Metric 1: One-Year Retention Rate, FTFT Associate Degree-Seeking Students
A retention rate is the percentage of students from a given cohort who graduated or were still enrolled at a USG institution within a specified term (for example, one year later). The total beginning cohort is the denominator of the rate; the number of students enrolled/graduated is the numerator of the rate calculation. Two rates are reported here – the institution-specific rate and the system-wide rate.
Institution-specific: For the institution-specific retention rate, the institution-specific number of cohort members enrolled or graduated is divided by the total cohort number.
System-wide: For the system-wide retention rate, the system-wide number of cohort members enrolled or graduated is divided by the total cohort number.
|First-Time Full-Time Associate Degree-Seeking Freshmen One-Year Retention Rates||Institution- Specific for
|Institution-Specific Rate for SGSC||System-Wide Rate for SGSC||Avg institution- specific rate for
all 8 USG state colleges
|Avg rate within the System for
all 8 USG state colleges
|Source: USG ADC Census; USG Retention Rate Reports - https://www.usg.edu/research/usgbythenumbers|
Analysis and Evaluation of Metric 1
The data in Metric 1 shows that the one-year institution-specific retention rate for SGSC’s FTFT associate degree-seeking students has remained consistent at a 47% six-year average from fall 2016 through fall 2021 cohorts, while the institution-specific average for all eight USG state colleges for the same period was 54%. The Georgia Highlands average for the period was 64%, well above the SGSC and System averages. SGSC’s goal is a one-year FTFT associate degree-seeking student retention rate of 55% for the fall 2025 student cohort, and the fall 2021 cohort rate of 50.3% is a good start from the 47% average for the previous five years.
While the SGSC-specific one-year retention rate for FTFT degree-seeking students has been consistently lower than the average for all eight USG state colleges, the one-year retention rate of former SGSC students within the USG over the six years averages 64%, while for the same period, the average for all USG state colleges is 62.5%. Given the AA and AS transfer mission of USG state colleges and the ease of transfer among USG institutions facilitated by a common core curriculum, it is significant that SGSC prepares students well for receiving institutions. SGSC’s goal is to maintain a one-year retention rate within the USG of 65% by the fall 2025 cohort.