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Student Achievement


The University of West Alabama (UWA) identifies, evaluates, and publishes goals and outcomes for student achievement appropriate to its mission, the nature of the students it serves, and the kinds of programs offered.  

Mission of the University

The mission statement of the University of West Alabama is: 
Enriching lives through education, service, and outreach.

Vision Statement of the University

The vision statement of the University is: 
To offer quality education and effective services while establishing a model for leadership in our region and beyond

Achievement Measures

UWA uses multiple measures to document student success including, but not limited to, the following: National Student Clearinghouse 6-Year degree completion rates, UWA graduation rates, UWA retention rates, state and national licensure examinations, and job placement rates. The following measures are presented to represent student achievement at the University of West Alabama

National Student Clearinghouse 6-Year Total Completion Rate (150% standard time)

In 2018, the University of West Alabama selected the National Student Clearinghouse 6-Year Total Completion Rate (150% standard time) as its student completion indicator. The tables below show the completion rate for UWA, National Benchmarks, and Alabama Benchmarks. Data is provided for the most recent cohort: 2014. Data is gathered directly from the National Student Clearinghouse University of West Alabama Student Tracker Postsecondary Completions Report and the National Student Clearinghouse National and State reports.  The target level of performance for UWA's National Student Clearinghouse Completion Rate is to be equal to or greater than the National Student Clearinghouse Total Completion Rate benchmark.

UWA Six-Year Outcome for Students Who Started at UWA by Enrollment Intensity 

UWA CLearninghouse

National Benchmark Six-Year Outcomes for Students Who Started at UWA by Enrollment Intensity

National Six-year

The University of West Alabama's Mission Statement reflects the University's status as a regional institution that is committed to meeting the educational needs of the West Alabama area. The University values diverse student enrollment. Being centrally located in West Alabama, the University currently holds the distinction of being designated a Predominately Black Institution (PBI), serving minority and African American students form the rural counties of West Alabama. To better serve minority students, the University analyzes and disaggregates data which allows it to better meet the educational needs of the region. The UWA National Student Clearinghouse 6-Year Total Completion Rate is broken down by gender and ethnicity in the following tables for the 2014 cohort.  The tables below represent the most recent data available for the reporting cycle as reported through the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.  

UWA Six-Year Outcomes for Students Who Started at UWA by Gender


National Benchmark Six-Year Outcomes for Students Who Started at Four-Year Public Institutions by Gender

National Gender

The University of West Alabama's six-year completion rate for men within the 2014 cohort is 58.32%.  The Alabama six-year completion rate for men within the 2014 cohort is 62.11%.  The National Benchmark for six-year completion rate male cohort for 2014 is 63.88%.  UWA's six-year completion rate for women within the 2014 cohort is 72.20%, while the Alabama benchmark percentage for females within the same cohort is 71.52%. The national benchmark for females within the 2014 cohort is 71.28%.

UWA Six-Year Outcomes for Students Who Started at UWA by Race/Ethnicity

UWA Ethnicity

National and Alabama Benchmark Six-year Outcomes for Students Who Started at Four-year Public Institutions by Race/Ethnicity

National Ethnicity

Degrees Awarded and Graduation Rates

In addition to the National Student Clearinghouse Completion data, other particularly effective tools for measuring success are degree completion tallies, degree completion rates for specific student cohorts, and six-year graduation rates. By using the number of degrees conferred and the six-year graduation rates, UWA is able to demonstrate completion rates and communicate reasonable comparisons with sister institutions to current and potential students. In terms of degree completion, the table below demonstrates the number and type of degrees conferred by the University of West Alabama for the most recent three cohorts as reported by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).  Data provided for graduation completions are the most recent as of the submission of this report according to what have been most recently submitted to IPEDS.

Degrees Awarded at the University of West Alabama

Degrees Awarded
As required by the U.S. Department of Education, the University of West Alabama reviews cohort graduation rates. Cohorts are comprised of first-time, full-time freshmen entering the University during the summer and fall semesters of a given year. Data provided for graduation rates are the most recent as of the submission of this report according to what have been most recently submitted to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).  According to data available through the IPEDS Data Center, the six-year graduation rate of 40.1% for the 2020 University of West Alabama student cohort is comparable to that of other regional universities in Alabama, which is clear in the table below. 

