4.1 Student Achievement

The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its 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. (Student achievement)


JUDGMENT: Compliant


The mission of Southwest Texas Junior College is as follows:

Southwest Texas Junior College is a comprehensive, public college serving eleven counties in Southwest Texas. The College provides accessible, affordable, high-quality education that prepares students to successfully transfer to senior colleges and universities; enter the job market; pursue their professional and personal goals; and contribute to the economic growth of the region.

SWTJC evaluates the success of its students consistent with the terms of this mission.

All Texas public community colleges are required to prepare an annual performance report for submission to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Each college can compare various success measures against its own prior years’ measures and can compare those measures with peer institutions’ measures and statewide marks. The following table, taken from the Texas Legislative Budget Board’s Institutional Accountability site, presents SWTJC’s performance data for selected success measures for 2008-2013:

The table immediately above presents the statewide data for the same categories shown in the first table. Southwest Texas Junior College compares favorably with state averages on “percent of courses completed,” “percent of students passing a licensure exam,” and “institutional support.” The “TSI obligation” data refer to student scores on the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment, a battery of diagnostic placement tests for incoming students. The table below presents aggregate percentages of SWTJC students who met TSI obligations in two years compared to State percentages:

While the table indicates that SWTJC “underprepared” students are completing their developmental studies work at a slightly higher rate than the State average over two years, fully two-thirds do not. SWTJC uses these data as well as other institutional data to study its Developmental Studies courses and to make recommendations for improvements.

That table was taken from the “Student Success Data Review,” which SWTJC completed for the 2014 Pathways to Progress Institute held in Dallas, Texas during the fall 2014 semester. A group of SWTJC staff attended the Institute and focused on strategies to build program pathways for students, with particular regard to facilitating students’ negotiating degree/certificate requirements. The entire “Student Success Data Review” may be viewed by clicking here. All data were taken from the Texas Higher Education Accountability System.

Southwest Texas Junior College also utilizes the annual Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) report to evaluate student achievement. A medium-sized two-year community college, we choose each year to be compared to selected Texas community colleges similar in size and basic demographic characteristics. The entire 2014 IPEDS Data Feedback Report for SWTJC is available for review.

In addition, SWTJC participated in the National Community College Benchmark Project in 2014.
Results from the Executive Summary indicate that some of the College’s strengths are:

  • Percent of students that received a passing grade in their first college-level writing course of those that completed a developmental/remedial writing course – 96th percentile
  • Percent students receiving a passing grade from those completing distance education learning classes – 90th percentile


Likewise the report indicates opportunities for institutional improvement:

  • Percent of full-time students that completed or transferred in six years – 7th percentile
  • Percent of students that received a passing grade of those that completed Speech – 14th percentile
  • Percent of students that received a passing grade of those that completed College Algebra – 20th percentile
  • Percent of full-time students that completed in six years – 22nd percentile

The SWTJC Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) provides a number of student success reports which faculty, staff, and administration utilize to evaluate student success and to consider changes and improvements to College instruction and services. The College’s proprietary data management program, WhippleWare, also provides a wide variety and number of reports, which are available to SWTJC personnel at all levels of planning and decision-making.

Two OIE reports offered here as examples of those which the College utilizes are the Student Migration Report and a retention study of students tied to their mid-term and final grades.

Other aspects of the SWTJC mission concern assisting constituents/students pursue their professional and personal goals; and contribute to the economic growth of the region. The SWTJC Workforce Education division provides a wide variety of courses and workshops to service-area residents in order to accomplish these components of the mission. The Workforce Education division offers courses and trainings from “cake decorating” to “fork-lift operation” to meet the needs of the College service area. For a comprehensive list of workforce and continuing education trainings, courses, and workshops, please click here.


SWTJC Performance Measure History, FY 2008-2013
Texas Higher Education Accountability System, Student Success Data Review
IPEDS Data Feedback Report 2014
SWTJC Executive Summary
SWTJC Student Migration Report
SWTJC Retention Study
SWTJC Continuing Education Course


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