Student Achievement


Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC), a member of the Alabama Community  College System, identifies and evaluates goals and outcomes for student achievement with  respect to its mission and strategic goals and publishes its goals and outcomes.

The College documents student achievement for all students using a variety of measures, regardless of the mode of instructional delivery or the location of instruction. Southern Union has identified the following indicators to document student  achievement: 1) Retention Rates, 2) Transfer Rates, 3) Total Six-Year Completion Rates, 4)  Number of Degrees and Certificates Awarded, 5) Course Success, and 6) Job Placement. Each  of the College’s measures of student achievement align directly to one or more components of  the institution’s mission and strategic plan. These measures were approved and adopted by the  College’s Executive Council. These indicators are monitored annually with adjustments made as  needed. 

In response to SACSCOC’s August 15, 2018, request to member institutions to identify a self- selected undergraduate student completion metric, SUSCC selected The National Student  Clearinghouse (NSC) Total 6-year Completion Rate to use as it’s metric. This metric also serves  as one of the College’s six indicators used to document student achievement.

Mission Statement

Southern Union State Community College, an open admission, public two-year college and member of the Alabama Community College System, provides quality and relevant teaching and learning in academic, technical, and health sciences programs that are affordable, accessible,  equitable, and responsive to the diverse needs of its students, community, business, industry, and government.

Strategic Goals

Southern Union’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan is an extension of the SUSCC mission. The College’s student achievement indicators and outcomes naturally emerge from the Strategic Goals found in this strategic plan. 

Student Achievement Indicator

Alignment to our Mission

Alignment to our Strategic Goals

Retention Rates

Designed to increase enrollment, retention, completion, and graduation rates

Goal 3

Transfer Rates

Designed to increase enrollment, retention, completion, and graduation rates

Goal 3

Total Six-Year Completion Rates

Designed to increase enrollment, retention, completion, and graduation rates

Goal 3

Number of Degrees and Certificates

Designed to increase enrollment, retention, completion, and graduation rates

Goal 3

Course Success

Designed to increase enrollment, retention, completion, and graduation rates

Goal 3

Job Placement

Provide a qualified workforce to meet local
and regional needs

Goal 2

 

Thresholds of Acceptability and Achievement Goals

To establish thresholds of acceptability and achievement goals, Southern Union examines outcomes over a four-year period. SUSCC uses a variety of formative and summative measures from local, state, regional, and national data as thresholds of acceptability for student achievement. These benchmarks include annual data published from the Integrated  Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the National Student Clearinghouse, and the  Alabama Community College System’s Data Access & Exchange (DAX) system. College personnel, including but not limited to, faculty, division chairpersons, and members of the Executive Council and Institutional Effectiveness Committee determine a target threshold of acceptability for each measure. Achievement goals are determined using the average rate of change over the four-year period along with the previous years’ outcome {Achievement Goal =  Previous years’ rate + [(Maximum rate – Minimum rate) / (Number of years -1)]}. Previous performance, thresholds of acceptability, and achievement goals are identified in the tables located in the following sections.

Southern Union measures the fall-to-fall retention rates of both first-time, full-time students and first-time, part-time students who are degree/certificate seeking students enrolling at the College during fall semester. The College uses the IPEDS retention rate median score for all two-year community colleges within the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) as the threshold of acceptability for retention rates. 

Fall-to-Fall Retention Rates
First-time, Full-Time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Cohort

SUSCC Outcomes

ACCS Group Median

Differential

Goal Met?

Fall 15

57%

61%

-4%

No

Fall 16

62%

59%

+3%

Yes

Fall 17

64%

57%

+7%

Yes

Fall 18

64%

60%

+4%

Yes

Achievement Goal for Fall 19-20 is 66%
*Source: 2017-2020 IPEDS Data Feedback Reports

 

Fall-to-Fall Retention Rates
First-time, Part-Time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Cohort

SUSCC Outcomes

ACCS Group Median

Differential

Goal Met?

Fall 15

47%

40%

+7%

Yes

Fall 16

45%

40%

+5%

Yes

Fall 17

44%

40%

+4%

Yes

Fall 18

50%

43%

+7%

Yes

Achievement Goal for Fall 19-20 is 52%
*Source: 2017-2020 IPEDS Data Feedback Reports

 

Fall-to-Fall Retention Rates by Race
First-time, Full-Time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Cohort

African
American

American
Indian

Asian

Multi
Race

Pacific
Islander

Unknown

White

Total

Fall 15

44%

0%

47%

56%

NA

53%

64%

57%

Fall 16

49%

100%

53%

63%

NA

62%

66%

62%

Fall 17

51%

0%

90%

61%

100%

83%

68%

64%

Fall 18

50%

100%

77%

44%

NA

50%

64%

64%

*Source: Source: dax.accs.edu DAXAWARD-006L Fall-to-Fall Retention for Full-time and Part-time Students by Race
 

Fall-to-Fall Retention Rates by Race
First-time, Part-Time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Cohort

African
American

American
Indian

Asian

Multi
Race

Pacific
Islander

Unknown

White

Total

Fall 15

44%

0%

47%

56%

NA

53%

64%

57%

Fall 16

49%

100%

53%

63%

NA

62%

66%

62%

Fall 17

51%

0%

90%

61%

100%

83%

68%

64%

Fall 18

50%

100%

77%

44%

NA

50%

64%

64%

*Source: Source: dax.accs.edu DAXAWARD-006L Fall-to-Fall Retention for Full-time and Part-time Students by Race

Southern Union measures the transfer rates of first-time, full-time degree/certificate seeking students within 150% of normal time to program completion (normal time = two years; 150% =  three years). The College uses the IPEDS transfer rate median score for all two-year community colleges within the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) as the threshold of acceptability for transfer rates.

