Student Achievement Data

Measures of Student Achievement

COM has identified five measures of student achievement:

  • Completion Rate (graduation rate according to National Student Clearinghouse)
  • Gateway course completion (successful completion of college-level math or college-level English in the first year)
  • Persistence rate (percentage over a one-year period)
  • Licensure and Certification Examination Pass Rate
  • Transfer Rate (over a six-year period)

Data Points

For each of the identified student achievement indicators there are three data points:

  • Threshold of Acceptability: the minimum performance level above which a measure should be maintained
  • Achievement Goal: the target performance level to meet or surpass expectations
  • Outcome: the actual current level of performance

In determining these data points, the following types of criteria were utilized to justify the appropriateness of thresholds of acceptability and achievement goals:

  1. Peers: Where data are available, student achievement was compared with that of the College’s peers (medium sized Texas community colleges) with the threshold of accountability established at the three-year average of those peers.
  2. State/System Accountability Benchmarks: Peer benchmarking and comparisons are available through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Accountability interactive website; see the 2018 Accountability Report downloaded from the THECB website.
  3. Institutional Trend Data: COM’s historical trend data provided additional context for establishing thresholds of acceptability as well as achievement goals.

Completion Rate

  • Threshold of Acceptability = 23%
  • Achievement goal = 40%

The Completion Rate is defined as the graduation rate based on information from the National Student Clearinghouse. The table below documents COM’s actual performance levels from Fall 2013 through Fall 2018.

First-time, Full-time (FTIC, FT) Three-year Graduation Rates
Institution Fall 13 - Fall 16 Fall 14 - Fall 17 Fall 15 - Fall 18
Cohort Graduated Rate % Cohort Graduated Rate % Cohort Graduated Rate %
COM 227 49 21.6 132 27 20.5 164 50 30.5
Peer Institutions 12,331 2,810 22.8 10,776 2,664 24.7 10,763 2,737 25.4
State Average 60,195 11,172 18.6 56,450 12,242 21.7 52,864 12,335 23.3

Gateway Course Completion:

  • Threshold of Acceptability increases each year with = 60% for Gateway English in 2019 and 40% for Gateway math in 2019
  • Achievement goal increases each year with = 65% for Gateway English in 2019 and 40% for Gateway math in 2019

Gateway courses are typically defined as those first courses students need to complete before moving forward. Completion of these courses is a leading indicator for success of a student in many programs. COM defines Gateway Course Completion as successful completion of either college-level math or college-level English in the first year. COM’s gateway courses are English composition (ENGL-1301) and all 1000 level mathematics courses (MATH-1314, MATH-1332, or MATH-1342)

The minimum threshold is set at the actual outcome for academic year 2017. Aspirational targets have been set to align with the College’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023 and completion goals. The table below documents COM’s actual performance levels annually from Fall 2013 through Fall 2018, based on institutional trend data.

Full-Time First-Time (FT, FTIC) Gateway English and Mathematic Completion in One Academic Year
Academic Year Threshhold Goal % Actual Increase/decrease % over Goal
Complete Gateway English within 1 year 2017 57% New Strategic Plan 57% 0
2018 57% 60% 61% +1
2019 60% 65%
2020 Re-evaluate 65%
2022 68%
2025 75%
Complete Gateway Math within 1 year 2017 28% New Strategic Plan 36% +8
2018 36% 50% 33% -17
2019 40% 50%
2020 Re-evaluate 55%
2022 60%
2025 65%

Persistence Rate

  • Threshold of Acceptability = 66%
  • Achievement goal = 75%

Students returning from one fall term to the next is an indicator of success and progress. COM seeks to exceed peer state-wide averages for all community colleges and the medium size peer average for one and two year persistence rates. One-year persistence rates for medium-size community colleges are determined by the percentage of first-time, degree-seeking students enrolled in at least 12 semester credit hours (SCH) in the fall semester who are still enrolled at the same or another Texas public or private (independent) the following fall semester.

The table below documents COM’s actual performance levels from Fall 2015 through Fall 2018.

One-Year Persistence Rates
Institution Fall 2015 - Fall 2016 Fall 2016 - Fall 2017 Fall 2017 - Fall 2018*
Cohort Persisted Rate % Cohort Persisted Rate % Cohort Persisted Rate %
COM 161 119 73.9 149 108 72.5 285 192 67.4*
Peer Institutions 12,009 7,934 66.1 12,507 8,288 66.3 12,129 7,959 65.6
State Average 51,830 35,327 68.2 52,180 35,374 67.8 52,142 35,305 67.7
ACT National data set 2-year persistence rate: 55%
*Note: Hurricane Harvey had an impact on enrollment and retention in 2017

Licensure and Certification Examination Pass Rate

  • Threshold of Acceptability = 85%
  • Achievement goal = 90%

In keeping with the role and mission of the Texas public junior (community college) as defined by Texas Education Code (Title 3, Subtitle G, Chapter 130), COM provides a number of workforce programs that prepare students for occupational licensure and certification examinations. These programs are cosmetology (esthetician specialist and operator), law enforcement, fire protection, pharmacy technician, paramedic, registered nursing, licensed vocational nursing, medical coding, and medical assisting.

The table below documents COM’s actual performance levels for Academic Year 2013-2014 through 2017-2018.

Licensure and Certification Examination Pass Rates
AY 13-14 AY 14-15 AY 15-16 AY 16-17 AY 17-18 Statewide
Overall 92% 90% 93% 89%
Esthetician Specialist NA 100% 100% 95% 100%
Cosmetology 86% 90% 93% 99% 100% 97%
Law Enforcement 100% 100% 96% 100% 93% 99%
Fire Protection 100% 100% 93% 97% 89% 95%
Pharmacy Technician 100% 100% 75% 88% 89% 91%
Paramedic 100% 100% 100% 98% 87% 77%
Nursing — RN 98% 97% 99% 93% 88% 90%
Nursing — LVN 100% 100% 100% 100% 92% 93%
Medical Coding 75% 100% 40% 50% 80% NA
Medical Assisting 44% 43% 57% 61% 35% NA

Transfer Rate

  • Threshold of Acceptability = 14%
  • Achievement goal = 16%

In 2018, COM added transfer rate as a success measure for student achievement. Transfer data is available through the THECB’s Texas Higher Education Accountability System resource website. On the THECB online resumes for Texas community colleges, transfer is defined as students who transfer to a 4-year institution with 30 credit hours.

The table below documents COM’s actual performance levels for Academic Year 2014 through 2018.

Transfer Rates
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
COM 11% 12% 12% 11% 14%
Peer 19% 17% 16% 15% 16%
State 18% 17% 16% 16% 17%

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