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Institutional Research

Key Performance Indicators

Retention Rates

The National Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)* defines full-time retention rates as the number of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who enter the institution for the first-time in the fall and who return to the same institution the following fall (as either full- or part-time), divided by the total number of full-time, first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates in the fall of first entrance.  For 4-year institutions offering a bachelor's degree, this rate is reported only for those first-time students seeking a bachelor's degree

Reporting Year Total Students # Returned Second Year % Returned Second Year
2013 188 159 85%
2012 266 207 78%
2011 268 200 75%
2010 235 175 74%
2009 190 142 75%
2008 226 166 73%
2007 244 173 71%
2006 247 176 71%
2005 280 204 73%
2004 251 183 73%
2003 294 196 67%

*IPEDS Data Feedback Report

In 2012 and 2013, PUC experienced noteable increase in retention rates. As a result, the current PUC retention rate is above both the nationwide median for private non-profit colleges and universities, and the median for the Adventist colleges and universities in North America.

Graduation Rates

IPEDS Definition**: Graduation rates are those developed to satisfy the requirements of the Student Right-to-Know and Higher Education Opportunity Acts and are defined as the total number of individuals from a given cohort of full-time, first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates who completed a degree or certificate within a given percent of normal time (for the degree or certificate), divided by the entire cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates minus any allowable exclusions.

Due to concerns regarding data accuracy prior to 2008, we are only reporting graduation rates for the past six years:

Reporting Year Total Students Total Graduated 150% Time % Graduated 150% Time
2013 292  130 45%
2012 314 136 43%
2011 313 154 49%
2010 353 143 41%
2009 308 155 50%
2008 348 161 46%

We expect that increased retention (see the first table on this page) will result in the increase of the graduation rates as well. However, we need to mention here that the current IPEDS definition of graduation rates can be faulted for its inability to describe true student success in cases of high student mobility. Adventist colleges and universities tend to have comparatively lower graduation rates precisely because of high student mobility since they serve a national and international denominational constituency. PUC's transfer-out rate is above 40%, which is above the median for both national private non-profit institutions and Adventist institutions. At the same time, approximately equal numbers of students transfer in. As a result,the size of a typical PUC graduating class is about 70% of the size of its freshman class.

**Ibid

Time to Completion

(Students who completed a bachelor's degree)

Reporting Year Total Number of Completers Average Years of Completion Average Quarters for Completion
2013 103 4.44 13.33
2012 109 4.45 13.36
2011 128 4.45 13.34
2010 106 4.42 13.27
2009 128 4.41 13.22
2008 133 4.43 13.28
Reporting Year Total Number of Completers Number Completed within 4 Years Percent Completed within 4 Years
2013 103 58 53%
2012 109 58 53%
2011 128 69 54%
2010 106 65 61%
2009 128 76 59%
2008 133 83 62%

As the Time to Completion tables demonstrate, about half of all graduates graduate after four years of study. The average time to complete a bachelor's degree is about 4.5 years or 13-14 quarters. The main reason for longer time spent in college is a student's decision to change a program of study. Time spent in obtaining a degree also increases when students come underprepared and have to take remedial courses.

 

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

In the spring of 2013, PUC participated for the third time in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Below are some noteworthy findings. PUC's results were compared with three comparison groups: SDA Consortium, which is a group of 8 Seventh-day Adventist colleges in North America; Far West KIT Group, which is a group of 11 members of Council of Independent Colleges from the Far West region participating in NSSE 2013; Aspirational Group, which is the group of 6 colleges with similar admission criteria and freshman class characteristics, but higher retention and graduation rates.

The tables below display the five questions on which PUC's first-year and senior students scored the highest and the five questions on which they scored the lowest, relative to students in the SDA Consortium group. The numbers in the tables represent differences in percentages for the numbers of students reporting high levels of engagement. Differences with other comparison groups for the same questions are also provided.

