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Student Achievement

Young Harris College (YHC) evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission to "educate, inspire, and empower students through a comprehensive liberal arts experience that integrates mind, body, and spirit." 
Within the 2013-2015 Young Harris College Strategic Plan, Goal 2 addresses the institutional goals for student achievement.
Strategic Plan Goal 2: Academic and Students.  Enlarge student horizons by enhancing liberal arts and related professional offerings, providing a broad range of experiences that stimulate intellectual growth, expand multicultural experiences, and encourage life-long learning and empowerment as global citizens.  Provide students with access to courses and other resources necessary to meet a timely graduation date, to be well-prepared for professional and graduate study, and career opportunities.
Measures for student achievement at Young Harris College include the following.

Course Completion Rates

Course completion, defined as the sum of earned credits divided by the sum of attempted credits, is tracked by the Office of the Registrar and is monitored by the Office of Academic Affairs.  In 2014-2015, the academic administration established a course completion goal of 92%, based on an analysis of course completion rates from Fall 2009.  Table 1 below provides course completion rates from Fall 2009-Spring 2016.  Since establishing the course completion goal of 92%, the course completion rates have been either 91% or 92%. 
Table 1: Course Completion Rates
Fall 2009 90%
Spring 2010 91%
Fall 2010 91%
Spring 2011 92%
Fall 2011 90%
Spring 2012 93%
Fall 2012 91%
Spring 2013 92%
Fall 2013 92%
Spring 2014 93%
Fall 2014 91%
Spring 2015 92%
Fall 2015 91%
Spring 2016 91%

Rhetorica Achievement

YHC developed a narrowly focused program within the academic curriculum to improve students' written and spoken communication.  The program, entitled Rhetorica: The Art of Writing and Speaking at Young Harris College, was developed as the College's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a component of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation of accreditation process.
The Rhetorica program includes Writing and Speaking Intensive Courses for all students, and achievement relative to written and spoken communication is measured with the four-point rubrics for Writing Intensive Courses, Speaking Intensive Courses/Presentation, and Speaking Intensive Courses/Discussion. 

As evidenced in Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4 below, achievement for Writing, Speaking/Presentation, and Speaking/Discussion within the Writing and Speaking Intensive Courses has consistently exceeded the goals since the programs' inception in 2011-2012.

Table 2: Rubric Results for Writing Intensive Courses

Table 3: Rubric Results for Speaking Intensive/Presentation Courses

Table 4: Rubric Results for Speaking Intensive/Discussion Courses

Teacher Licensure

The Division of Education is attaining its goal to prepare high-quality educators for the state of Georgia who meet the standards adopted by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GAPSC).  The GAPSC is the agency with the responsibility for the preparation, certification and conduct of certified, licensed or permitted education personnel employed in PK-12 schools in Georgia. It also oversees the development and administration of teacher assessment for the purpose of granting professional certification.  As such, these tables represent the performance results of Young Harris College Division of Education students enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) in the years of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2016 on two externally validated instruments, passing scores on which are required by the GAPSC for granting initial certification to teachers for the state.  These tests, the Georgia Assessment of Content for Educators (GACE), a part of the ETS-developed Georgia Assessments for Certification of Educators system, and the edTPA, a nationally-developed, standards-based performance assessment of teacher candidates administered by Pearson, are used to determine whether new teachers are ready to enter the profession with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.  These tests are thought to be among the most trustworthy measures of the quality of professional education offered to Young Harris College students enrolled in the TPP.  Moreover, the third measure represented in the table, a report of percentage of program completers recommended for teacher certification, indicates how many candidates successfully completed any YHC teacher education program and were granted initial teacher licensure through the GAPSC within one month of their graduation for the dates of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2016.

Table 5 below shows that for three of the past four academic years (2012-2013, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016), the student performance on GACE and rate of program completers converting to initial certification within one month after graduation has been at 100%.  Additionally, the rate of 100% passing on edTPA, a new assessment that became consequential for licensure in Georgia in fall 2015, exceeds the national average, particularly in the area of elementary education, which in April 2016 was 91% for those states administering edTPA.  Taken in concert, these measures demonstrate the Division of Education has met or exceeded the institutional goal established in 2013 of a 98% pass rate on GACE and percentage of program completers who also become certified early childhood, middle grades, secondary, or music teachers within one month of graduation.  These data are offered as evidence of the quality of the Teacher Preparation Program and its graduates as well as the YHC TPP’s willingness and ability to hold itself accountable for producing effective teachers. 

Table 5: Teacher Candidates Certification Rates