Federal Requirement 4.1The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. Criteria may include enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; or other means of demonstrating student achievement.
_X_ Compliance ___ Non-Compliance
NarrativeMcNeese State University's compliance with FR 4.1 is best captured by the annual completion of its Louisiana GRAD Act report. In 2010, the Louisiana Legislature passed legislation titled Granting Resources and Autonomy for Diplomas (Act 741, amended 2011 with Act 418). The Louisiana GRAD Act provides that if institutions meet certain performance criteria, they may be granted the autonomy to raise tuition up to 10% and earn other related operational autonomies. Currently, the legislature in Louisiana holds the authority for institutions to raise tuition. McNeese's mission specifies our service area and priorities. These include residents of Southwest Louisiana; Two-year transfers from the Community-college in our region; employers; economic development; and cultural growth. The GRAD Act identifies four categories of performance in support of institutions' missions: Student Success; Articulation and Transfer; Workforce and Economic Development; and Institutional Efficiency and Accountability.
GRAD Act measures include three types: targeted, where benchmarks must be met to achieve funding and autonomy; tracked, and descriptive. Specific targeted measures related to student success include:
- 1st to 2nd year retention rate;
- 1st to 3rd year retention rate;
- Same institution graduation rate;
- Award productivity (i.e. calculates number of degrees/certificates awarded per FTE enrollment--undergraduate only)
- Percentage change in number of completers from baseline year (all award levels).
For the upcoming 2013 report (submitted to the Louisiana Board of Regents in May 2013), additional targeted measures related to student success will include the following markers:
- Passage rate on licensure exam in Education;
- 1st to 2nd year retention rate of full-time, baccalaureate degree-seeking transfer students with a minimum student level of sophomore.
The narrative in each annual report document on-campus activities and programs designed to reach GRAD Act performance criteria. The narratives also include data on these activities and programs so that McNeese can determine their effectiveness with respect to the specified outcome.
In addition to the GRAD Act for the Louisiana Board of Regents, Legislature, and State of Louisiana, McNeese also tracks student success in its Operational and Strategic Plan as part of the Louisiana Performance Accountability System (LaPAS) submitted to the University of Louisiana System. The purpose of LaPAS is to set performance standards and track accountability and performance. The UL System coordinates these results with the Louisiana Division of Administration's Office of Planning and Budget as part of institutions' formula funding. Student success measures as reported in the Operational Plan for FY 2013-2014 include the following:
- Maintain the fall 14th class day headcount enrollment at McNeese State University at the Fall 2009 baseline level of 8645 to the Fall 2014;
- Increase the percentage of first-time in college, full-time, degree-seeking students retained to the second Fall at McNeese State University of initial enrollment by 2.2 percentage points from the Fall 2008 cohort (to Fall 2009) baseline level of 67.5 to 69.7 by Fall 2014 (retention of Fall 2013 cohort);
- Increase the percentage of first-time in college, full-time, degree-seeking students retained to the third Fall at McNeese State University of initial enrollment by 3.2 percentage points from the Fall 2007 cohort (to Fall 2009) baseline level of 54.0% to 57.2 % by Fall 2014 (retention of Fall 2012 cohort);
- Increase the Graduation Rate (defined and reported in the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) Graduation Rate Survey (GRS)) - baseline year rate (Fall 2002 cohort for Four Year Universities) of 36.0% to 36.5% by 2014-15 (Fall 2007 cohort) at McNeese State University;
- Decrease* the total number of completers for all award levels in a given academic year from the baseline year number of 1329 in 2008-09 academic year to 1320 in academic year 2013-14 at McNeese. Students may only be counted once per award level.
Supporting Documentation--LA GRAD ActMcNeese GRAD Act Report 2011
McNeese GRAD Act Report 2012
McNeese GRAD Act Part D--new targets--for 2013
Louisiana Board of Regents GRAD Act website
University of Louisiana System GRAD Act website
Supporting Documentation--LAPAS Operational & Strategic PlanLaPAS Five-Year Operational and Strategic Plan FY2011-12 through FY2015-16
*Clearly, it is not McNeese's desire to decrease completers; however, for performance funding reasons we had to set our completer targets as lower than baseline due to two convergent factors: 1. a higher than normal number of completers in the baseline year due to stop-outs and returns from 2005 Hurricane Katrina, and subsequent increases in admission standards which were expected to negatively impact enrollment.