Belmont Abbey College’s mission and vision statements express the Catholic and Benedictine identity of the College together with the goals and expectations that we set for ourselves and for our students. These student achievement outcomes express those goals that stand near the heart of the College as a Benedictine educational institution with a devotion to education in the liberal arts. We find the first important outcome in our retention rate. The first monk at Belmont Abbey arrived in a wagon with the first two students, initiating the academic community on-campus, and a focus on building a community has always been a hallmark of the College. Given that we are committed to offering “an environment and community where students may work towards their own full potential,” the broad measures of retention and persistence are key indicators of our success.
During the last five years at Belmont Abbey College, the average unweighted retention rate of first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students who persist from one fall to enroll in the following fall has been 63%. (“First time, full time” is basically new traditional and non-traditional aged full time students without any prior college experience.) Improving retention rates is a continuing goal for the College. The College’s goal is to increase first-year retention rates to 80 percent.
Belmont Abbey College Full-time, First-time Retention Rates (percents)
Percent of students in first time full time degree/certificate seeking cohort who returned in the Fall term noted from prior Fall.
Source: IPEDS Fall Enrollment Surveys
Graduation Rates (Persistence)
Other outcomes include our graduation rate as and job placement/graduate school rate, seen as measures of our goal that students may become “a blessing to themselves and others” in the personal and professional aspects of their lives. Liberal arts education has always been focused on the broad education of the whole person, and the College is convinced that our curriculum sends students out with well-formed judgment and sharpened mental vision that will serve them well in all the circumstances of life.
Belmont Abbey College 4, 5, and 6 year Graduation Rate (percents)
Percent of students in first time full time degree/certificate seeking Fall cohort noted that completed within four, five, or six years.
Source: IPEDS Graduation Rates Surveys
Within this particular outcome, attention can be drawn to student-athletes as instances of the development of the whole person as a means to understand where to move in setting target goals. The College’s thriving athletic programs have become an indicator of our success in fostering the integral development of our students, especially in relation to graduation rates. For example, the six-year graduation rate for student athletes is 46% (for the class that entered in 2007), while the six-year graduation rate for non-student athletes (traditional and non-traditional students combined) is 33%. Therefore, Belmont Abbey’s overall target persistence goal is 46%.
Job and Graduate School Placement
Many alumni have maintained or secured employment or continued their education in graduate and/or professional programs. The graduating classes of 2013-2014 and 2012-2013 have respectively indicated that 82% and 75% (2014-15, 2013-14) of respondents to graduate/alumni surveys are employed and/or have enrolled in or completed graduate school. The table below shows Belmont Abbey College progressing toward the goal of 85% of students surveyed who either have maintained or secured employment relative to their academic major, or continued their education in graduate and/or professional programs.
In addition, more than half of the alumni respondents noted that their major/academic program assisted them with preparation in either their career or graduate studies “very much” or “quite a bit”. Moreover, of those graduates, the majority of respondents indicated academic major-related employment 59.3% (2015-16), 53.13% (2013-2014), and 65.71% (2012-2013).
Graduate Alumni Survey Job & Graduate School Placement Responses
|Graduate/Professional School and/or Employed Subtotal||75%||81.81%|
*Categories are interpretive summaries of questions. Copy of survey instrument available upon request. “Other” is a combination of categories.
Graduate Alumni Survey Job & Graduate School Preparation Responses
|Extent experiences with major academic program assist in accomplishing:||2014-2015||2013-2014|
|preparing for a career in the field|
|Quite a Bit||42.5%||48.39%|
|"Very much" and "Quite a Bit" Subtotal||80.7%||83.87%|
|Grand total of career field preparation||100%||100%|
|preparing for graduate studies in the field|
|Quite a Bit||38.7%||48.39%|
|"Very much" and "Quite a Bit" Subtotal||66.1%||74.20%|
|Grand total of graduate studies preparation||100%||100%|