Student Goals & Achievements

College

The College, which is “dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the liberal arts,” evaluates its success with respect to student achievement in a manner consistent with its mission (see University Statement of Mission and Purpose). The College monitors graduation rates, first-year student retention rates, graduate and professional school placement rates, and job placement rates over time as part of its assessment of overall program effectiveness in “applying and utilizing knowledge in the service of humanity”.Of the first-year students enrolling in Fall 2008, 83% graduated in four years, and 88% graduated in six years. This figure has remained consistently high over the past five entering classes (Fact Book 2014-2015, p. 30). These percentages reflect a rate of graduation significantly higher than the 2013 national average for Carnegie Research Universities (high research activity) at 35% and 59%, respectively.Of the first-year students enrolling in Fall 2013, 93% returned for the sophomore year in Fall 2014. Again, this figure has remained consistently high over the past five entering classes (Fact Book 2014-2015, p. 30). The 2013 retention rate for Carnegie Research Universities (high research activity) was 80%.

In the 2014 graduating class, there was a 48% acceptance rate to medical schools, compared to 41% acceptance rate in the nation (Fact Book 2014-2015, p. 33). The rate of acceptance to accredited law schools in the same year (2013-2014) was 78% for Wake Forest University seniors (compared to 86% nationally) and 85% for all Wake Forest University applicants, including alumni (compared to 78% nationally) (Fact Book 2014-2015, p. 34). All eligible Wake Forest Department of Education students who were recommended for licensure by the Department were issued a Teaching License from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. (It should be noted that not every student chooses to apply for North Carolina certification.)

Of the class graduating in Spring 2014, 28% went into graduate or professional schools, whereas 67% obtained employment (Fact Book 2014-2015, p. 31). In comparison, 29% of the class of 2010 went to graduate or professional school and 58% obtained employment (Fact Book 2010-11, p. 32).

These numbers of success upon graduation are due in large part to the creation of the Office of Personal and Career Development, which engages students in their first year to assist them in charting an appropriate academic path for pursuing their chosen career interest. Taken together, these numbers indicate that the College is exceeding the desired thresholds for success in student retention, graduation, and career placement.

Divinity School

The School of Divinity evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission: “the School of Divinity prepares leaders informed by a theological understanding of vocation. Through imaginative courses and diverse programs of community engagement, students are equipped to be agents of justice, reconciliation, and compassion in Christian churches and other ministries” (School of Divinity 2016-2017, p. 6).The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree stands at the center of the School of Divinity’s degree offerings. The program prepares students from diverse ministry experiences and theological perspectives for religious leadership, encouraging students to engage the rich histories and traditions of Christian congregations, to increase awareness and understanding of issues facing churches in their local and global contexts, and to integrate their knowledge of varied theological and ministry disciplines with what they encounter in ministry settings and in the world (School of Divinity 2016-2017, p. 20). The School assesses student achievement in the MDiv degree program based on the extent to which students meet the learning goals for the degree. The School also assesses achievement based on graduation and placement data and student assessment of program effectiveness.The School of Divinity assesses the MDiv portion of joint degrees (Bioethics, Counseling, Education, Sustainability, and Juris Doctor) based on (1) the extent to which students have met the learning goals for the Master of Divinity Degree and (2) the extent to which students demonstrate the ability to integrate what they are learning in the two degrees.

Goals for the Master of Divinity Degree (School of Divinity 2016-2017, p.9)

Students who graduate with the Master of Divinity degree from the Wake Forest University School of Divinity shall demonstrate:

  • A knowledge of Christian scripture, history, and theology that is substantial and relevant for pastoral ministry;
  • Evidence of sustained reflection on vocation and on the cultural and contextual issues bearing upon ministry;
  • Development of skills, gifts, and arts of ministry appropriate for leadership in local congregations and other settings.

The School of Divinity, as part of a reporting procedure for the Association of Theological Schools, revised its assessment plan for the MDiv degree and began using a new assessment plan in 2012-2013. The degree assessment plan utilizes student portfolios, compiled over each student’s six-semester enrollment in the program, and assessment rubrics to evaluate the program’s effectiveness at meeting its curricular goals. A faculty committee is appointed to evaluate a sample of the portfolios at the conclusion of each academic year.

Assessment Report for 2014-2015 Academic Year

The assessment team used a three-point scale to grade a representative sample of each of the classes, where 1 = Inadequate, 2 = Proficient, and 3 = Superior. As would be expected, the class averages rose from year to year, with the first-years averaging 1.63, the second-years 1.96, and the third-years (graduates) 2.31. The students are nearing the expected threshold of achievement by their second year and exceeding it by the third year.

Assessment Report for 2015-2016 Academic Year

In 2016, the assessment team used the same scale and again found that the graduating (third-year) class exceeded the threshold of achievement with an average score of 2.80. The second-year class met the threshold of proficiency, with a score of 2.43, and the first-year class scored 2.07.

