Skip to main content

Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

Student Achievement

Students at graduation ceremony

 

The following table outlines Western Carolina University's core student success performance criteria and most recent available results. For more information please contact Dr. Lowell K. Davis at 828-227-2670 or lkdavis@wcu.edu in the Division of Student Success.

Low-Income Enrollment

  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Goal 3,312 3,405 3,498 3,602 3,706
Outcome 3,508        

The number of in-state, degree-seeking undergraduates in the official fall census enrollment data collection who received a federal Pell Grant (any amount over the course of the academic year).  Note that a student's low-income status can change from year to year.


Rural Enrollment

  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Goal n/a 4,585 4,707 4,838 4,975
Outcome 4,660 4,923      

The number of in-state, degree-seeking undergraduates in the official fall census enrollment data collection who reside (county of residence) in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county.  Note that a student's rural status can change from year to year.


Low-Income Completions

  2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Goal 906 961 1,016 1,078 1,140
Outcome 948        

The number of in-state undergraduates who both: (1) received a baccalaureate degree in the current academic year and (2) received a federal Pell Grant within the last five years at WCU.  In order to capture as many student completers as possible, the UNC Systems Office will use data from the National Student Clearinghouse to identify completion data for students earning degrees from institutions outside of the UNC System.


Rural Completions

  2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Goal 1,107 1,143 1,180 1,222 1,263
Outcome 1,153        

The number of in-state undergraduates who both: (1) received a baccalaureate degree in the current academic year and (2) resided in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county within the last five years at WCU.  In order to capture as many student completers as possible, the UNC Systems Office will use data from the National Student Clearinghouse to identify completion data for students earning degrees from institutions outside the UNC System.


Critical Workforce Credentials

  2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Goal 1,145 1,198 1,252 1,312 1,372
Outcome 1,217        

A count of the number of credentials (not individuals) reported to IPEDS at any degree level earned at WCU in the identified academic disciplines in a given academic year.  Note that only majors will be considered as completed credentials (minors and multiple concentrations are not counted).  There are three areas defined as critical workforces:  Health Sciences; K-12 Education; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). 


5-Year Graduation Rates

  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Goal n/a 60.2% 1,252 1,312 1,372
Outcome 65.2% 68.2%      

The number of first-time, full-time, bachelor's degree seeking undergraduates who received a baccalaureate degree from any accredited institution of higher education within five years.  The denominator is the number in the IPEDS cohort for the fall term in which the cohort started.  The UNC Systems Office will use data from the National Student Clearinghouse to identify graduation data from institutions outside of the UNC System to calculate the numerator.


Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

  2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Goal 25.6 25.7 25.8 25.9 26.0
Outcome 25.8        

The count of the number of undergraduate credentials awarded by WCU per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) undergraduates.  "Credentials" is defined as any completion below a Master's Degree which includes baccalaureate, and post-baccalaurette degrees and certificates that are reported to IPEDS. Consistent with federal completions reporting, dual degree recipients are counted twice.  FTE is calculated as the sum of all student credit hours taken by undergraduate students (degree and non-degree seeking) in the given academic year divided by 29.6.  The FTE calculation uses a six-year average to smooth enrollment fluctuations.  The FTE for the current academic year and the preceding five academic years are calculated seperately and those six numbers are then averaged. 


Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency: Male Students

  2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Goal 23.4 23.9 24.3 24.8 25.3
Outcome 24.5        

Undergraduate Degree Efficiency is calculated as described above.  WCU had to identify and define a subpopulation with a disproportionate achievement gap in this metric.  The subpopulation also had to represent a significant portion of the undergraduate population.  WCU has chosen to close the achievement gap for male students, meaning the caclulated Undergraduate Degree Efficiency for our male students was determined to be disproportionate to the calcualted Undergraduate Degree Efficiency of our female students, and thus we are working to close the gap between the two.

Office of Web Services