Highest Performing Relative to SDA Consortium: First-Year Students

  SDA Consortium Far West KIT Group Aspirational Group
My institution emphasizes... providing support to help students succeed academically +9 +3 +2
My instructors… clearly explained course goals and requirements +8 +1 0
How often have you had discussions with ... people with religious beliefs other than your own? +7 -7 0
Participated in a learning community or some other formal program where groups of students take two or more classes together +6 +2 +6
My institution emphasizes... using learning support services (tutoring services, writing center, etc.) +6 +2 -1

 

Lowest Performing Relative to SDA Consortium: First-Year Students

  SDA Consortium Far West KIT Group Aspirational Group
How often have you... reviewed your notes after class? -8 -12 -11
How often have you... discussed your academic performance with a faculty member? -8 -5 -10
Participated in an internship, co-op, field experience, student teaching, or clinical placement.* -9 -7 -6
How often have you... prepared for exams by discussing or working through course material with other students? -9 -14 -13
About how many…courses have included a community-based project (service-learning)?* -14 -7 -20

* Such activities at PUC are usually performed past the first year of study.

 

Highest Performing Relative to SDA Consortium: Seniors

  SDA Consortium Far West KIT Group Aspirational Group
How often have you had discussions with ... people with religious beliefs other than your own? +18 +5 +8
My instructors… Provided prompt and detailed feedback on tests or completed assignments. +12 +3 +1
How often have you... discussed course topics, ideas, or concepts with a faculty member outside of class? +11 +7 +7
How much has your coursework emphasized... analyzing an idea, experience, or line of reasoning in depth by examining its parts +11 +3 +1
My institution emphasizes... using learning support services (tutoring services, writing center, etc.) +11 +12 +8

 

Lowest Performing Relative to SDA Consortium: Seniors

  SDA Consortium Far West KIT Group Aspirational Group
Quality of interactions with… student services staff... -5 -13 -12
How often have you... asked another student to help you understand course material? -6 -6 -5
About how many…courses have included a community-based project (service-learning)? -7 +4 -1
Participated in a study abroad program -9 -12 -1
Quality of interactions with… other [than student services] administrative staff and offices... -10 -21 -24

 

The highest and lowest comparative scores in the tables above are presented here as a sample of questions. To summarize the entire survey, student responses to these and many other questions were combined into ten indexes called "engagement indicators." The following tables (provided by the NSSE summary report) show how PUC freshmen and seniors compare with the survey comparison groups in terms of these summary scores.

 

Engagement Indicators: First Year Students

Theme Engagement Indicator Your FY students
compared with
SDA Consortium
Your FY students
compared with
Peer Group
Your FY students
compared with
Aspirational Group
Academic
Challenge
Higher-Order Learning -- -- --
Reflective and Integrative Learning -- -- --
Learning Strategies -- -- --
Quantitative Reasoning -- -- --
Learning with
Peers
Collaborative Learning -- -- --
Discussions with Diverse Others -- -- --
Experiences
with Faculty
Student-Faculty Interaction -- -- --
Effective Teaching Practices -- -- --
Campus
Environment
Quality of Interactions -- -- --
Supportive Environment -- -- --

 

Engagement Indicators: Seniors

Theme Engagement Indicator Your FY students
compared with
SDA Consortium
Your FY students
compared with
Peer Group
Your FY students
compared with
Aspirational Group
Academic
Challenge
Higher-Order Learning Solid Blue -- --
Reflective and Integrative Learning -- -- --
Learning Strategies -- -- --
Quantitative Reasoning -- -- --
Learning with
Peers
Collaborative Learning -- -- --
Discussions with Diverse Others Blue Blue Blue
Experiences
with Faculty
Student-Faculty Interaction Blue -- --
Effective Teaching Practices -- -- Purple
Campus
Environment
Quality of Interactions -- -- Purple
Supportive Environment Solid Blue -- --
  • Solid Blue Your students’ average was significantly higher (p<.05) with an effect size at least .3 in magnitude.
  • Blue Your students’ average was significantly higher (p<.05) with an effect size less than .3 in magnitude.
  • -- No significant difference.
  • Purple Your students’ average was significantly lower (p<.05) with an effect size less than .3 in magnitude.
  • Solid Purple Your students’ average was significantly lower (p<.05) with an effect size at least .3 in magnitude.

