Student Achievement at the University of Dallas
The University of Dallas measures student achievement and evaluates achievement data
to support student success. As part of the insitutitons accreditation with the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, we have an obligation
to set thresholds, goals, and monitor progress toward those goals.
Attrition and graduation rate dashboards reflect criteria supported by federal compliance
reporting standards under the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System (IPEDS) which falls under the purview of the Department of Education.
IPEDS collects a variety of data related to student, human resources, and finance.
IPEDS provides a publicly available data source via the IPEDS Data Center, the College Navigator, and the College Affordability and Transparency Act.
As part of the Higher Education Act of 2008, institutions are required to report certain
measures. These dashboards reflect retention and graduation rates as reported to IPEDS.
The level of detail may differ slightly such as not reporting gender and race and
ethnicity for retention.
Attrition (the opposite of retention) represents the number of full-time, first-time
students in a fall cohort who did not return the following fall. Two groups are the
focus in these cohorts: first-time freshmen and transfer students.
For this outcome, the University of Dallas' threshold of acceptability is 77%; this
threshold has been met 100% of the time since 2008.
Graduation rates represent the number of first-time students in a fall cohort who
graduate in either 4, 5, or 6 years from entry. Two groups represented again are first-time
freshmen and transfer students.
For graduation rates, the threshold of acceptability for six-year graduation rates
is 65% for the full cohort and 52% for students in the cohort who are Pell grant recipients;
this goal has been met 100% of the time since 2008. The threshold of success for this
outcome is 75% for the full cohort and 62% for students receiving Pell grants.
Average Time to Degree
The third dashboard, “Average time to degree for masters level students” does NOT
reflect compliance reporting as institutions do not report this data. Working with
our Student Achievement committee, we identified this measure as an area of improvement.
This measure is created using a “lookback” technique that takes students graduating
in a given time period and tracks them back to entry (admit date). Then a time to
degree is computed for each student. Data is presented in aggregate form based upon
For this outcome, the threshold of acceptability is an average time to completion
of less than 3.5 years for each program; with one exception, all programs met that
threshold. Due to the varying nature of graduate students, it is difficult to quantify
a threshold of success. Many of these students are enrolled part-time; as such, a
lower average time to completion is unattainable for many of these programs.