Connected Campus

4.1 Student Achievement

 

The 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 achievement of goals. 

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) documents successful student achievement in relation to its mission through enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates. It does not offer state licensing examinations nor requires student portfolios. The mission of MABTS is “to provide undergraduate and graduate theological training for effective service in church-related and missions vocations” [1].

 

The institution utilizes four specific sections in the life cycle of a student to assess his or her achievement. First, MABTS collects and disaggregates enrollment data (FTE) to evaluate success in “providing undergraduate and graduate theological training for effective service in church related and missions vocations” [1] as compared with comparable institutions (table 1). Second, the seminary tabulates the graduation rates by year, semester, and percentage (table 2). Third, the institution demonstrates a summary of graduates by the degrees awarded since its founding [2], and fourth MABTS tracks an analysis of first year retention rates to gauge entering student success (tables 3 and 4). Finally, the institution monitors job placement rates to assess the preparedness of each alumnus for the work force and the lasting contribution to the field of ministry, as discussed later in the narrative. The school is not involved in qualifying students for state licensing examinations or portfolios.

 

MABTS Enrollment Data (2010-13)

 

MABTS determines success regarding enrollment rates in two ways: 1) by tracking the enrollment rate of other institutions in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and 2) by tracking the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, national enrollment rates.

 

Tracking Enrollment Data of Other SBC Institutions. According to the 2014 SBC Annual Report [3], SBC Seminaries, with the addition of MABTS’s data, indicate that the cumulative enrollment rate experienced an average -1.26 decrease, as demonstrated in table 1. MABTS’ decrease of -7.61, while allowing for improvement, has closed the gap since the 2011 SBC Annual Report comparison when MABTS had a -29.66% difference compared to other seminaries [4].

 

Tracking the U. S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. MABTS evaluates its enrollment data by comparing it with the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, 2013 Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions Report [5]. Utilizing the graduate private nonprofit category as the standard, full time enrollment of 59.5% and part time enrollment of 40.5% [6], MABTS evaluates its own data and historical Full Time Equivalent (FTE) numbers.

FTE Comparison-Based upon the 2014 SBC Annual Report—MABTS Added

SBC Seminaries

 

 

 

Increase/

 

2012-13

2011-12

2010-2011

Decrease

Percent %

Difference

 

 

 

Enrollment

 

SWBTS

1497

1617

1734

-237

-13.66

SBTS

2000

1987

1877

123

6.55

NOBTS

1614

1576

1579

35

2.22

SEBTS

1588

1555

1482

106

7.15

GGBTS

561

575

621

-60

-9.66

MWBTS

507

604

550

-43

-7.82

MABTS

328

349

355

-27

-7.61

Cum. Total

8095

8263

8198

-103

-1.26

Table 1. FTE Comparison with Other SBC Institutions

 

In 2014-15, MABTS had a FTE of 268 with a total student enrollment of 411, which is a 65% FTE and a 35% part-time enrollment figure [7]. These percentages put MABTS 5.5% above the national average regarding FTEs and well below the average of part time students by the same percentage rate. Therefore, MABTS’s enrollment data exceeds the national average of postsecondary institutions under the graduate private nonprofit category by 5.5%. Yet, the institution has room to improve when compared to other SBC institutions. To further close the enrollment gap with like institutions, MABTS submitted a request to SACSCOC to offer all its degrees online and was approved on February 9, 2015 [8].

 

MABTS Graduation/Course Completion Rates (2010-2015)

 

MABTS determines success regarding graduation rates by averaging the rates of other institutions in the SBC. Data was available from four of the six SBC seminaries. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) averages a 71% graduation rate for undergraduates, 63% for MDiv students, 65% for all other Masters students, 74% for DMin, and 69% for research doctorates. Cumulatively, SBTS has a 68.4% graduation rate [8]. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), in 2007-08, averaged a 40.8% graduation rate for undergraduates, 59.7% for graduate degrees, and 57.8% for advanced graduate degrees [10]. SEBTS has a 52.8% overall graduation rate. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) averages a 21.75% graduation rate in the undergraduate degree [11], 38.63% in the graduate degrees [12], and 19.44% in the doctoral degrees [13]. From 2008-12, NOBTS has a 26.61% graduation rate. Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary (MWBTS) averages around a 16.7% graduation rate [14].  

