SRSU Student Achievement Highlights

The mission of Sul Ross State University is to deliver quality education by fostering critical thinking, creativity, diversity, and research.  Our vision is to produce graduates who culturally and economically impact the US Mexico borderlands, Southwest Texas region, and beyond.

Although SRSU monitors a wide variety of student success measures, we are reporting three key areas:  Student Retention and Graduation; Student Engagement; and Post-Graduation Success.   Data sources are the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, SRSU Institutional Research, the National Survey of Student Engagement, and the Texas Education Agency.  Our reported student success measures include:

  • Retention (Persistence) Rates: Student return rates (persistence) from fall to fall (based on first-time/full-time cohorts)
  • Graduation Rate: Four-year, six-year and eight-year student graduation rates (first-time/full-time cohorts). Five-year graduation rates (first-time masters cohort)
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE): Student survey responses regarding student achievement.
  • Graduate Placement: Job and graduate school placement
  • Teacher Certification Examinations: Pass rates on the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES)
  • Specialist Certification Examinations:  Pass rates on the Texas Examiniation of Educator Standards (TExES) for graduate students.

To guide University actions to promote continuous improvement, Sul Ross establishes intended levels of performance through its targets for each of the selected student achievement measures.

Retention (Persistence) Rates

Sul Ross State University recognizes that student retention (persistence) is a primary indicator of student achievement. Therefore, the University continuously strives to improve these rates to meet the University’s established targets and fulfill its mission.

SRSU has adopted a 55% target to be aligned with our institution’s declared target for the Texas State University System.

Data Sources: THECB Accountability System and THECB Online Institutional Resumes
Based on fall-to-fall retention of first-time, full-time students who either returned or received a degree.

Sul Ross continues to develop student supports and processes to improve student persistence and retention rates, including the development of an improved student advising system.

Persistence Rate by Ethnicity/Race: Sul Ross has set a goal of increasing retention rates among the various ethnicity/race groups that compose the Sul Ross student body to the same overall retention target of 55%.

Data Sources: SRSU Banner database
Based on fall-to-fall retention of first-time, full-time students who either returned or received a degree.
Note: Non-Resident Alien, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander groups are not reported due to small cohort samples.

Sul Ross ethnicity/race retention data indicate that the University’s Hispanic population has the highest retention rate of first-time/full-time students with a rate that has remained relatively consistent. White student retention rates have shown more inconsistency and have fallen below the 55% mark in recent years. Retention rates for Black students have seen persistence rates fall in recent years.

Persistence Rate for First Generation and Low-Income Students: Sul Ross is committed to supporting students who represent the first generation in their family to attend higher education. Not only is the higher education experience new for these students, but it is also new for their families, which can create additional challenges to persistence. SRSU also recognizes that many students face financial barriers that can greatly impact their transition to higher education. Helping both student groups to successfully navigate their first year at SRSU is key to degree completion; therefore, SRSU tracks data regarding first-year persistence rates for first generation and low-income students.

While Non-First Generation persistence rates have remained steady, First Generation persistence rates have fluctuated significantly. In some years, the rate has been comparable to Non-First Generation students; however, in other years the rate has been 5+% lower. SRSU continues to look for ways to support these students and has introduced   summer enrichment programs to promote student engagement and persistence.

While low-income student persistence rates have also fluctuated over the years, the same can be said for non-low-income students. In fact, for the Fall 2018 and 2019 cohorts, the persistence rate of low-income students out-paced the rate for non-low-income students. Overall, low-income student persistence rates have generally remained above 50%. To further improve these rates, SRSU has expanded the financial aid staff to better support students.

Persistence Rates for Graduate Students:  The University tracks  persistence rates for graduate students.  The target is 57%.

Graduation Rates

The student graduation rate is one of Sul Ross’ primary measures of student achievement. The institution reports on the four-year, six-year, and eight-year graduation rates (our chosen Key Student Completion Indicator for SACSCOC).  For graduate rates, Sul Ross reports a “threshold” that must always be met and the institutional target.

4-Year Rates:   The University has set a target level of 15.3% for the four-year graduation rate. That target is also reported to the Texas State University System.

Data Sources: THECB Accountability System and THECB Online Institutional Resumes
Based on graduation rates after six years of first-time, full-time students.

6-Year Rates: The University has set a target level of 25% within 6 years of the student start date.  Results for the past five years are provided below:

Data Sources: THECB Accountability System and THECB Online Institutional Resumes
Based on graduation rates after six years of first-time, full-time students.

The past three years of SRSU’s 6-year graduation rates have shown increases over the 2011 rates and met the University’s target of 25% in 2014 and 2015. SRSU believes that the University’s enhanced orientation programs and low teacher-student ratios promote higher graduation rates.

8-Year Rates:  Sul Ross State University adopted the IPEDS 8-Year Outcomes for the SACSCOC official graduation indicator.  These rates are disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic characteristics.

Data Sources: THECB Accountability System and THECB Online Institutional Resumes
Based on graduation rates after six years of first-time, full-time students.

8-Year Graduation Rate by Gender, Race, Socio-Economic and First-Generation disaggregation:

Graduation rates not reported for ethnic groups consisting of less than 5% of the student population.

