The Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law in 2008 by President Bush. The law was designed in part to help students and families make better-informed decisions about higher education. This webpage contains information on student achievement and post-graduation employment as required by the law.
For more information about the Higher Education Opportunity Act, please refer to the U.S. Department of Education Website.
In the spirit of the institution’s educational mission, Gardner-Webb University monitors and evaluates student success through a variety of measures, including enrollment data, retention data, graduation data, job placement rates, and state licensing examination pass rates for applicable majors.
The University queries its recent graduates through the use of an electronic survey. The Recent Graduate Survey is distributed to all students, regardless of program, who have graduated from the University six to twelve months prior. Data collected from 2021 and 2022 graduates indicate that approximately 95% in 2022 and 91% in 2021 of those who responded to the recent graduate survey are either employed, furthering their education or doing both. Our goal is that 100% of our students who seek employment or further education are able to obtain it.
Gardner-Webb University uses national licensing examinations as one indicator of student success. Three programs at Gardner-Webb University integrate licensing examinations or preparation for those exams within the curriculum: the Physician Assistant Studies Program, the College of Education and the Hunt School of Nursing. Gardner-Webb University commonly uses the benchmark established by each accrediting body to determine success.
The College of Education is accredited by The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP; formerly NCATE). CAEP is a national accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. The College of Education has established a goal to achieve a pass rate at or above the state average best attempt for NCDPI initial Licensure Exams. According to 2020-2022 data, Gardner-Webb University has achieved an 86% average best attempt pass rate as compared to the state average of 83%.
The department of Physician Assistant Studies is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). In order to practice clinically, graduates must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Our PANCE pass rate for 2017-2022 is 96%, compared to the national average of 93%. Our ARC-PA-approved goal of achieving or exceeding the NCCPA national PANCE pass rate continues to be met.
The Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb University offers comprehensive nursing programs and is accredited by The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Gardner-Webb Nursing graduates take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) examination for licensure. The three-year national average for ASN programs from 2019-2021 was 86%. Gardner-Webb’s ASN program three-year average was 94% (90%, 94%, 97%). The national average for BSN programs was 86%. Gardner-Webb’s BSN program three-year average was 94% (88%, 94%, 100%). In both the ASN and the BSN program, Gardner-Webb successfully meets or exceeds the national average. As mandated by our accrediting organizations, NCBON has established that the nursing program shall maintain a three-year average at or above 95% of the national pass rate for first time test takers for calendar years ending December 31. ACEN has established that the NCLEX-RN Pass rate will be at least 80% for all first-time test-takers during the same 12-month period. The Hunt school of nursing continuously exceeds both of these established markers and meets this goal.
The University monitors and reports retention rates. The rates are self-calculated and reported annually based on the first-time, full-time cohort model. The cohort model complies with the institution’s reporting requirements to the Department of Education through the Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS). Gardner-Webb University uses the data compiled in the IPEDS system to set benchmarks and to track progress in relation to the Institution’s self-selected North Carolina peer group of private institutions.
The table included in this section shows a five-year historical relationship between Gardner-Webb FTFY cohort retention values and those of the NCICU peer group. Our goal is to meet or exceed the retention rate of our peer institutions.
Gardner-Webb has chosen to use six-year graduation rates, as reported to IPEDS, as its key indicator of student achievement. The University has determined that a 52% graduation rate is the benchmark to be attained. This benchmark is applicable for the student body as a whole as well as for each of the three groups for which disaggregated information is provided—by gender, ethnicity, and athletic team membership.
For the most-recent five cohorts having had at least six years to graduate (2012-2016), the 52% benchmark has been achieved four times for the overall student body.