Office of Research
and Planning

Our Mission

Welch College exists to educate leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world through biblical thought and life.

Objectives

The following general objectives indicate the knowledge, attitudes, and abilities that the College regards as generally essential for effective Christian service. The College intends that these be developed in good measure in all graduates:

  1. A broad comprehension of biblical teaching.
  2. Christian character and spiritual maturity, manifested in living according to biblical principles and a meaningful devotional life.
  3. A Christian worldview, manifested in an awareness of its implications for thought and life.
  4. An informed mind, manifested in critical thinking and intellectual honesty.
  5. A concern for global missions and evangelism, manifested in consistent giving, praying, and witnessing toward the accomplishment of the Great Commission.
  6. A knowledgeable commitment to physical and emotional health.
  7. A commitment to Christian leadership and service in career, church, family, and private life.
  8. Social adjustment, manifested in healthy interpersonal relationships.
  9. The knowledge and skills needed to function effectively in one’s chosen vocation.
  10. Compassion, manifested in an active desire to help the poor and hurting.
  11. Communication skills, manifested in effective reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  12. Cultural refinement, manifested both in lifestyle and in appreciation for that which is noble and uplifting.

These objectives are detailed in each program of study.

 Certificates and Programs Available

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).

  1. Retention Rates
  2. Graduation/Completion Rates
  3. Employment Rates (Survey of Recent Graduates)
  4. Christian Service Pass Rates
  5. Graduate School Enrollment
  6. ETS Proficiency Profile (exit scores for graduating students)
  7. 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.

Retention Rates

Welch College is an open enrollment institution. There are no minimum entrance requirements other than documentation of the student’s ability to benefit from instruction. In addition, significant numbers of students are first-generation college students, and a large portion of the student body come from socio-economic situations that often educationally disadvantage students (21% of students are Pell eligible and 51% of students receive federal aid). In addition, because of the religious nature of the institution, many students choose to come to Welch College for one to two years in order to receive instruction in biblical worldview before transferring to other institutions with broader program offerings.

These things obviously impact the goals established by the institution in both retention and completion rates. The average retention rate for this over the last ten years is 68.97%, with the most recent figure being 71.13%. These retention rates compare favorably with more selective private institutions in Middle Tennessee.

Minimum threshold of acceptability: 58%
Aspirational goal: 80%

The most recent freshman-sophomore retention rate was 78.25%.

YEAR RETENTION
2009-2010 60.94%
2010-2011 62.30%
2011-2012 65.90%
2012-2013 68.51%
2013-2014 70.50%
2014-2015 66.13%
2015-2016 69.84%
2016-2017 75.55%
2017-2018 78.85%
2018-2019 71.13%
2019-2020 78.25
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.

Graduation/Completion Rate

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%.

Year Cohort
Year
Potential
Completers
Completers IPEDS
Bachelor’s
Percentage
Rate
IPEDS Overall
Percentage
10 Year
Average
2009-10 2004 91 47 51.65% 38.40%
2010-11 2005 68 33 48.53% 39.45%
2011-12 2006 70 26 37.14% 38.97%
2012-13 2007 59 27 45.76% 39.56%
2013-14 2008 63 26 41.13% 40.15%
2014-15 2009 56 20 35.71% 43.32%
2015-16 2010 45 17 34.69%% 42.09%
2016-2017 2011 51 24 47.61% 42.78%
2017-2018 2012 61 33 43.00% 54.10% 44.04%
2018-19 2013 60 32 59.00 53.00% 44.93%

 

First-time/full-time students entering college at Welch College, and completing their program within 150% of published time.

Employment Rates

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).

2014 Graduate
Employment Rate

84%

2016 Graduate
Employment Rate

100%

2018 Graduate
Employment Rate

95%

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
2009-2010 97% 96% 9,654
2010-2011 97% 93% 7,440
2011-2012 88% 90% 6,800
2012-2013 97% 92% 7,373
2013-2014 99% 95% 8,578
2014-2015 100% 98% 6,453
2015-2016 99% 98% 6,590
2016-2017 98% 98% 6,640
2017-2018 96% 97% 8,742
2018-2019 94% 97% 9,696

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 38.3%.

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.

