The following criteria are established as the primary means Welch College uses to measure institutional attainment of objectives and to document student success. All assessments are administered to all students across all modalities (traditional, online, hybrid).
- Retention Rates
- Graduation/Completion Rates
- Employment Rates (Survey of Recent Graduates)
- Christian Service Pass Rates
- Graduate School Enrollment
- ETS Proficiency Profile (exit scores for graduating students)
- ABHE Bible Exam (exit scores for graduating students)
As an educational institution with an educational mission, the first goal is to attract, retain, and graduate students. Thus, two criteria were adopted related to this: retention rates and graduation rates. The institution has chosen to make use of IPEDS data for greater consistency even though National Student Clearinghouse data may compare more favorably. All IPEDS information is processed through the Office of Planning and Assessment and developed according to specific, national standards.
|10 Year Average||68.97%|
*These figures are taken from reports filed with ABHE. They reflect the fall to fall retention of First-Time Freshmen.
The open enrollment policy of the institution and high transfer rate obviously impact the institution’s completion rate. However, significant gains have been made over the last several years. In 2015, the five-year average for completions was 40.32%. In 2019, the completion rate was 53.00%, with a ten-year average of 45.48%.
Minimum threshold of acceptability: 40%
Aspirational goal: 60%
The most recent graduation/completion rate was 53.00%.
First-time/full-time students entering college at Welch College, and completing their program within 150% of published time.
General Objectives 7, 9, 10, and 12 listed above concern active engagement in the field of study and to the skills related to how the college understands employment in the field of study. All Welch College graduates receive training in biblical and theological studies. The mission statement asserts that Welch College educates leaders for “service” in a broad variety of settings. This education may or may not relate directly to the student’s primary area of employment.
Many Welch College graduates are engaged in bi-vocational ministry. Others are engaged in ministry positions valued by the College that may not be considered employment or may not be considered full-time. In addition, the population surveyed ranges from 22-27 years of age and includes a significant number of female graduates who are starting families and potentially deciding to forego employment for a time because of this. In addition, survey results have consistently indicated that approximately 1/3 of the graduates in the last five years have completed or are enrolled in graduate school at the time of the survey. These graduate students may not be employed at all and are likely not employed full-time.
For these reasons, the institution tracks employment generally (including both full and part-time employment). The institution adopted a target goal of 90% employment reported on the surveys. This goal would still be above the national average of employment for this age-group demographic.
Minimally acceptable threshold: 83%
Aspirational goal of: 95%
Employment Rates from the most recent Survey of Recent Graduates were 95% (76.7% full-time, 18.3% part-time).
Christian Service Rates
Because a number of the objectives listed above and the mission of the College specifically mention Christian service, Christian service is an important criterion for Welch College to review. In addition, Christian service captures institutional impact that may not be directly reflected in employment surveys. The institution has for a number of years tracked Christian service through successful completion of the Christian Service course (service-learning requirements) and more generally in the Survey of Recent Graduates.
Pass Rates, Christian Service
Minimally acceptable threshold: 90%
Aspirational goal: 100%.
Christian Service Rates from the most recent year were 96.5%
|Year||Fall %||Spring %||Hours of Service|
Graduate School Enrollment
Welch College views education as an integral aspect of preparation for leadership. Given the importance of leadership in the mission of the institution and the related general objectives of the institution (general objectives 2, 7, 8, 9), the institution decided to establish graduate school enrollment as a criterion for demonstrating student success. This also relates to the graduate’s attainment of important intellectual and communication skills (general objectives 4, 9, 11, 12).
Welch College is an open enrollment institution. It is also operated by a religious body that does not require formal education for ordination. As such, it would be expected that graduate matriculation in advanced degrees would be quite low. However, this is not the case. Over the last ten years, surveys of recent graduates have regularly documented graduates’ engagement in advanced degrees at an average of 30%.
Minimally acceptable threshold: 20%
Aspirational goal: 40%
Graduates answering “yes” to the question, “I have completed or am currently enrolled in a graduate degree,” on the most recent Survey of Recent Graduates was 38%.
General Education Assessments
The same educational goals (general objectives 4, 9, 11, 12) have long been measured by the institution through nationally normed general education assessments. Previously, the College made use of CAAP assessments as an entry/exit means of evaluating student success and assessing general education objectives. Because of the College’s open enrollment policy, CAAP assessments typically demonstrated incoming students scoring slightly below the national norm, and the institutional goal was for exiting students to score at or above the national norm for exiting students. This goal was typically met.