Disaggregated data show Hispanic/Latino and White students meet or surpass the threshold (25%) most of the time. Overall, males are trailing females in graduation rates. The Office of Student Affairs has organized some interventions to promote a greater sense of belonging for male students.

5-Year Master’s Rates:  The University has set a target graduation rate of 54% within 5 years of the student start date.  Results for the past five years are provided below:

Data Sources: THECB Accountability System and THECB Online Institutional Resumes based on graduation rates after five years of first-time masters students.

Graduate Placement

Sul Ross State University is committed to promoting marketable skills in all degree programs to support graduate transition to careers and/or higher education.  Career placement after graduation is a key measure for the University for student success.  The University graduate target rate for employment and higher education combined is 73%.   SRSU continually meets and exceeds this established target.

Data Sources: THECB 009 data report. (The data are matched with unemployment insurance data and enrollment data to determine working/enrolled/etc. Each year’s data indicates the status of that year’s graduates as of the following fall semester. Enrolled indicates graduates attending a Graduate/Professional School in Texas.

Teacher Certification Examinations

Since its establishment in 1917 as a teacher’s college preparing teachers for public school settings in the remote area of West Texas, Sul Ross State University has fulfilled this mission for over one-hundred years. Because local school districts depend upon the University to provide qualified teachers for the students within the communities we serve, Teacher Certification continues to be a central measure of SRSU’s Student Achievement.  Graduate certification also is an important measure of student accomplishment.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) sets the Education Preparation Program target, which is currently 80%, for all Education Preparation Programs (EPP).  Prior to 2017-2018, TEA reported the Content Exam exclusively.  In 2019-2019, TEA combined the Content Exam and the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility Exam into the overall score.  Starting in 2020-2021, the Science of Teaching Reading Exam was included, so the score now reflects three separate exams combined.

All Sul Ross State University campuses have introduced tutoring sessions for students to prepare for the exam.

Alpine Results:

Data Source: Texas Education Agency

On the Alpine campus, the scores have consistently met or exceeded the target (80%) apart from the 2018-2019 academic year.

Del Rio, Eagle Pass, & Uvalde Results:

Data Source: Texas Education Agency

On the Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde campuses, the scores have consistently been below the target (80%) apart from the 2017-2018 academic year.  During the 2020-2021 academic year, subject-specialized tutoring was offered in addition to tutoring in pedagogy practices.

Specialist Certification Examinations

Sul Ross State University also offers graduate level programs for students for a variety of certifications including the principalship, educational diagnostician, counseling, reading specialist and superintendent.  Charts 17 and 18 document student achievement for these certificates combined.

Alpine Results:

Data Source: Texas Education Agency
Includes: Principal, Educational Diagnostician, Counseling, Reading Specialist, and Superintendent Certificates

On the Alpine campus, the scores have consistently met or exceeded the target (80%) across the most recent five years.

Del Rio, Eagle Pass, & Uvalde Results:

Data Source: Texas Education Agency
Includes: Principal and Reading Specialist Certificates

Similar to the teacher certification results, on the Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde campuses, the scores have more often been below the target (80%) apart from the 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 academic years.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Student perceptions of their cognitive and affective development, as well as overall satisfaction with the institution, provide additional evidence of educational accomplishment and experience. The National Student Survey of Engagement (NSSE) is administered to both freshmen and seniors. The following charts summarize the results of that survey.

The faculty Core Curriculum Committee set the target as “continually increasing results” or “maintaining a threshold of 75% or higher” for seniors responding with ‘very much’ or ‘quite a bit’ on the survey for selected measures.

SRSU met the target in both communication and teamwork skills. Critical thinking, empirical and quantitative reasoning, personal responsibility and social responsibility fell below the target level and generally showed a decrease from 2019 to 2020.

For the Engagement Indicators, the SRSU target is for the ratings to be “no significant difference” or “significantly higher” than the comparative group.

Data Source: NSSE Survey Reports

In contrast to other years, seniors only rated one Engagement Indicator (learning with Peers/Collaborative Learning) lower in 2021.

Student Achievement at Sul Ross State University

The five areas of achievement that the institution monitors are important measures of success for all students. Sul Ross is committed to social mobility, and Graduation Placement data (Chart 14) show that consistently, 73% or more of our graduates find employment and/or continue with their education.

Sul Ross State University also is a Hispanic Serving Institution, and data show that Hispanic/Latino students are experiencing success. On average, Hispanic students are meeting the First Year Persistence target of 55% (Chart 2). Hispanic students also are meeting the threshold of 25% (Chart 9) for the 8-Year Graduation Rate, our official graduation indicator for SACSCOC reporting.

From a historical perspective, SRSU prepares teachers to teach in the rural and urban areas of Texas. Charts 15 and 16 indicate that we need to focus more on supporting some of our students in our teacher education programs.  Charts 17 and 18 confirm the success of students in our graduate certification programs in education.

SRSU recognizes the importance of the learning environment (Charts 19 and 20), and the National Survey of Student Engagement is an important measure of our success. We celebrate strong student reported skills in communication, which has been our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) focus since 2018.

SRSU implements these annual measures of student achievement to validate areas of success and to identify the areas of future work. Our goal is for academic success for all students.

Institutional Research

Institutional Effectiveness

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