Student Achievement Goals

Student Achievement Goals & Outcomes

True to its mission, Mars Hill University “challenges and equips students to pursue intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth.”  The university assesses the extent to which students achieve this growth using the following measures: first-year student retention rates, graduation rates, licensure examination outcomes, and post-graduation career outcomes. For certain measures, such as graduation rates, the University has identified a set of ten peer institutions, all of which share commonalities with us, to benchmark our performance against. In 2020, MHU’s Student Achievement Goals were revised to better reflect institutional priorities.


Achievement Goal: Retention Rate (Fall to Fall) of new, first-time, full time students of 70% or greater

MHU Retention Rates
Reporting Cycle     2016     2017     2018     2019     2020    
Cohort Year     2015     2016     2017     2018     2019    
First-Year Retention Rate     57     59     63     63     67    
First-Year Retention Goal     60     60     60     60     70    
First Year Retention Median of Peer  
Comparison Institutions    
61     59     61     63     Data not available

Source: IPEDS


Achievement Goal: Graduation  rate at or above the 50th percentile of peer comparison institutions across demographic groups

MHU 6-Year Graduation Rates
Cohort     IPEDS Reporting Year     Comparison Group Median
Graduation Rate    
MHU Outcome:
Graduation Rate    
2009     2015-2016     38%     34%, 30th percentile
2010     2016-2017     38%     34%, 40th percentile
2011     2017-2018     32%     31%, 30th percentile
2012     2018-2019     38%     39%, 60th percentile
2013     2019-2020     40%     30%, 20th percentile
2014     2020-2021     Data Not Available     35%, percentile not available

Source: IPEDS

Professional Licensure Rates in Education and Nursing

Achievement Goals: MHU education students will meet or exceed a pass rate of 95% in education licensure exams. MHU’s Nursing Program will obtain a National Council Licensure Examination—Registered Nurse (NCLEX) pass rate reflecting 95% of a three-year average, according to the North Carolina Board of Nursing standards, within three years.


Academic Year     Outcome    
2015-2016 (2015 Cohort)     85.19% (3 year pass rate)    
2016-2017 (2016 Cohort)     84.21% (3 year pass rate)    
2017-2018 (2017 Cohort)     100% (only 2 years of data available, 2 year pass rate)    
2018-2019 (2018 Cohort)     100% (only 1 year of data available, 1 year pass rate)    
2019-2020 (2019 Cohort)     Data not yet available    

Source: Aggregated ETS and Pearson results as reported to the State of North Carolina via the Title II Federal Reporting process and published in the annual EPP Report Card.


Academic Year     Outcome    
January 1, 2018-December 31, 2018 (first year of test-takers)     81%    
January 1, 2019-December 31, 2019     65%    
January 1, 2020-December 31, 2020     67%    

Source: North Carolina Board of Nursing

Post-Graduation Career Outcomes

Achievement Goal: 92% of MHU graduates will have a positive post-graduation outcome, defined as employed full-time, participating in a program of voluntary service, serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, or enrolled in a program of continuing education, within twelve months of graduation. The knowledge rate goal is 75%.

Where are our graduates now? We received responses to the First Destination Survey from the areas indicated below.

Source: Handshake

Class of May 2020 Post-Graduation Career Outcomes:

Undergraduate Placements: 94% of undergraduates who responded to our follow-up First Destination Survey report they are employed, enrolled in continuing education, or engaged in volunteer service. Knowledge Rate: 47%

Graduate Placements: 100% of graduate students who responded to our follow-up First Destination Survey report they are employed. Knowledge Rate: 91%

Source: Handshake First Destination Survey and Cothran Center for Career Readiness