4.1 Student Achievement

Federal Requirement 4.1: Student Achievement

The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with the mission. Criteria may include:  enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; or other means of demonstrating achievement of goals.

Compliance Partial Compliance Non-compliance


Student success is the central focus of the University of South Florida  Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) as evidenced in its mission statement:

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee provides high quality bachelor’s and graduate-level education and scholarly activity in a personalized learning community that prepares successful leaders and responsible citizens.

State Requirements for Assessment and Accountability

Florida Statute 1008.31, Assessment and Accountability delineates the intent, scope and processes of the state’s K-20 education performance accountability system. Section 2a of this statute mandates the following:

The mission of Florida’s K-20 education system shall be to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient system, by allowing them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills through learning opportunities and research valued by students, parents, and communities.  The process for establishing state and sector-specific standards and measures must be: 1. Focused on student success; 2. Addressable through policy and program changes; 3. Efficient and of high quality; 4. Measurable over time; 5. Simple to explain and display to the public; and 6. Aligned with other measures and other sectors to support a coordinated K-20 education system.

To meet the mandate, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) established BOG Regulation 2.002, University Work Plans and Annual Reports, to provide mechanisms through which the State Universities would plan, monitor, and report assessment and accountability efforts. In accordance with the regulation, USF Sarasota-Manatee submits annually its Accountability Report and a Work Plan to the BOG.

The Accountability Report includes the institution’s performance on metrics specified by the BOG. USF Sarasota-Manatee can be awarded funding (BOG Performance Based Funding) based on the BOG formula, which includes the following metrics as well as additional BOG Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Metric 1 – Percent of Bachelor’s Graduates Employed and/or Continuing their Education Further 1 Yr after Graduation
Metric 2 – Median Average Wages of Undergraduates Employed in Florida 1 Yr after Graduation
Metric 3 – Average Cost per Undergraduate Degree to the Institution
Metric 4 – Six Year Graduation Rates (Full-time and Part-time FTIC)
Metric 5 – Academic Progress Rate (2nd Year Retention with GPA above 2.0)
Metric 6 – Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded in Areas of Strategic Emphasis (includes STEM)
Metric 7 – University Access Rate (Percent of Undergraduates with a Pell Grant)
Metric 8a – Graduate Degrees Awarded in Areas of Strategic Emphasis (includes STEM)
Metric 8b – Freshmen in Top 10% of Graduating High School Class
Metric 9 – Percent of Bachelor’s Degrees without Excess Hours

USF Sarasota-Manatee 2015-20 Strategic Plan: Goal #1: Student Success

The outcomes of USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2015-2020 Strategic Goal #1: Student Success are aligned to the BOG Performance Based Funding (PBF) metrics and select BOG Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Tracking progress towards the University’s outcomes, USF Sarasota-Manatee reviews both historical data as well as five-year goals for each of each of the outcomes. Five-year goals were developed based on the performance of peer and aspirant institutionsBOG Performance Indicators and 2025 Goals, and historical trend data. The USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Implementation Plan outlines the strategies for meeting the Student Success outcomes.

Employment Success 


1.1 & 1.2 Percentage of bachelor’s graduates employed full-time in Florida or continuing their education in the U.S. 1-year after graduation & Median average full-time wages of undergraduates employed in Florida 1-year after graduation. The tracking of student employment data is completed through the cooperative work of the State University System (SUS), Florida Department of Education, Federal Employment Data Exchange, and National Student Clearinghouse. USF Sarasota-Manatee alumni do very well in comparison to graduates of other State Universities in Florida. The State University System average in 2012-13 was 69% employed full-time or continuing education, according to the BOG SUS 2013-14  Accountability Report. The campus expects employment and wages will continue to increase as the economy recovers from the recession.

Strategies to Improve Student Success:  According to the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Implementation Plan, USF Sarasota-Manatee will require each student have a course plan and career map that leads to employment or the pursuit of advanced degrees. To assist in implementing this strategy, USF Sarasota-Manatee will hire an additional career advisor in AY2015-16.

Student Retention and Timely Completion


 1.3 & 1.7 First-Time-in-College (FTIC) graduation rate – 4 and 6-year. The first freshman class of USF Sarasota-Manatee entered in Fall semester 2013. Using a six-year metric for graduation, goals were established beginning in 2018-19 academic year. The anticipated rate of 60% was selected based on peer and aspirant institutions and averages across the State Universities of Florida.

1.4 & 1.6 FTIC academic program rate (fall-to-fall retention with GPA>2.0) and Freshman Retention Rate. The official USF Sarasota-Manatee Fall 2013 FTIC cohort count is 83. Of these 83 FTIC, 72% returned to the University in the fall of 2014. According to exit surveys, the students that did not return left for the following reasons: registered with the Tampa campus, transferred to other institutions, and personal and financial reasons. Through careful tracking of the FTIC cohorts, USF Sarasota-Manatee projects gradual improvements in each year in the retention rates of freshmen.

1.5 Percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded without excess hours. The excess hour’s metric is based on the percentage of baccalaureate degrees awarded within 110% of the credit hours required for a degree. USF Sarasota-Manatee students are on par with the SUS average of 69% according to the BOG SUS 2013-14 Accountability Report. As the university increases its numbers of native FTIC, the percentage of students graduating without excess hours is expected to increase.

