collects statistics on job placement rates using a Graduate Survey, which is compiled by the Office of Career Services. Table 6 provides data from the Graduate Survey indicating that, over the past five-year period, 58.4% of respondents are employed full-time and an additional 23.2% are enrolled full-time in other academic programs.

In 2018 McMurry University was ranked number one in the state of Texas for graduate employment 10 years after graduation by Zippia, an online job placement service.

 

Table 7: Graduate Survey


Employment Survey Ongoing Education
Year* #
Responses
Full-time
Employed
Part-time
Employed
Internship Full-time
Employment
Rate
Full-time Part-time Ongoing
Education
Rate
Five-year Totals 457 267 46 5 58.4% 106 7 23.2%
August 2017 92 52 7 0 56.5% 32 0 34.8%
August 2016 80 52 3 1 65.0% 16 0 20.0%
August 2015 128 75 6 0 58.6% 25 0 19.5%
August 2014 73 41 11 4 56.2% 15 4 20.5%
August 2013 84 47 19 0 55.9% 18 3 21.4%