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Charleston Southern University > About Us > Board of Trustees

Student Achievement

The success of students is important to Charleston Southern University. The university sets goals and tracks student success in a number of ways. As a review of the university's Strategic Transformation Plan will indicate, the university has set significant goals in terms of student success, retention, engagement, and graduation. Additionally, as indicated by the broader university goals listed here, the university is working hard to "Increase retention, graduation rates and employment opportunities," and to "Promote academic and student success regionally, nationally and internationally."

National Licensure Exams 

One of the ways Charleston Southern University tracks student success is through their success rates on National Licensure exams. The most recent results are posted below. CSU's goal is to achieve 100% on each exam.

National Licensure Exam

First-Year Retention Rates

CSU also tracks student success through first year (freshman to sophomore) retention rates.

CSU's goal is to first meet the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities' (SCICU) mean retention rate by fall 2015 (based on a three year average) and then to exceed the rate by 2017.  Additionally, the university will exceed the rate by 2017 of designated benchmark institutions.

First Year Retention Rates

SCICU Retention Rate Average: 66.9%
Benchmark Institutions' First-Year Retention Rate Average: 68.5%
Based on most recent IPEDS data

Graduation Rates

The university also tracks student achievement through its graduation rate. Because of the many challenges facing the modern college student, from academic, financial, to personal, the National Center for Education Statistics now tracks graduation rates through 8 years rather than 4, accounting for students who drop out briefly, drop back in, or go part-time for a while, and then become full-time again.

As a brief survey of CSU's student body shows, the university hosts a large number of first generation students and Pell Grant and federal aid award receiving students. Many of these students need to work and have to balance the many challenges of life with staying a student, and as a result graduating in four years is often not possible. Despite these challenges, CSU is dedicated to improving the university's graduation rates. CSU's goals are, again, based on the graduation rates of similar institutions.

CSU's goal is to match and then exceed the SCICU Mean Graduation Rates for 4 years (38.6%) and 6 years (48.4%). Additionally, the university has a goal to match and then exceed the Mean Graduation Rate of designated peer benchmark institutions for 4 year mean graduation rate (34.2%) and 6 year mean graduation rate (45.9%). (Based on most recent IPEDS data)

Cohort Graduation Rate

Course Success Achievement

CSU additionally monitors the student success rate in each undergraduate course it teaches and asks each department to analyze its students' success rates and to develop strategies to help and enable students to better succeed. The most recent course success data and the departments' approaches to helping students may be reviewed here. The goals are embedded with the data.

Dean's List

Part of promoting success at Charleston Southern entails promoting our excellent students.  A student has to have a 3.5 GPA to place on the Dean's List at Charleston Southern.  The numbers of students achieving this difficulty academic goal are listed below.

Dean’s List Data

Dean's List Data

Placement Rates

The university cares deeply about the future of our students and works hard to track the post-degree placement of our graduates. The university's goal is to meet or exceed the mean (for reporting schools) of the SCICU. CSU's job placement statistics are available here.