1.8 AA Transfer Graduation Rate – 2-year. AA transfer graduation rates (2-year) have fluctuated greatly over the past five years with a high of 36% in 2012-13 and a low of 25% in 2013-14. However, the USF Sarasota-Manatee rates of graduation are on par with SUS averages over the past five years.  Through strategies described below, the University will stabilize this metric and continually increase the percentage of students with AA degrees completing within in two-years.

1.9 Average Time to Degree (for FTIC). Since the first class of FTIC started in fall 2013, historical data was not available in setting goals for this metric. The average average SUS time-to-degree was 4.1 years in 2013-14; however, as a commuter campus, USF Sarasota-Manatee needs to consider both non-traditional students as well as traditional student. Therefore, the campus expects to see, on average, a slightly longer time to degree for its population compared to the traditional residential universities.

1.10 & 1.11 Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded and Graduate Degrees Awarded. USF Sarasota-Manatee declined in the number of degrees awarded over the last three years at the undergraduate level and over the past four years at the graduate level. The University expects this trend will reverse over the next five-years due to the addition of freshman and sophomore levels and new academic programs.

Strategies to Improve Student Success:  The USF Sarasota-Manatee Implementation Plan provides the following strategies to improve student retention and timely graduation 1) Offer the right mix of courses and expanded scheduling to facilitate student timely completion; 2) Enhance student support services such as early intervention, tutoring, career advising, and academic advising; and 3) Hire a retention specialist to develop data-driven strategies to increase retention and timely progression towards degree.

Critical Thinking

1.12 Improved Student Critical Thinking. During the spring of 2015, USF Sarasota-Manatee selected Incredi-Bull Critical Thinking as the topic of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Efforts are now underway to develop curriculum and strategies for improving student critical thinking, as well as measuring student learning outcomes.

Strategies to Improve Student Success:  According to the USF Sarasota-Manatee Implementation Plan, USF Sarasota-Manatee plans to hire a QEP director to oversee the implementation and measurement of the QEP. A search will begin in AY2015-16.

Student Satisfaction


1.13 Student Satisfaction. USF Sarasota-Manatee recognizes that students are more likely to succeed when they are satisfied with their institution. Through the USF Sarasota-Manatee Satisfaction Survey, all students are asked if they would “recommend the university to others” and if they are “proud to be a student of the university.” Yearly, an overwhelming majority of students respond positively to these questions.

1.14 Benchmarks on National Student Satisfaction Surveys. In previous academic years, USF Sarasota-Manatee administered the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to its senior-level students. With the admission of the first freshman class in fall 2013 the University decided to change to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s Freshman and Senior Surveys. The Senior Survey will be instituted in 2015-16.

Strategies to Improve Student Success:  USF Sarasota-Manatee collects data from students and alumni on a routine and continual basis. Survey response data is summarized by Institutional Research and provided to the campus community online USF Sarasota-Manatee Institutional Research survey page and in confidential reporting internally. Campus leadership review the results from the surveys and institute improvements in an effort toward continuous improvement.

Professional Licensure

Below are the first-time passage rates of USF Sarasota-Manatee BS/BA and MAT Elementary Education graduates on the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) in the subject areas of elementary education (K-6) and professional education. The results of the Educational Leadership graduates on the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) are also included.

FTCE – Subject Area Elementary Education K-6 # Tested % Passed % State Passed USFSM Mean State Mean
2012 Elementary Education K -6 21 95% 84% 219.1 214.96
2013 Elementary Education K -6 39 85% 84% 216.7 215.0
Jan 2014 to Apr 2014 Elementary Education K -6 17 93% 84% 215.1 214.8
May 2014 to Dec 2014 Elementary Education K -6
Subtest1: Lanaguage Arts and Reading 23 83% 86% 239.1 232.6
Subtest 2: Social Science 24 83% 86% 229.8 239.6
Subtest 3: Science 23 91% 86% 237.6 234.3
Subtest 4: Mathematics 24 92% 85% 258.6 239.8


FTCE – Professional Education # Tested % Passed % State Passed USFSM Mean State Mean
2012 Professional Education 25 80% 87% 215.9 215.6
2013 Professional Education 36 97% 88% 230.4 222
2014 Professional Education 23 91% 75% 221.8 211


Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) # Tested % Passed % State Passed USFSM Mean State Mean
2012 Subtest1: Instructional Leadership 4 100% 88% 225.3 214.6
2013 Subtest1: Instructional Leadership 7 100% 89% 224.4 217.3
2014 Subtest1: School Leadership 7 100% 84% 229 218.6
2012 Subtest 2: Operational Leadership 4 100% 94% 234.8 225.3
2013 Subtest 2: Operational Leadership 7 100% 94% 236.3 228.8
2014 Subtest 2: Organizational Development 7 86% 90% 238.9 225.1
2012 Subtest 3: School Leadership 4 100% 89% 224.5 220.8
2013 Subtest 3: School Leadership 7 100% 87% 222.6 218.9
2014 Subtest 3: Systems Leadership 7 100% 82% 233.3 220.9

Strategies to Improve Student Success:  The benchmark for success is to exceed the statewide pass rate and statewide mean. In all but four instances the College of Education completers have surpassed the state averages. The faculty of the Elementary Education undergraduate program, and the Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Educational Leadership program track and assess these data through their annual assessment reports.


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