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Educational Opportunity - Interactive & Sortable Table Representation
Fiscal Year 2010 Performance Report - December 18, 2009 Update

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Retention and Graduation Rate Progress

Western Illinois University values educational opportunity and welcomes those who show promise and a willingness to work toward achieving shared educational goals. In Macomb, first year (fall-to-fall) retention rates of all students, minority students, and Pell grant recipients all increased. Furthermore, the six-year graduation rate for Pell grant recipients increased and the graduation rate of all students is at a historic peak for the institution. However, six-year graduation rates for minority students did decline.

Table 8: Western Illinois University - Macomb : First Year Retention and Six-Year Graduation Rates
(click on column title to sort)


Freshman Retention Rates - Macomb
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
All Students
79.1%
72.6%
72.3%
73.1%
73.6%
Minority Students
74.8%
69.8%
70.0%
66.9%
72.1%
Pell Grant Recipients
79.4%
72.2%
76.4%
74.3%
77.5%

 

Six-Year Graduation Rates - Macomb
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
All Students
55.3%
55.5%
56.5%
55.1%
59.3%
Minority Students
43.7%
46.5%
47.6%
45.0%
40.7%
Pell Grant Recipients
51.3%
57.6%
57.6%
52.9%
58.3%

 

In the Quad Cities, graduation rates of minority students improved. However, graduation rates for all students and Pell Grant recipients are down from the previous year’s comparison and have returned to a level consistent with previous cohorts. (For the Quad Cities campus, four-year graduation rates are reported. Since the Quad Cities admits undergraduate students as juniors, four years is the 150 percent measure of the normal time-to-degree.)

Table 9: Western Illinois University - Quad Cities : Four-Year Graduation Rates
(click on column title to sort)

Four-Year Graduation Rates - Quad Cities
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
All Students
57.0%
62.8%
62.3%
71.2%
64.5%
Minority Students
63.6%
72.7%
52.5%
50.0%
52.4%
Pell Grant Recipients
56.9%
65.4%
69.2%
71.2%
69.7%

 

A President’s Retention Task Force has been established on the Macomb Campus to identify strategies to increase retention and graduation rates. A task force will be formed on the Quad Cities Campus and charged with similar functions. Benchmark comparisons show that Western is ranked 12th (of 16) with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on the first-year retention rate, the Macomb Campus’ graduation rate ranks ninth, and the Quad Cities Campus’ graduation rate ranks third (of seven).

U.S. News and World Report uses the following methodology for the information in the table below. The graduation rate indicates the average proportion of a graduating class who earned a degree in six years or less; we consider freshman classes that started from 1998 through 2001. Freshman retention indicates the average proportion of freshmen who entered the school in the fall of 2003 through fall 2006 and returned the following fall.

Table 10: First-Year Retention Rate and Graduation Rates
Western Illinois University - Macomb and Quad Cities Benchmark Institutions
(click on column title to sort)

First-Year Retention Rate Pct
James Madison 91.2%
Appalachian State 86.0%
Western Washington 84.8%
North Carolina - Wilmington 84.0%
Northern Iowa 82.2%
Montclair State 81.8%
California State - Chico 81.5%
College of Charleston 81.5%
Eastern Illinois 80.8%
Central Washington 77.2%
Wisconsin - Whitewater 76.0%
Western Illinois 74.2%
Southern Illinois - Edwardsville 74.0%
Missouri State 73.5%
Western Kentucky 72.5%
Sam Houston State 70.8%
Graduation Rates
Macomb Benchmarks
Pct
James Madison
81%
Western Washington
67%
North Carolina - Wilmington
65%
Northern Iowa
65%
Appalachian State
63%
Montclair State
61%
College of Charleston
60%
Eastern Illinois
60%
Western Illinois
57%
Central Washington
55%
Missouri State
55%
Wisconsin - Whitewater
53%
California State - Chico
52%
Western Kentucky
49%
Southern Illinois - Edwardsville
45%
Sam Houston State
44%
Graduation Rates
Quad Cities Benchmarks
Pct
Pennsylvania State - Harrisburg 83%
Augustana College
75%
Western Illinois - Quad Cities
62%
Governors State
57%
Illinois - Springfield
57%
Saint Ambrose
53%
Texas A&M - International
37%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Engagement Progress

To further understand trends in student retention and graduation, Western participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), as student involvement and satisfaction with the educational process are correlates of academic achievement. NSSE provides comparative data for second-semester freshmen and second-semester seniors at Western compared to all other participating master’s granting comprehensive universities in five areas:

  • Academic challenge or the degree to which students perceive the importance of academic effort and setting high performance standards.
  • Academic and collaborative learning or measures of how intensely students were involved in their educational process and whether they applied what they have learned to different settings.
  • Student-faculty interactions or the degree to which students interacted with faculty inside and outside the classroom.
  • Opportunities for enriching educational experiences or the degree to which students engaged in curricular and co-curricular activities beyond classroom instruction. It also measures the extent to which students report exposure to different ideals and cultures other than their own.
  • Supportive campus environment or the extent to which students perceive that the University’s academic programs and co-curricular services are committed to student success inside and outside the classroom.


