Your Success is Our Success

The success of students is important to Charleston Southern University. The university sets goals and tracks student success various ways. As a review of the university’s Strategic Plan shows, the university has set significant goals in terms of student success, retention, engagement, and graduation.

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.

Program and ExamPassing Rate 2016-17Passing Rate 2017-18Passing Rate 2018-19Passing Rate 2019-20Passing Rate 2020-21Passing Rate 2021-22Passing Rate 2022-23
Education Undergrad – Praxis II98%95%93%88%88%
Nursing BSN – NCLEX94%98%95%99%*100%*97%*
Athletic Training M.AT – BOC86%88%100%*100%*100%*
Music Therapy BS CBMT Cert. Exam100%100%*100%*100%*100%*78%
PA Program (PANCE)Program began in Jan. 2018; first cohort graduated 2019. Cohorts graduate in December.100%*100%*100%*100%97%
*Includes repeated attempts. First attempt records available upon request.

Wildly Important Goals: Improve Retention and Graduation Rates

Charleston Southern University’s prime competitive benchmarks are to match and then exceed the mean and the median rates for the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU). The next goal for retention is to achieve 75%.

Upon passing these goals in the disaggregated categories shown below, the university will work toward matching and then exceeding the universities on CSU’s Comparison and Benchmark list and the subset of Benchmark universities by themselves (aiming for the higher standard in all cases). 

Upon achieving these goals, the University will ascertain the next appropriate benchmark. Note that all data for SCICU and Benchmark derives from publicly available Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data and is often a year to two years behind for other institutions. Because of the many challenges which face the modern college student, including academic, financial, and personal challenges, the National Center for Education Statistics now tracks graduation rates through 8 years rather than 4, accounting for students who drop out briefly, and then drop back in, or who 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.

1st Year Retention (3-year average for CSU)4-Year Graduation Rate6-Year Graduation Rate6-Year Completion Rate (Bachelor’s Degree Completions)
SCICU Median Rate70%41%52%N/A
SCICU Average Rate68%41%51%N/A

CSU will match or exceed the SCICU mean and median rates and the mean/median rates of its Benchmark and Comparison schools in all disaggregated categories and in overall completion and graduation rates.

2014 Cohort6-Year Completion Rate6-Year Grad RateWomen 6-Year Grad RateMen 6-Year Grad RatePell Grant Recipients 6-Year Grad RateBlack/Af. Am. 6-Year Grad RateWhite 6-Year Grad RateHispanics 6-Year Grad Rate
SCICU Median RateN/A52%58%45%45%41%50%40%
SCICU Average RateN/A51%56%40%47%36%59%35%

How Does CSU Work to Make This Happen?

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.

Academic YearFallSpringTotal