2020 Peer Comparison of Six-Year Graduation Rate-Overall

Peer Comparision

Retention Rates

Regarding retention data for the University of West Alabama, the table below shows the three-year retention trend of UWA compared to its peers for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 cohorts. This is the most recent IPEDS data available at the time of this report.

RetentionStudent Achievement Goals and Thresholds of AcceptabilityUWA has identified its threshold of acceptability for retention rates to be equal to or greater than the average rate of its peers. The table above demonstrates that UWA retention rates are comparable to those of its peers for each of the three years listed; however, for each year the rate falls below the peer average. UWA has increased retention from 2018 to 2020 in an effort to move toward the SMART Objective of 70% as recorded by the 2020-2025 UWA Strategic Plan.

State and National Licensure Examinations 

The University of West Alabama also tracks and evaluates student performance on a variety of licensing examinations, including the National Athletic Trainer's Association Board of Certification (NATABOC) for athletic training, the Praxis II for education, and the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for nursing. These examinations measure student preparedness for their intended professions, and pass rates are used as part of the overall program assessment. 

Athletic Training: Student achievement in athletic training is assessed by the pass rates of students on the NATABOC examination. Graduates of the Athletic Training program are expected to attain the theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills necessary to pass all portions of the NATABOC on the first attempt. CAATE requires programs to maintain a three-year aggregate first time pass rate for the BOC of 70% or greater. Information on pass rates for the Athletic Training program is published on the Athletic Training and Sport Medicine Center’s website (AT-Sport Medicine Center Information PDF). The following information is supplied by the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training which demonstrates the aggregate data for 2018-2021: 

NATABOCTeacher Education: Students graduating from any teacher education program at the University of West Alabama are required to take the Praxis II test, which measures general and subject-specific knowledge as well as teaching skills. The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) requires teacher education students to pass the Praxis II to receive certification. The University of West Alabama requires that all undergraduate teacher education students pass the Praxis II test before receiving their degrees. Additionally, ALSDE requires that initial certification (undergraduate and alternative-A) students must pass edTPA to be certified to teach in Alabama. EdTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs throughout the United States to emphasize, measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from day 1 in the classroom. Also, UWA’s College of Education requires a passing edTPA score for initial certification programs prior to receiving their degree. 

Nursing: NCLEX-RN is a standardized exam that each State Board of Nursing uses to determine whether a candidate is prepared for entry-level practice. Student achievement in the Nursing program can be gauged by the percentage of graduates passing the annual NCLEX-RN examination on the first attempt. Currently, the national standard for nursing programs states that 80% of graduates will pass the licensure exam on the first attempt annually; while Alabama requires a three-year rolling average of 80% pass rate on the first attempt. Historically, UWA graduates meet or exceed the standard. In 2021, students who graduated from the Division of Nursing posted a 100% national pass rate and a rate of 88.97% on a three-year rolling average. 

Job Placement Rates

Job placement assistance and employability skills are provided through the Office of Career Services. According to its Mission Statement, the Office of Career Services “strives to provide guidance and resources to students and alumni to support their career development and attainment of career-related goals” and is UWA's primary source for career-related information and resources. Career Services works closely with employers to provide career fairs on campus and uses several online platforms such as Career Insider and eSigi 3 to facilitate career development for on-campus students, distance education students, and alumni. Descriptions of programs and services offered can be found on the Office of Career Services web page. In addition, Career Services began producing a First Destination Survey for graduating students. The purpose of the survey is to gather as much information as possible from students on job placement. Each year the Office of Career Services distributes the First Destination Survey in order to collect data on the job status of each graduate. The survey is distributed directly after graduation with subsequent follow up distributions. Details for placement rates for the Class of 2021 can be found within the First Destination Survey Detailed Summary by Major and the First Destination Survey Overall Summary. The response rate for the Class of 2021 to the First Destination survey was 43.45%. Of those that responded, 36.4% stated that they were employed in their field of study. 27.5 percent of respondents stated that they were seeking employment at the time of graduation, and 27.5% of undergraduates stated that they planned to continue their education.

UWA Job Placement Data from First Destination Survey

Job placement

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