Institutional Commitment to Student Achievement

Indicators and Targets by School and Program

St. Thomas evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. These efforts are linked to the mission in the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan through its goal: “St. Thomas will graduate academically superior students prepared for professional success.” These ongoing efforts to document and improve student achievement are linked to the academic programs. In 2012, the dean and faculty of each college/school identified a set of appropriate indicators of student achievement and targets for each indicator at the program level.

These indicators include enrollment data; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; qualifying examination pass rates; and graduate school placement rate. The dean and faculty of each college/school review these indicators and their targets on an annual basis and use the results of these reviews to improve a program (See links to annual reports at end of this narrative.)


Biscayne College. In Biscayne College, student achievement is measured and evaluated by tracking enrollment and job placement rates in the undergraduate programs. Enrollment and qualifying examination passage rate are used for the three graduate programs (see Table 1).


Table 1
Biscayne College Student Achievement by Program, Indicator, and Target


Program Enrollment Target Job Placement Target Qualifying Examination Target
BA Criminal Justice 104 61%
BA English 38 71%  
BA History 14 52%  
BA Liberal Studies 20 62%  
BA Political Science 52 55%  
BA Psychology 86 65%  
MS Guidance Counseling 28   88%
MS Marriage and Family Therapy 52   63%
MS Mental Health Counseling 30   72%


Enrollment. These targets are based on the average enrollment calculated over the past three years combined with a 2 percent growth target. Any program that falls under the threshold of 20 students is closely monitored and subject to program review annually.

Job Placement. Job placement data are gathered from the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) Annual Accountability Reports. The benchmarks are derived from three-year average placement rates combined with a 2 percent growth target.

Qualifying Examination. Student achievement in the MS in Guidance and Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, and the MS in Mental Health Counseling is measured through pass rates on the comprehensive exams. These target passage rates are based on three-year average pass rates combined with a 2 percent growth target.

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School of Business. The School of Business uses enrollment and job placement to track student achievement for its undergraduate programs and the Masters of Accounting. Enrollment and qualifying examinations are used to track student achievement in its graduate programs (see Table 2).


Table 2
School of Business Student Achievement by Program, Indicator, and Target


Program Enrollment Target Job Placement Target Qualifying Examination Target
BA Business 20 55%
BA Economics 10 75%  
BBA Accounting 37 64%  
BBA Finance 22 70%  
BBA International Business 34 41%  
BBA Management 89 47%  
BBA/BA Sports Administration 58 73%  
BBA Tourism & Hospitality 15 75%  
Master of Accounting (MAC) 28 65%  
Master of Business Administration (MBA) 97   83%
Master of International Business (MIB) 18   92%
MS Management 58   97%
MS Sports Administration 27   86%

Enrollment. Enrollment is used as an indicator for all undergraduate and graduate programs. The enrollment targets were established based upon an average enrollment for the last 5 years. The BA in Economics is a new program with a current enrollment of three students. The enrollment target of 10 students for this program reflects the rigor of the program.

Job Placement. Target figures for each undergraduate’s job placement are based on information from the Accountability Reports produced annually by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida and adjusted to reflect current conditions. For example, the job placement percentage in these reports for the BA Economics was 100 percent. This program is new with few graduates so its target figure was adjusted to 75 percent.

Qualifying Examination. Four of its master’s degree programs use a comprehensive examination as a graduation requirement. These examinations are administered four times each year and give students the opportunity to use their critical thinking and knowledge of the discipline. The 2011 pass rates for these programs were aggregated to create each program’s target passage rate.

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School of Law. At the School of Law, student achievement is measured and evaluated through tracking enrollment of the first year class, overall enrollment, preparation of research papers, and licensing examination pass rates, job placement, and preparation of research papers (see Table 3).


Table 3
School of Law Student Achievement by Program, Indicator, and Target


Program Enrollment Target Licensing Examination Target Job Placement Target Thesis/Dissertation Target
Juris Doctor (JD) 670 80% 75% N/A
LLM Environmental Sustainability 10 100% N/A 100%
LLM Intercultural Human Rights 32 N/A N/A 100%
JSD Intercultural Human Rights 14 N/A N/A 100%

Enrollment Target. The enrollment target for the JD program is 690 students. This enrollment target reflects the down turn in law school applications over the past few years. The LLM in Environmental Sustainability is a new program whose enrollment target has been set at 10 students. The enrollment targets for the LLM and JSD in Intercultural Human Rights are based on an average enrollment based on enrollments over the last 4 years.