 

The average graduation rate for four of the six SBC seminaries is 41%. Hence, MABTS’s criteria for success exceeds the average (see table 2).

 

The U.S. Department of Education statistics regarding institutional retention and graduation rates for undergraduate students for a four-year school is 59% [15]. The criteria for success at MABTS regarding graduation rates is to meet or exceed the national average. MABTS, as table 2 demonstrates, met the criteria in the 2014-15 school year.

MABTS Graduation Rate Criterion 2010-2015

Year

Fall

Spring

Graduates

Graduation

Matriculated

Matriculated

Rate %

2010-11

78

32

61

55%

2011-12

120

48

62

37%

2012-13

121

35

46

29%

2013-14

77

43

61

51%

2014-15

72

22

70

74%

 

Table 2. MABTS Graduation Rate

 

MABTS Retention Rate Criteria (2010-2015). As the latest numbers from the National Center of Educational Studies (NCES) reports, “The overall retention rate at a private for-profit 4 year institution was 51%.” However, there is a higher retention rate of 63% for a 4-year open admissions private nonprofit [16]. Table 3 below demonstrates that MABTS exceeded the national average of retention during the years of 2010-2015 with a cumulative retention rate of 70% at the main campus (7% above the national rate for open admissions for private nonprofit schools).

MABTS Retention Rate, Main Campus, Cordova, TN

 

 Fall Matriculated

Retained from previous Fall

MABTS Retention Rate (%)

US Department of Education National Retention Rate

 

2010-2011

69

51

74%

63%

2011-2012

113

68

59%

--

2012-2013

115

82

71%

--

2013-2014

63

46

73%

--

2014-2015

70

50

71%

--

MABTS Cumulative Retention Rate

70% (7.0 % Above the Rate)

Table 3. MABTS Main Campus Retention Rate

 

As table 4 highlights below, the New York campus fell below the average by 20%. To address the retention rate issue at the NY campus, a number of strategies have been instituted: (1) the institution addressed administrative performance issues that led to a loss of student retention, (2) changes were made to the curriculum and course scheduling to better suit current and potential students, (3) changes were made in course delivery systems (synchronous, asynchronous, and online), and (4) a new Northeast Campus director has been appointed.

 

MABTS Retention Rate, Northeast Campus, Schenectady, NY

 

 Fall Matriculated

Retained from previous Fall

MABTS Retention Rate (%)

US Department of Education National Retention Rate

 

2010-2011

9

6

67%

63%

2011-2012

7

3

43%

--

2012-2013

6

3

50%

--

2013-2014

14

3

21%

--

2014-2015

2

7

35%

 

MABTS Cumulative Retention Rate

43%

20% Below the Rate

Table 4. MABTS NE Retention Rate

 

Licensing Examinations

 

MABTS is not involved in qualifying students for state licensing examinations.

 

Job Placement

 

The Alumni and Church Relations office makes a concerted effort to obtain the most reliable job placement numbers at the time of graduation. Further, this office seeks to constantly maintain current job placement data of alumni beyond graduation. The Alumni and Church Relations office monitors ministry placement in several ways:

 

·      Graduate exit surveys [17] are administered allowing this office to: assess the graduates’ current employment situation; provide the graduates placement assistance; and remind the graduates of the resources available through this office. A total number of 115 graduates were reported for the academic year 2013-14. The total number that reported ministerial job placement at the time of graduation (academic year 2013-14) was 84%. The reported placement rate during the 2013-14 academic year was 73%.