The tables above demonstrate that while the level of engagement of PUC's freshmen is not significantly different than the level of freshmen in comparison groups, PUC's seniors demonstrate some significant differences. Compared to the SDA Consortium's average, PUC students indicate higher levels of higher order learning, student-faculty interaction, and supportive campus environment. The forth “above the average” indicator, “Discussions with Diverse Others” is also higher in comparison with two other groups, which is natural given the fact that PUC is the third most diverse national liberal arts college. There are no other significant differences with the Peer Group. Students in the Aspirational Group report higher levels of effective teaching practices and quality of interactions, which is not surprising since these institutions exhibit higher retention and graduation rates. These are the areas that PUC should pay special attention to.

The tables below compare PUC's freshmen and seniors with the average of the top 50% and top 10% of NSSE performers among all institutions participating in NSSE 2013 nationwide. Statistically significant differences are marked with asterisks. Checkmarks signify those comparisons where PUC's average is at least comparable to that of the high-performing group. “At least” here means that it may be higher. For freshmen, all PUC scores are lower (although, not significantly for the majority), so asterisks do not appear where there is a checkmark, or vice versa. Note also that being comparable to the average of the NSSE Top 50% group actually means being at a level near the middle of this group, possibly close to 75%.

Comparison with Top 50% and Top 10%: First-Year Students

      PUC first-year students compared with
    PUC NSSE 2013 Top 50% NSSE 2013 Top 10%
Theme Engagement Indicator Mean Mean Effect size Mean Effective size
Academic
Challenge
Higher-Order Learning 39.6 40.9 -.09 42.7 -.23
Reflective
and Integrative Learning
35.1 37.6 -.20 39.4 ** -.34  
Learning Strategies 37.8 41.8 * -.29   44.3 *** -.46  
Quantitative Reasoning 24.2 28.8 * -.28   30.5 *** -.39  
Learning with
Peers
Collaborative Learning 31.4 34.5 -.22 37.1 *** -.42  
Discussions
with Diverse Others
42.1 43.2 -.07 45.7 * -.24  
Experiences
with Faculty
Student-Faculty Interaction 22.6 23.4 -.06 26.7 * -.25  
Effective Teaching Practices 40.8 42.8 -.15 44.7 * -.28  
Campus
Environment
Quality of Interactions 42.7 44.3 -.14 46.3 * -.30  
Supportive Environment 37.9 39.5 -.12 41.4 * -.27  

 

Comparison with Top 50% and Top 10%: Seniors

      PUC seniors compared with
    PUC NSSE 2013 Top 50% NSSE 2013 Top 10%
Theme Engagement Indicator Mean Mean Effect size Mean Effective size
Academic
Challenge
Higher-Order Learning 43.9 43.5 .03 45.3 -.10
Reflective
and Integrative Learning
39.8 41.1 -.10 43.1 * -.26  
Learning Strategies 41.9 43.2 -.09 45.4 * -.25  
Quantitative Reasoning 29.5 31.1 -.10 32.5 -.18
Learning with
Peers
Collaborative Learning 32.2 35.0 * -.20   37.5 *** -.39  
Discussions
with Diverse Others
47.2 44.1 * .19 45.8 .09
Experiences
with Faculty
Student-Faculty Interaction 29.7 29.7 .00 34.6 ** -.30  
Effective Teaching Practices 40.7 43.3 -.19 45.3 ** -.34  
Campus
Environment
Quality of Interactions 42.8 45.8 * -.26   47.6 *** -.42  
Supportive Environment 37.5 36.2 .10 39.1 -.12

 

 

Measures of Academic Proficiency and Progress (ETS® Proficiency Profile)

The ETS® Proficiency Profile was developed to measure and demonstrate the outcomes of general education programs in order to help institutions improve the quality of instruction and learning. This test is administered to PUC seniors. Below are the results of the most recent test in comparison to nationwide data for four-year colleges and universities.*