WRITING SCORES

Year Takers Welch
Score
National
Score
Above/Below
Average
2008 69 62.25% 63.60% 1.65%
2009 42 66.45% 63.20% 3.25%
2010 43 62.43% 63.2% 0.77%
2011 21 63.13% 63% 0.13%
2012 48 64.85% 62.70% 2.15%
2014 30 65.1% 62.6% 2.5%
2015 47 66.77% 62.70% 4.07%
2016 49 64.29% 61.50% 2.79%
2017 41 64.58% 61.50% 3.08%
2018 50 64.21% 61.5% 2.71%

MATH SCORES

Year Takers Welch
Score
National
Score
Above/Below
Average
2008 69 56.55% 56.8% -0.25%
2009 42 56.31% 57% -0.69%
2010 43 56.16% 56.8% -0.64%
2011 21 63.61% 56.6% 7.01%
2012 48 55.79% 56.5% -0.71%
2014 30 57.6% 56.3% 1.3%
2015 47 58.21% 56.5% 1.71%
2016 49 56.18% 57% -0.82%
2017 41 56.25% 57% -0.75%
2018 50 57.46% 57% -0.46%

CRITICAL THINKING SCORES

Year Takers Welch
Score
National
Score
Above/Below
Average
2008 69 64.87% 62.9% 1.97%
2009 42 64.8% 63.2% 1.6%
2010 43 60.02% 63% -2.98%
2011 21 63.61% 62.9% 0.71%
2012 48 63.06% 62.8% -0.26%
2014 30 64.27% 62.1% 2.17%
2015 47 64.68% 62.1% 2.58%
2016 49 62.84% 60% 2.84%
2017 41 60.68% 60% 0.68%
2018 50 61.9% 60% 1.9%

READING SCORES

Year Takers Welch
Score
National
Score
Above/Below
Average
2008 69 64.23% 62.20% 2.63%
2009 42 62.44% 62.3% 0.14%
2010 43 60.5% 62.1% 1.6%
2011 21 63.13% 61.7% 1.43%
2012 48 62.6% 61.3% 1.3%
2014 30 64% 61.3% 2.7%
2015 47 64.26% 61.3% 2.96%
2016 49 62.63% 60.2% 2.43%
2017 41 60.70% 60.2% 0.5%
2018 50 61.26% 60.2% 1.06%

SCIENCE SCORES

Year Takers Welch
Score
National
Score
Above/Below
Average
2008 69 59.71% 60.7% -0.99%
2009 42 59.6% 60.9% -1.3%
2010 43 58.43% 60.7% -2.27%
2011 21 60.61% 60.4% 0.21%
2012 48 58.45% 60.4% -1.95%
2014 30 60.7% 60.6% 0.1%
2015 47 61.45% 60.7% 0.75%
2016 49 59.04% 59.70% -0.7%
2017 41 58.00% 59.70% -1.7%
2018 50 56.89% 59.7% -2.8%

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

Critical Thinking Humanities Mathmatics Natural
Sciences
Reading Social
Sciences
Writing Total
Score
Norms are based on the participation os 383,689 students from 385 colleges and universities.

2018

Entry 113.7 114.2 112.7 113.5 116.2 112.4 114.1 440.5
Norm
2012-2018
110.7 113.7 112.9 14.5 116.8 112.3 113.6 441.1
Exit 112.9 116.5 112.5 115.5 117.7 113.4 116.2 445.5
2018 data is limited due to the transaition from the CAAP Test

2019

Entry 112.6 114.2 113.7 113.8 116.6 112.3 114.6 442
Norm
2013-2019
110.4 113.4 112.7 114.3 116.6 112.1 113.3 440.1
Exit 117.1 120.3 115.2 119.3 123 119.5 118.7 459.6

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

Subject Entry Exit Value Added
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%
AVERAGE 39.66% 55.29% 15.62%

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

2017

15.15%

2018

18.30%

2019

17.75%

2020

18.95%

We’re here to help.

Kevin Hester
Director of Assessment and Planning 

Phone: 615-844-5098
Fax: 615-844-5004
Email: khester@welch.edu

Wayne Spruill
Director of Institutional Research
Call: 615-844-5078
Fax: 615-844-5004
Email: wspruill@welch.edu

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.