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McNeese State University evaluates student achievement with respect to its mission by tracking data related to each fall’s freshmen cohort of first-time, full-time degree seeking students’ first to second year retention rate, first to third year retention rate, and six year graduation rate. Retention and graduation rate goals were developed as a result of evaluation of institutional tend data and IPEDS annual reports.

To determine benchmarks or baseline data for retention and graduation rates, the institution reviewed historical data trends as well as similar information from peer institutions that have the same Carnegie Classification and comparable admissions criteria, student populations, and degree program inventory.

Student Retention and Graduation

The charts below indicate the goals set for student achievement by measuring first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students’ first to second year retention, first to third year retention, and six year graduation rates.


Fall 2015 to Fall 2020
1st to 2nd Year Retention Rate*
*First-Time, Full-Time, Degree-Seeking Students
Baseline Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Term of Data Fall 2015
Fall 2016
Fall 2016
Fall 2017
Fall 2017
Fall 2018
Fall 2018
Fall 2019
Fall 2019
Fall 2020
# in Fall Cohort 1,419 1,237 1,296
# Retained to
2nd Fall Semester
938 842 908
Rate 66.10% 68.1% 70.0%
Target Rate 67.0% 68.0% 69.0% 70.0%
Fall 2016 to Fall 2020
1st to 3rd Year Retention Rate*
*First Time, Full-Time, Degree-Seeking Students
baseline Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Term of Data Fall 2014
Fall 2016
Fall 2015
Fall 2017  
Fall 2016
Fall 2018
Fall 2017
Fall 2019
Fall 2018
Fall 2020
# in Fall Cohort 1,240 1,419 1,237
# Retained to 3rd Fall semester 667 755 721
Rate 53.60% 53.2% 58.2%
Target Rate 57.0% 58.5% 60.0% 61.5%
Fall 2016-Fall 2020
Six Year Graduation Rate*
*Same Institution Graduation Rate
baseline year 1 year 2 year 3 year 4
Term of Data Fall 2010 cohort through
Fall 2016
Fall 2011 cohort through Fall 2017 Fall 2012 cohort through Fall 2018 Fall 2013 cohort through Fall 2019 Fall 2014 cohort through Fall 2020
# in Fall Cohort 1,266 1,330 1,293
# Graduated within 150% of time 527 564 584
Rate 42.0% 42.4% 45.2%
Target Rate 45.0% 46.0% 47.0% 48.0%
*Same institution graduation rate as defined and reported by the NCES Graduation Rate Survey

Licensure Exam Passage Rates

Programs holding professional accreditation ensure student achievement by setting goals for passage rates on professional tests or certification exam scores in accordance with professional accreditation requirements. Historical data related to student achievement on exams is also evaluated to determine benchmarks for passage rates. The benchmarks are appropriate to the institution and its overall education mission for student achievement as they are congruent with the student achievement expectations of a nationally accredited program. All undergraduate teacher education programs students must pass the appropriate PRAXIS licensure exam as a prerequisite to student teaching. Therefore the baccalaureate education program graduates have 100% passage rates on the content area PRAXIS exams.

The charts below provide student achievement data relevant to licensure exams related to specific programs.

baseline/target Year Passage rate
BS Medical Laboratory Science
(First attempt pass rates)
80.0% 2012-2013 86.70%
80.0% 2013-2014 72.70%
80.0% 2014-2015 76.90%
80.0% 2015-2016 78.90%*
*The program initiated two additional review with appropriate content to effect improvement in student achievement.
baseline/target year passage rate
MSN Family Health Nurse Practitioner
90.0% 2012-2013 96.43%
90.0% 2013-2014 92.30%
90.0% 2014-2015 94.0%
90.0% 2015-2016 100.0%
baseline/target year passage rate
MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
90.0% 2012-2013 100.0%
90.0% 2013-2014 100.0%
90.0% 2014-2015 100.0%
90.0% 2015-2016 100.0%
baseline/target year passage rate
BS Nursing (RN) NCLEX-RN
80.0% 2012-2013 87.13%
80.0% 2013-2014 77.08%
80.0% 2014-2015 95.65%
80.0% 2015-2016 97.20%
baseline/target year passage rate
BS Radiologic Sciences
75.0% 2012-2013 100.0%
75.0% 2013-2014 95.0%
75.0% 2014-2015 100.0%
75.0% 2015-2016 100.0%
When benchmarks are met or surpassed, the program reviews curricula and course outcomes to ensure intergrity of content, reinforcement, and mastery continues to be taught.

Survey Data

McNeese State University uses the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to assist the University in determining whether its graduates are prepared to enter the workforce. Question 17b on the NSSE Surveys asks, “How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas: Acquiring job or work-related skills”. Results indicate that the mean score of McNeese undergraduate seniors for Question 17b was 3.0, which was the same as the other comparison groups: Peers in the University of Louisiana (ULS) System (mean of 3.0) and Institutions in the Master’s Carnegie Classification (mean of 3.0).

Question 17E
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas: acquiring job or work-related knowledge and skills. 2018
McNeese Mean Score 3.1
Peers in the University of Louisiana System 3.0
Louisiana Publics 2.9

McNeese also participates in the Student Achievement Measure (SAM).

The Student Achievement Measure (SAM) tracks student movement across postsecondary institutions to provide a more complete picture of undergraduate student progress and completion within the higher education system. SAM is an alternative to the federal graduation rate, which is limited to tracking the completion of first-time, full-time students at one institution. SAM tracks two cohorts: first-time, full-time students and full-time transfer students. It also provides the following percentiles for each group:

  • graduated; reporting institution,
  • transferred and graduated: other institution,
  • enrolled; reporting institution,
  • transferred and enrolled: other institution,
  • current status unknown.

All graduating students are encouraged to complete the GradFest Survey in the semester of graduation. The potential participants for 2017-18 were 1,320  students who graduated in the Summer 2017, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018 semesters. Of the 1,320 students who graduated,  responded to the survey for a response rate of 46.0%. 64.5% of graduates had already accepted a job; 30.8% have received an offer of employment; 64.6% were actively seeking employment.


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