 

·      An alumni survey [18] was conducted in 2015 to determine the percentage of alumni currently serving in a ministry related occupation. The survey revealed that 81.11% of respondents (n=434) served in a ministerial related position. The result is alumni continue to successfully find ministerial job placement after graduation. The Office of Alumni and Church Relations will continue to monitor the job placement rate of graduates and seek ways to communicate the assistance offered by this office.

 

·      The Alumni and Church Relations office continues to analyze and revise alumni job placement via online updates in SonisWeb [19] and through personal contact at state conventions, state conferences, and campus activities. Alumni information is updated and stored utilizing Excel spreadsheets [20], SonisWeb, and categorized physical data.

 

Job Placement Rates. The Alumni and Church Relations office makes a concerted effort to document and evaluate the most reliable job placement numbers of graduates. The criteria referenced are appropriate for the institution and allow the seminary to maintain a longitudinal perspective of the job placement of students at graduation and post graduation. The findings are used to evaluate the general effectiveness of the office of Alumni and Church Relations in assisting both students and graduates in ministerial job placement. The expected threshold of achievement is that students and graduates who seek job placement in a church-related ministry would find a place of service. Job placement data is used to evaluate placement trends, allowing the office to evaluate the means and methods used to assist students in this endeavor. 

 

MABTS monitors ministry placement rates in several ways:

 

·      Graduate exit surveys [21] are administered allowing the office to: assess the graduates’ employment situation at the time of graduation; provide the graduates placement assistance; remind the graduates of the resources available through this office; and monitor ministerial job placement trends. The average job placement rate at the time of graduation from December 2011—December 2014 was 73.7%.

 

  • A total number of 21 graduate surveys were collected for December 2011. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 18. The reported placement rate was 85.7%.
     
  • A total number of 36 graduate surveys were collected for May 2012. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 27. The reported placement rate was 75%.
     
  • A total number of 12 graduate surveys were collected for December 2012. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 8. The reported placement rate was 66.6%.
     
  • A total number of 30 graduate surveys were collected for May 2013. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 21. The reported placement rate was 70%.
     
  • A total number of 21 graduate surveys were collected for December 2013. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 15. The reported placement rate was 71.4%.
     
  • A total number of 38 graduate surveys were collected for May 2014. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 30. The reported placement rate was 78.3%.
     
  • A total number of 26 graduate surveys were collected for December 2014. The total number that reported job placement at the time of graduation was 18. The reported placement rate was 69.2%.

 

·      An alumni survey [22] was conducted in 2015. This longitudinal survey (graduation years 1975-2015) reported that 81.11% of all alumni respondents currently serve in a ministerial position.

 

·      The Alumni and Church Relations office continues to analyze and revise alumni job placement via online updates [23] and through personal contact at state conventions, state conferences, and campus activities. 

 

·      Alumni information is updated and stored utilizing Excel spreadsheets, SonisWeb [24], and categorized physical data.

 

Documentation

 

1. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 8-9

2. 2014-15 MABT Fact Book, p. 18-20

3. 2014 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Report

4. 2014 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Report, p. 192-93

5. Institute for Education Sciences (IES) Postsecondary Institutions Fall 2013 Report

6. IES Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2013 Report, p. 5

7. MABTS Registrar’s Report, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, and FTE Reports

8. SACSCOC Letter of Approval for Online Degrees, February 2015

9. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Educational Effectiveness Report

10. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) Graduation Rates/Accreditation Report

11. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) Associate/Bachelor Retention Reports

12. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) Master Degrees Retention Reports

13. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) Doctoral Degree Retention Reports

14. Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary (MWBTS) Graduation Rate

15. IES Graduation and Retention Rate, May 2014

16. IES Graduation and Retention Rate, May 2014

17. MABTS Graduate Survey

18. MABTS Alumni Survey, 2015

19. MABTS SonisWeb Alumni Information

20. MABTS Excel Alumni Information

21. MABTS Graduate Survey

22. MABTS Alumni Survey, 2015

23. MABTS SonisWeb Alumni Information

24. MABTS Excel Alumni Information

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