Transfer Rates
First-time, Full-Time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students within 150% of Normal Time

Cohort

SUSCC Outcomes

ACCS Group Median

Differential

Goal Met?

Fall 13

20%

19%

+1%

Yes

Fall 14

19%

20%

-1%

No

Fall 15

20%

16%

+4%

Yes

Fall 16

43%

17%

+26%

Yes

Achievement Goal for Fall 2017 is 51%
*Source: 2017-2020 IPEDS Data Feedback Reports

Southern Union measures the total completion rates of each fall cohort consisting of all first-time degree-seeking students, of any age, within six years of their initial enrollment. SUSCC  compares its completion metrics using the National Student Clearinghouse® (NSC) Total Six- Year Completion Rate against the state benchmark of students who started at an Alabama two-year public institution.

Total Six-Year Completion Rate
First-time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Cohort

SUSCC Outcomes

Alabama
Two-Year College
Median

Differential

Goal Met?

Fall 2011

36.71%

33.02%

+3.69%

Yes

Fall 2012

38.86%

36.12%

+2.74%

Yes

Fall 2013

43.76%

37.22%

+6.54%

Yes

Fall 2014

40.36%

35.55%

+4.81%

Yes

Achievement Goal for Fall 2015 is 42.71%
*Source: 2018-2021 NSC StudentTrackerSM Postsecondary Completions Reports

 

Total Six-Year Completion Rate by Gender and Race
First-time, Full-Time Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Cohort

Total

Male

Female

African
American

Asian

Hispanic

White

Other

Two or 
More
Races

Race
Unknown

Fall 11

37%

33%

42%

29%

100%

30%

51%

25%

40%

27%

Fall 12

39%

35%

43%

32%

76%

67%

52%

51%

72%

72%

Fall 13

44%

42%

50%

36%

63%

56%

56%

0%

53%

6%

Fall 14

40%

35%

44%

27%

43%

57%

45%

80%

50%

33%

*Source: 2018-2021 NCS StudentTracker Postsecondary Completions Reports

 

Southern Union reviews the number of certificates and degrees awarded annually at the institution level. The College’s threshold of acceptability is to exceed the previous year’s total number of certificates and degrees awarded.

Number of Certificates and Degrees Awarded

Academic
Year

Short
Certificates

Certificates

Associate Degrees

Total

Goal Met?

2017-18

1,064

167

646

1,877

Yes

2018-19

806

187

702

1,695

No

2019-20

784

169

579

1,532

No

2020-21

718

200

591

1,509

No

Achievement Goal for 2021-22 is 1,631
*Source: dax.accs.edu DAXAWARD-001S Award Summary by College

Southern Union measures the overall success rate in all traditional on-campus courses, distance education courses, and courses taught on off-campus sites. A grade of A, B, or C is counted as a successful student completion in a course;  therefore, the College identifies the threshold of acceptability for overall course success as 70%  or higher, regardless of the delivery.

Overall Course Success Rates

Academic
Year

Student Course
Enrollments

Successful
Student
Completions

Southern
Union
Outcomes

Goal Met?

2017-18

39,178

28,791

73%

Yes

2018-19

38,115

28,716

75%

Yes

2019-20

38,026

28,753

76%

Yes

2020-21

30,789

23,453

76%

Yes

Achievement Goal for 2021-22 is 77%
*Source: dax.accs.edu DAXREG-001L Grade Listing by Department

Southern Union tracks the rate of employment of the College’s Career and Technical program graduates from the prior year, based on unemployment insurance data and faculty reporting  (unemployment insurance data is limited to in-state students working for employers paying unemployment insurance). The College annually reports the percent of Career & Technical  Education concentrators who have been employed, joined the military, or are serving in an apprenticeship program during the second quarter following the term in which they left the program. This metric is referred to as Core Indicator 4P1 in the Alabama Community College  System (ACCS) Perkins Act Performance Report and SUSCC uses the ‘Targeted Level of  Performance’ for this indicator as the threshold of acceptability.

Job Placement

Year

Southern Union
Outcomes

ACCS Target
Level

Differential

Goal Met?

Summer 2017-Spring 2018

79.56%

79%

+0.56%

Yes

Summer 2018-Spring 2019

80.32%

73%

+7.32%

Yes

Summer 2019-Spring 2020

65.46%

73%

-7.54%

No

Summer 2020-Spring 2021

71.00%

72.2%

-1.2%

No

Achievement Goal for Summer 2021-Spring 2022 is 75.95%
*Source: 
 dax.accs.edu DAXPERK-008L Perkins Performance Report II-Indicator 4P1

 

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