To achieve its mission to help students reach their full potential and become educated citizens and worldwide servant-leaders, the university must first retain its students. Therefore, the university pays careful attention to undergraduate retention rates, particularly the Freshman to Sophomore retention rate. The Retention and Student Success Subcommittee, part of the standing Enrollment Management Committee, sets yearly goals, evaluates outcomes, and creates improvement plans. The committee uses traditional IPEDS data for this process. Specifically, Enrollment Management, as described in the strategic plan, Acorns to Oaks, uses a university-wide initiative, Moving the Needle—Credo, to increase retention through professional development for faculty, enrichment of the first-year experience, and quality advising. In addition, the Enrollment Management committee sets and annually reviews the Freshmen to the Sophomore retention goal, which is currently an aspirational rate of 75% to be achieved by 2025 with a minimum threshold of 65%.
Carson-Newman University set an aspirational six-year graduation rate of 57% in 2020 with a minimum threshold of 47%. The Retention and Student Success Subcommittee, part of the standing Enrollment Management Committee, is responsible for setting yearly goals, evaluating outcomes, and creating improvement plans. The committee uses traditional IPEDs data for this process. Using IPED data allows for comparisons with similar institutions.
While retention and graduation rates help C-N accomplish its mission to help students become educated citizens, the student service rate goal and outcomes address our mission to help students become servant leaders. The university set an aspirational service rate goal that 80% of undergraduate students would complete a service, service-learning, and civic engagement experience before graduation with a minimum threshold of 70%. The Community Service and Service-Learning committee, a standing committee, is responsible for setting goals, evaluating outcomes, and creating improvement plans. The committee gathers data from a variety of places, including records of student involvement in service-oriented Community Life and Worship events like Operation Inasmuch, academic service-learning courses, and the Center for Community Engagement’s scholarship programs: Bonner Scholars, Faith and Justice Scholars, Community Connections, Service Corps, and Eagles Engage.