Comparative NSSE data for 2009 will be included in a future monthly strategic plan update. The data through 2008 (reported below) serve as baseline for the implementation of Higher Values in Higher Education 2008-2018. Values at or above 100 percent show that reported student satisfaction is higher at Western than peer institutions.

In 2008, Western freshmen and seniors reported higher levels of engagement in student-faculty interactions than students at peer institutions. This includes discussing grades or assignments with an instructor, talking about career plans with a faculty member or advisor, and working with faculty members on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student life activities, etc.)

Western freshmen and seniors also reported higher levels of engagement in a supportive campus environment than students at peer institutions. Western students rate the quality of relationships with students, faculty, and offices and the institutional environment promoting student academic and social success at levels higher than students at peer institutions.

Table 11: National Survey of Student Engagement Results
Western Illinois University Compared to the Mean of All Other Master's Granting Comprehensive Institutions
Survey Years 2005 through 2008
(click on column title to sort)

Second Semester Freshmen 2005 2006 2007 2008
Level of Academic Challenge
92%
102%
92%
94%
Active and Collaborative Learning
85%
99%
90%
89%
Student-Faculty Interactions
97%
119%
99%
100%
Enriching Educational Experiences
85%
99%
91%
88%
Supportive Campus Environment
97%
106%
98%
102%

 

Second Semester Seniors 2005 2006 2007 2008
Level of Academic Challenge
97%
98%
96%
97%
Active and Collaborative Learning
94%
98%
98%
94%
Student-Faculty Interactions
100%
107%
106%
100%
Enriching Educational Experiences
86%
91%
89%
87%
Supportive Campus Environment
102%
106%
104%
101%

 

Courses, Class Size, and Student-Faculty Ratio Progress

Individual attention and educational opportunities characterize Western’s educational environment. Both Macomb and the Quad Cities experienced increases in the number of course sections and the percent of classes with enrollments under 30.

Table 12: Number of Course Sections, Percent of Classes Less than 30, and Student-to-Faculty Ratios
Western Illinois University-Macomb and Quad Cities Fiscal Year 2005 through Fiscal Year 2009
(click on column title to sort)

Macomb Campus 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Number of Sections
4,727
4,933
4,980
5,134
5,143
Percent of classes less than 30
73.4%
74.9%
76.5%
78.1%
80.9%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
17:1
16:1
16:1
16:1
16:1

 

Quad Cities Campus 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Number of Sections
490
476
517
534
603
Percent of classes less than 30
91.4%
92.6%
94.0%
93.1%
94.4%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
n/a
n/a
12:1
12:1
12:1

 

While Western is providing more sections and small class sizes, the University maintained its commitment to historically low student-to-faculty ratios on both campuses. Among benchmark institutions, the Macomb Campus ranks second (of 16) and the Quad Cities Campus ranks third (of 10) for the lowest student-to-faculty ratios.

Table 13: Student-to-Faculty Ratios: Fiscal Year 2008
Western Illinois University-Macomb and Quad Cities Benchmark Institutions
(click on column title to sort)

Macomb Benchmarks
Ratio
Eastern Illinois
15:1
Western Illinois
16:1
Wisconsin - Whitewater
16:1
Northern Iowa
16:1
North Carolina - Wilmington
16:1
James Madison
16:1
College of Charleston
16:1
Montclair State
17:1
Appalachian State
17:1
Southern Illinois - Edwardsville
18:1
Western Washington
19:1
Western Kentucky
19:1
Missouri State
19:1
Sam Houston State
20:1
Central Washington
20:1
California State - Chico
20:1
Quad Cities Benchmarks Ratio
Saint Ambrose
11:1
Houston - Clear Lake
11:1
Western Illinois - Quad Cities
12:1
Illinois - Springfield
12:1
Augustana College
12:1
Pennsylvania State - Harrisburg
13:1
Texas A&M - Texarkana
14:1
Texas A&M - International
15:1
University of Baltimore
18:1
Governors State
19:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alumni Involvement Process

The University also reports on the percent of alumni donating to the University as a proxy for student satisfaction with the educational experience. Because Western reports one value for the percent of alumni donations, data for the Macomb and Quad Cities benchmark institutions are combined. Western ranks sixth (of 20) in the percent of alumni donating to the University.

U.S. News and World Report uses the following methodology for the information in the table below. The alumni giving rate reflects the average percentage of living alumni with bachelor's degrees who gave to their school during academic years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, which is an indirect measure of student satisfaction.

Table 14: Percent of Alumni Donations: Fall 2008
Western Illinois University-Macomb and Quad Cities Benchmark Institutions Combined
(click on column title to sort)

Benchmarks Pct
Augustana College
31.5%
College of Charleston
18.9%
Western Kentucky
15.7%
Wisconsin - Whitewater
14.1%
Northern Iowa
12.8%
Western Illinois
11.0%
Appalachian State
10.5%
James Madison
9.9%
Saint Ambrose
9.9%
North Carolina - Wilmington
9.6%
Missouri State
9.4%
Illinois - Springfield
9.4%
Western Washington
8.4%
Eastern Illinois
7.8%
Texas A&M - International
7.0%
Sam Houston State
6.9%
Montclair State
6.4%
Central Washington
5.7%
California State - Chico
5.2%
Southern Illinois - Edwardsville
5.0%

 

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