2013 Summary of PUC Scaled Scores

  Possible Range Mean Score National Mean Standard Deviation 25th Percentile 50th Percentile 75th Percentile
Total Score 400 to 500 454.44 447.8 20.2 433 446 462
Skills Subscores:
Critical Thinking 100 to 130 114.36 112.8 6.5 108 112 117
Reading 100 to 130 120.27 119.0 6.8 114 120 124
Writing 100 to 130 117.04 114.9 4.9 112 115 118
Mathematics 100 to 130 116.86 114.2 6.3 109 114 119
Context-Based Subscores:
Humanities 100 to 130 118.21 115.7 6.6 111 115 120
Social Sciences 100 to 130 115.01 114.4 6.3 110 114 120
Natural Sciences 100 to 130 117.51 116.1 5.8 112 117 121

 

Distribution of Institutional Mean Total Scores (Colleges and Universities Nationwide*)

The table below shows the distribution of institutional mean total scores for all participating four-year colleges and universities to provide the context for PUC's results. PUC is at the 79th percentile, which means that 79 percent of all participating institutions have total scores lower than PUC.

Mean Scaled Score Number of Institutions % of Institutions Below
470 to 500.00 2 99
469 to 469.99 1 99
468 to 468.99 1 98
467 to 467.99 0 98
466 to 466.99 2 98
465 to 465.99 0 98
464 to 464.99 1 97
463 to 463.99 3 96
462 to 462.99 3 95
461 to 461.99 3 94
460 to 460.99 4 92
459 to 459.99 7 89
458 to 458.99 7 87
457 to 457.99 6 84
456 to 456.99 6 82
455 to 455.99 4 80
454 to 454.99 4 79
453 to 453.99 7 76
452 to 452.99 9 72
451 to 451.99 6 70
450 to 450.99 10 66
449 to 449.99 23 57
448 to 448.99 22 48
447 to 447.99 16 42
446 to 446.99 8 38
445 to 445.99 12 34
444 to 444.99 15 28
443 to 443.99 9 24
442 to 442.99 11 20
441 to 441.99 8 17
440 to 440.99 3 15
439 to 439.99 5 13
438 to 438.99 7 11
437 to 437.99 0 11
436 to 436.99 3 10
435 to 435.99 2 9
434 to 434.99 4 7
433 to 433.99 3 6
432 to 432.99 1 6
431 to 431.99 1 5
430 to 430.99 3 4
429 to 429.99 0 4
428 to 428.99 2 3
427 to 427.99 3 2
426 to 426.99 0 2
425 to 425.99 2 1
400 to 424.99 3 0
     
Total Number of Institutions 252  
Mean 447.89  
Standard Deviation 8.87  

 

2013 Summary of PUC Proficiency Classifications

The skills measured by the ETS® Proficiency Profile test are grouped into proficiency levels - three proficiency levels for writing, three for mathematics, and three for the combined set of skills involved in reading and critical thinking. The table shows the percentage of students who are proficient, marginal, and not proficient at each proficiency level in reading and critical thinking, writing, and mathematics. A student classified as marginal is one whose test results do not provide enough evidence to classify the student either as proficient or as not proficient. Every category is followed by nationwide averages for four-year colleges and universities.***

Skill Dimension Proficiency Classification
  Proficient - PUC Proficient - Nation Marginal - PUC Marginal - Nation Not Proficient - PUC Not Proficient - Nation
Reading, Level 1 75% 71% 14% 17% 11% 13%
Reading, Level 2 45% 42% 26% 20% 29% 38%
Critical Thinking 11% 8% 24% 21% 65% 71%
Writing, Level 1 74% 67% 23% 24% 3% 9%
Writing, Level 2 31% 23% 40% 37% 29% 40%
Writing, Level 3 14% 10% 38% 28% 48% 62%
Mathematics, Level 1 75% 60% 16% 23% 9% 17%
Mathematics, Level 2 46% 34% 28% 26% 26% 41%
Mathematics, Level 3 13% 10% 26% 19% 61% 72%

 

*** Nationwide data and methodology can be found at http://www.ets.org/proficiencyprofile/about