Student Achievement

The institution’s mission, “to inspire, empower, and educate our community for leadership and success,” influenced the four directions of PAC’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan: Student Empowerment, Employee Empowerment, Community Empowerment, and Maximize Capacity to Serve. The focus of the Student Empowerment direction is to promote student success through achievement of the following five goals:

  • Increase student completion
  • Increase opportunities for students to explore careers pathways
  • Increase student transfer outcomes and improve workforce outcomes
  • Close equity gaps across student sub-populations
  • Increase student proficiency in learning outcomes

Within the five goals under the Student Empowerment direction, PAC has identified nine measures to document student success:

  • Enrollment
  • Productive Grade Rate
  • Course Completion Rate
  • Fall-to-Fall Persistence Rate
  • Graduation Rates
  • Completion Counts
  • Transfer Rate
  • Employment Rate
  • Entry-Level Earnings

 

Fall Enrollment
Term Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020
Enrollment 8,671 9,108 9,368 9,852 10,763 11,193

Source: Certified CBM001
Threshold of acceptability: 10,763
Goal target: 10,978
Achievement: 11,193

 


 

Spring Enrollment
Term Spring 2016 Spring 2017 Spring 2018 Spring 2019 Spring 2020 Spring 2021
Enrollment 8,960 9,061 9,577 9,627 10,581 10,456

Source: Certified CBM001

Threshold of acceptability: 10,451
Goal target: 10,660
Achievement: 10,456

 


 

Productive Grade and Completion Rates

Productive Grade and Completion Rates PAC has identified two measures of student achievement directly tied to student performance in courses since successfully completing coursework helps prepare students for graduation, entering the workforce, or continuing their education. The Institution regularly evaluates productive grade rate (the percentage of students who successfully complete the course with an A, B, or C grade), and completion rates (the percentage of students who finish the course without withdrawing).

 

Productive Grade Rates
Term Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020

Productive Grade Rate

79.0% 79.4% 78.8% 75.5% 76.0% 75.9%

Source: Alamo Colleges Benchmark March 2021 Report

Threshold of acceptability: 70%
Goal target: 80%
Achievement: 75.9%

 


 

Course Completion Rates
Term Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020

Course Completion Rate

90.7% 91.3% 91.7% 90.7% 92.1% 91.1%

Source: Alamo Colleges Benchmark March 2021 Report

Threshold of acceptability: 90%
Goal target: 94%
Achievement: 91.1% 

 


 

Persistence Rate

Palo Alto College tracks fall-to-fall persistence to determine student progression. Fall-to-fall persistence rates depict the students who continue enrollment in the subsequent academic year.

Fall-To-Fall Full-Time FTIC Persistence Rate
  Fall 2014
to
Fall 2015
Fall 2015
to
Fall 2016
Fall 2016
to
Fall 2017
Fall 2017
to
Fall 2018
Fall 2018
to
Fall 2019
Fall 2019
to
Fall 2020

Full-time

62.8% 67.2% 62.1% 62.7% 61.5% 54.6%

Source: Certified CBM001

Threshold of acceptability: 61%
Goal target: 67%
Achievement: 54.6%

 


 

Fall-To-Fall Part-Time FTIC Persistence Rate
  Fall 2014
to
Fall 2015
Fall 2015
to
Fall 2016
Fall 2016
to
Fall 2017
Fall 2017
to
Fall 2018
Fall 2018
to
Fall 2019
Fall 2019
to
Fall 2020

Part-time

39.4% 43.1% 42.6% 42.8% 41.9% 30.9%

Source: Certified CBM001

Threshold of acceptability: 40%
Goal target: 43%
Achievement: 30.9%

 


 

Graduation Rate

The U.S. Department of Education graduation rates, reported through IPEDS, are calculated as the proportion of an incoming cohort of first-time students who start full-time in the fall term and who graduate within 150% of normal time to completion.

IPEDS 150% Standard Time Full-Time FTIC Cohort Graduation Rates
IPEDS Report Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
150% Standard Time (3-Year) 19% 24% 26% 34% 30%

Source: IPEDS

Threshold of acceptability: 30%
Goal target: 39%
Achievement: 30%

 


 

The THECB graduation rate shows the percentage of first-time, credential-seeking undergraduates who graduate within 3, 4, or 6 academic years. Certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees are included.

THECB Full-Time FTIC Cohort Graduation Rates
THECB Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
3-Year 21.4% 26.0% 27.2% 37.0% 30.8% 30.0%

Source: THECB Almanac

Threshold of acceptability: 30%
Goal target: 35.2%
Achievement: 30%

 


 

THECB Full-Time FTIC Cohort Graduation Rates
THECB Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
4-Year 25.6% 33.0% 35.6% 36.6% 45.9% 35.5%

Source: THECB Almanac

Threshold of acceptability: 40%
Goal target: 46.2%
Achievement: 35.5%

 


 

THECB Full-Time FTIC Cohort Graduation Rates
THECB Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
6-Year 24.4% 32.1% 37.3% 44.5% 45.4% 39.0%

Source: THECB Almanac

Threshold of acceptability: 41%
Goal target: 49.4%
Achievement: 39%

 


 

Completion Counts

In addition to graduation rates, PAC establishes an annual Graduation Wildly Important Goal (WIG), which sets the target for completion counts, or the number of students who earn a degree or certificate annually.

 

Completion Counts
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total Awards 1165 1363 1549 1714 1840 1910

Source: Alamo Colleges Benchmark March 2021 Report

Threshold of acceptability: 1840
Goal target: 1951
Achievement: 1910

 


 

Transfer Rates

PAC regularly evaluates transfer rates as a measure of student achievement. This measure looks at the percent of FTIC students who transfer to a senior institution within six years. PAC uses the THECB report to evaluate transfer trends for PAC students.

 

THECB 6-Year Transfer Rates
THECB Almanac Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Transfer Rates 17.6% 16.4% 20.2% 19.9% 23.8% 24.3%

Source: THECB Almanac

Threshold of acceptability: 20%
Goal target: 26%
Achievement: 24.3%

 


 

Employment Rates

PAC regularly evaluates the percentage of completers employed/enrolled within 6 months after graduation as measures of student achievement. This measure looks at the percentage of technical and academic students who are employed or enrolled within 6 months after graduation.

 

Academic Completer Employment Rates
Fiscal Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Employment Rates 87.1% 91.2% 89.0% 92.3% 88.2% 89.0%

Source: THECB Almanac

Threshold of acceptability: 88%
Goal target: 93%
Achievement: 89%

 


 

Technical Completer Employment Rates
Fiscal Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Employment Rates 94.9% 98.5% 91.5% 90.2% 89.7% 90.5%

Source: THECB Almanac

Threshold of acceptability: 88%
Goal target: 94%
Achievement: 90.5%

 


 

Entry-Level Earnings

PAC has identified entry-level earnings as a measure of student achievement. This measure uses the THECB exit report to evaluate the median quarterly earnings of technical and academic completers and to assess how PAC students compare to previous years.

 

Academic Completer Entry-Level Earnings
Cohort 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
Earnings  $ 4,647  $ 5,004  $ 4,654  $ 4,474  $ 4,419 $ 4,509

Source: THECB Exit Cohort Report

Threshold of acceptability: $4,400
Goal target: $4,640
Achievement: $4,509

 


 

Technical Completer Entry-Level Earnings
Cohort 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
Earnings  $ 6,940  $ 6,826  $ 7,074  $ 6,642  $ 6,150 $ 6,513

Source: THECB Exit Cohort Report

Threshold of acceptability: $6,100
Goal target: $6,450
Achievement: $6,513