CRITICAL THINKING SCORES
When the CAAP exam ceased to be nationally normed, the institution moved to locate a suitable replacement. Beginning in 2018, Welch College has administered the ETS Proficiency Profile to incoming and graduating students regardless of instructional modality to measure general education outcomes. While the data is limited at this time, the following goals were established.
Minimally acceptable threshold: ETS Proficiency Profile average exiting graduate score within one standard deviation of the national norm.
Aspirational goal: ETS Proficiency Profile average exiting graduate score 15 points above the national norm.
The most recent administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile for graduating students yielded an average score of 459.6 across all modalities. This compares to a national norm score of 440.1.
ETS Proficiency Profile
Freshmen Entry, Graduating Exit, National Norms
|Norms are based on the participation os 383,689 students from 385 colleges and universities.|
|2018 data is limited due to the transaition from the CAAP Test|
ABHE Bible Exam
Other missionally important educational goals of the institution relate to biblical and theological content and to the cultivation of a Christian worldview (general objectives 1, 2, 3, 12). Welch College has long made use of the Association for Biblical Higher Education’s Bible Knowledge Exam to measure student attainment of related institutional objectives. This assessment is nationally normed, but the norm is universal rather than annual. Welch College administers this assessment to entering and exiting students.
Minimally acceptable threshold: 11% improvement in value-added score (pre-test/post-test)
Aspirational goal: 18% improvement in value-added score (pre-test/post-test)
The average improvement of exit/entry score for Welch College graduates in the most recent assessment was 15.62% or 21.16 raw points.
Welch College Entry/Exit Comparisons as of August 2019
|New Testament: Subject Matter||35.87%||60.78%||24.91%|
|New Testament: Timeline||29.51%||61.54%||32.03%|
|New Testament: People||37.77%||62.04%||24.27%|
|New Testament: Gospels||42.00%||64.64%||22.64%|
|New Testament: Letters||30.67%||58.17%||27.50%|
|New Testament: Geography||47.65%||35.06%||-12.59%|
|New Testament: The Life of Christ||46.24%||64.62%||18.38%|
|New Testament: The Life of Paul||50.80%||62.45%||11.65%|
|Old Testament: Subject Matter||37.80%||54.72%||16.92%|
|Old Testament: Timeline||27.64%||54.34%||26.70%|
|Old Testament: People||48.49%||54.61%||6.12%|
|Old Testament: Geography||28.63%||38.49%||9.86%|
|Old Testament: Pentateuch||44.01%||42.69%||-1.32%|
|Old Testament: History||46.92%||55.01%||8.09%|
|Old Testament: Poetry||36.18%||53.55%||17.37%|
|Old Testament: Prophets||44.39%||51.75%||17.36%|
Note: In 2020, the ABHE Bible exam was rewritten. This new iteration of the exam was first given to entering students in Fall 2020 and will be administered to exiting students in Spring 2021. A full complement of actual pre-test/post-test value-added scores will not be available until Spring 2024. Until these numbers are once again available, the institution’s minimally acceptable threshold will be exiting scores of graduates within one standard deviation of the national norm for graduating students. The aspirational goal will be one standard deviation above the national norm for graduating students.
ABHE Bible Exam Value-Added Scores
2020 Graduate Survey Highlights and Takeaways
- Given the fact that Welch College is an open-enrollment institution and typically serves low to middle-income students the fact that over 1/3 of graduates in the last five years are currently enrolled or have completed graduate programs is staggering.
- 87% of all respondents indicated that Welch College prepared them for the ministry in which they are currently engaged.
- 80% of all respondents indicated that their general education courses prepared them to be effective in their ministry or as laypersons in general Christian service.
- 96% of all respondents indicate regular attendance at worship services. The Pew Forum Religious Landscape Study(2019), measuring 18-29-year-olds, reported 27% of adults in this age range attend religious services weekly while 37% of adults in this age range attend between once or twice a month to a few times a year.
- 87% of respondents indicated that Welch College’s preparation for ministry was above average or better. 94% of respondents indicated that the preparation for ministry they received at Welch College was adequate or better.
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Welch College does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, national and ethnic origin, age, or disability in admitting students or in otherwise administering its educational policies and school-sponsored programs.