Academics

Metric Two

Metric 2: Three-Year Graduation Rate, FTFT Associate Degree-Seeking Students

The three-year graduation rate data in the table below compares the five-year SGSC rates to the average rates for the same period for all eight USG state colleges. “Institution-specific” refers to students graduating from SGSC, “System-wide for SGSC” refers to former SGSC students who graduate from any USG institution, and “System-wide for all state colleges” refers to students who began at a USG institution, transferred to another USG institution, and graduated from the USG institution to which they transferred.

Table 2
First-Time Full-Time Associates Degree-Seeking Freshmen Three-Year Graduation Rates

Institution-Specific for All State Colleges

System-Wide for All State Colleges

Institution-Specific Rate for SGSC

System-Wide Rate for SGSC

(the average institution-specific rate for all 8 USG state colleges)

(rate within the System for all 8 USG state colleges)

Cohort

N Cohort

N Graduated

% Graduated

N Graduated

% Graduated

% Graduated

% Graduated

Fall 2013

878

105

11.96%

108

12.30%

13.4%

13.8%

Fall 2014

818

118

14.43%

123

15.04%

13.8%

14.2%

Fall 2015

910

120

13.19%

125

13.74%

15.2%

15.5%

Fall 2016

812

130

16.01%

132

16.26%

14.5%

14.8%

Fall 2017

768

147

19.14%

149

19.40%

15.6%

15.9%

Source: USG Graduation Rate Reports. https://www.usg.edu/research/usgbythenumbers

Analysis and Evaluation of Metric 2

The data in the table above shows that the three-year institution-specific graduation rate for SGSC’s FTFT associate degree-seeking students has increased for every cohort year but one (fall 2015) and is at a five-year average of 15%, while the institution-specific average for all eight USG state colleges is 14.5%. The rationale for an SGSC metric goal of a 20% three-year FTFT associate’s degree-seeking student graduation rate for the fall 2022 cohort is based on significant rate increases for the fall 2016 and 2017 cohorts. The minimum threshold of acceptability is at the current SGSC five-year average rate of 15%, even though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may contribute negatively to overall graduation rate. It is noteworthy that SGSC’s institution-specific graduation rate for the two most recent cohorts significantly exceeds the average graduation rate for all USG state colleges.

Not only does the SGSC three-year institution-specific graduation rate exceed the average for all USG state colleges, but the rate for the two most recent student cohorts of former SGSC students transferring to other USG state colleges (18%) far exceeds the average rate for all USG state college associate’s degree-seeking students transferring within the System (15%).

Given the A. A. and A. S. transfer mission of USG state colleges and the ease of transfer among USG institutions facilitated by a common core curriculum, it is clear that SGSC prepares students for continuation and completion of their academic pursuits as well as do other USG state colleges.