Licensing Examination Target. The School of Law faculty adopted the competencies covered in the Florida Bar Examination as the basis for measuring student achievement for the Juris Doctor program and joint degree programs The average pass rate on the Florida Bar Examination for the first-time taker from St. Thomas to be within five percent (5 percent) of or to exceed the state average for each administration. A target of 80% has been set based on past performance. All graduates of the LLM program are expected to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credential from the US Green Building Council.

Job Placement Target. The School of Law’s Career Services Office staff collects data for the graduates in the JD program whose employment status is known at nine months after graduation. This data can be an indicator of student achievement for the School of Law’s JD and joint degree graduates but the current employment market makes it an unreliable indicator. The current job placement target reflects these conditions. The percentages of graduates who are either employed or in graduate school after nine months have been combined to create this target.

Thesis/Dissertation Target. All LLM in Environmental Sustainability will submit a paper to the Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section’s Annual Maloney Writing Competition. All LLM in Intercultural Human Rights are expected to write an acceptable thesis based on the guidelines in the current School of Law catalog. All JSD in Intercultural Human Rights are expected to write and defend a dissertation based on the guidelines in the current School of Law catalog.

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School of Arts and Education. In the School of Arts and Education, student achievement is measured and evaluated by tracking enrollment and job placement rates for its undergraduate and graduate programs (see Table 4).


Table 4
School of Arts and Education Student Achievement by Program, Indicator, and Target


Program Enrollment Target Job Placement Target
BA Communication Arts 58 50%
BA Elementary Education 38 86%
BA Health Records and Information Management 20 100%
BA Organizational Leadership 133 58%
BS Fire and Emergency Management 15 N/A
MA Communication Arts 24 80%
MS Education 31 94%
MS Special Education 30 89%
MPS Executive Management 33 79%
EdD Leadership and Managmeent 33 N/A

Enrollment. These targets are based on the average enrollment calculated over the past three years. Any program that falls under the threshold of 20 students is closely monitored and subject to program review annually. The BA in Health Records and Information Management and BS in Fire Science Management are new online programs that are building enrollment based on needs in the workforce.

Job Placement. Job placement targets are based on information reported in the ICUF annual accountability reports. The target for each program is based on a three-year average or reported percentages. The BA in Communication Arts job placement target has been set at 50% due to the recent downturn in jobs openings related to this degree. The BS in Fire and Emergency Management and the EdD in Leadership and Management have not yet been added to this annual report.

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School of Science, Technology, and Engineering Management. The School of Science, Technology, and Engineering Management tracks student achievement using enrollment, student research, job placement, and graduate school placement (see Table 5).


Table 5
School of Science, Technology, and Engineering Management Student Achievement by Program


Program Enrollment Target Student Portfolio/ Research Target Graduate School Placement Target Job Placement Target
BS Biology 130 5 80% 20%
BS Chemistry 14 1 80% 20%
BS Computer Science 10 1 80% 20%
BS Mathematics 10 1 80% 20%

Enrollment. The target for this indicator for each program was established using the average of the enrollments for the previous three years.

Portfolio/ Research. Because the focus of these programs is to provide opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research, the target is the number of students that appear as co-authors on peer-reviewed papers. For example, the target for the BS Biology is to have 5 undergraduates as co-authors on peer-reviewed papers during each academic year.

Graduate School/ Professional Degree. The focus of the undergraduate degree programs is to prepare students to attend science-related graduate programs. A graduate school target of 80 percent for each program is based on this expectation.

Job Placement. While the focus of the undergraduate degree programs is to prepare students to attend science-related graduate programs, each program’s focus on research also prepares graduate for employment. A job placement target of 20 percent for each program is based on this expectation.

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School of Theology and Ministry. The School of Theology and Ministry offers one undergraduate degree (BA Religious Studies) and three graduate degrees (MA Pastoral Ministries, Master of Divinity, and the PhD in Practical Theology). Student achievement in these programs has been tracked through enrollment and job placement (see Table 6).


Table 6
School of Theology & Ministry Student Achievement by Program, Indicator, and Target


Program Enrollment Target Job Placement Target
BA Religious Studies 15 50%
MA Pastoral Ministries 35 60%
Masters of Divinity 19 N/A
PhD Practical Theology 12 90%

Enrollment. The enrollment target for each program is based on the average enrollment over past three years. Any program that falls under a threshold of 10 students is closely monitored and subject to program review annually.

Job Placement. Job placement data is reported by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida’s (ICUF) in its annual accountability reports. The job placement targets for the BA in Religious Studies, the MA in Pastoral Ministries, and the PhD in Practical Theology are based on an analysis of their reported placement rates over the past three years.

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