Additional Assessment Tools

The School of Divinity also assesses program outcomes by monitoring graduation rates and career placement statistics. Of the class graduating in 2016: 77% of MDiv graduates are currently employed in ministry, education, the non-profit and for-profit sectors; 9% are pursuing further education; 8% are engaged in other activities; and 6% are seeking work.  Half of those seeking work have just completed yearlong CPE residencies and are newly entering the job market. These data indicate that students meet hiring standards and educational requirements of potential employers in ministry contexts and are competitive as applicants for additional education beyond the MDiv and for diverse ministry jobs. The data indicate that students are meeting the expected threshold of achievement: ministerial positions are the usual outcome of a Master of Divinity degree, but the School also prepares students for a changing landscape in which more clergy are bi-vocational or exercise their skills in ministry in other roles.

Additional demographic data for each graduating class is collected through the Graduating Student Questionnaire, which is administered through the Association for Theological Schools. The Questionnaire provides information about student satisfaction with the degree program, debt load upon graduation, and job placement as well as comparison of the School of Divinity’s data with peer schools. The 2015-2016 ATS graduating student profile report indicated that students scored the school on the whole effective to very effective in facilitating skill areas, such as preaching, ability to use and interpret Scripture, and knowledge of church doctrine and history.

Graduate School

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences effectively evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission to train and mentor future leaders in research, teaching, and innovation for serving humanity (Graduate School Bulletin, p. 9).Regarding course completion, on the Reynolda Campus, a Graduate School staff member reviews the transcript of each student to ensure that all students about to graduate have fulfilled the course requirements for their degree. On the Bowman Gray Campus, a Graduate School staff member also checks this. Furthermore, a transcript is sent to the student’s advisor for confirmation that all courses required have been completed. No student is given a degree until the course requirements are met.Several individual programs assess student achievement through standardized tests. The Graduate Program in Chemistry, for example, administers standardized tests prepared and evaluated by the American Chemical Society. These five tests cover the disciplines of analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. All entering students must pass four of these exams. Normally, a student will enroll in a semester-long course in the area and take the exam at the end. A passing grade is considered to be above the 50th percentile nationally. 100% of the entering graduate students in chemistry have achieved this goal over the past five years. Students who do not pass the exams, even after completing the semester-long course, may not continue in the program.

Similarly, over the past several years, the Education program has administered standardized tests developed by the Educational Testing Service to its students (the Praxis II tests). The program publishes its requirements to meet North Carolina Licensure levels. Again, the passing rate was 100%, which was above the state average. Similarly, the Counseling Program (both online and on campus) meets the requirements of an outside accreditation body. The School Counseling Program and the Clinical Mental Health Program are accredited by CACREP (Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs) through October 2018. In January 2012, CACREP awarded accreditation to the Part-Time, Online Campus Delivery of the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Programs. Students attempting licensure exams in these programs enjoy a 100% success rate.

The 2013-14 Graduate School Annual Report for the Reynolda campus (Arts & Sciences) summarizes the findings from the exit survey given to graduating students (Tables 14-17, p. 23-31). These data tables show the Graduate School admission or job placement achieved by each individual Wake Forest University graduate. In total, 167 students completed this survey in 2013-2014. Of these 167 students, 83 master’s students went on to PhD programs, 55 master’s students took jobs, five doctoral students reported going to postdoctoral positions, six doctoral students took academic or business jobs, and three doctoral students chose to pursue additional degrees. The remaining 14 students listed their future plans in May 2014 as unknown. Six of the 167 students left prior to completing all of the requirements for graduation, and expect to graduate in 2015. Thus, in 2013-2014, 55% of the respondents sought additional education, 37% accepted jobs, and 8% were unknown. The overall graduation rate for the Reynolda campus (six years for the PhD and three years for the master’s degrees) was 78% for those expected to finish in 2013-2014. The average time to degree for the PhD was 5.3 years for those graduating in 2013-2014. For the MS degree the average time was 2.8 years, and 2.0 years was the average time for the MA.

The 2018 Graduate School Annual Report for the Bowman Gray campus (Biomedical Sciences) summarizes number of graduates, achievement, and time to degree by each Wake Forest School of Medicine graduate program. The linked data tables show 78 graduating students for 2018.

Table 1.
Class of 2017/2018: Degrees Conferred by Program and Degree

Degree Program Total PhD MS
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BAMB) 1 1
Biomedical Engineering (BMES) 6 3 3
Biomedical Sciences (Research Track) 25 25
Biomedical Sciences (Pre-health Track) 18 18
Cancer Biology (CABI) 4 4
Clinical and Population Translation Sciences (CPTS) 3 3
Health Disparities in Neuroscience-related Disorders (HDND) 5 5
Integrative Physiology and Parmacology (IPP) 2 2
Molecular Genetics and Genomics (MOGN) 1 1
Molecular Medicine and Translation Science (MMTS) 7 5 2
Neuroscience (NEUR) 4 6
Total 78 22 56

Of the 78 students, 17 master’s students went on to MD programs, 12 master’s students went on to PhD programs, 24 master’s students took jobs, 1 master’s student went on to a second master’s degree, 1 master’s student went on to a PA program, 1 master’s student went on to a BSN program, 8 doctoral students reported going to postdoctoral positions, 11 doctoral students took academic or business jobs, and 2 MD/PhD students that finished the PhD returned to the MD program to complete that portion of their joint degree program. One student listed their future plan as unknown. Thus, in 2018, 54% of graduating students sought additional education, 45% accepted jobs, and 1% were unknown. The average time to degree for the PhD was 5.31 years for those graduating in 2018. For the MS degree, the average time was 1.98 years.

Table 2.
Class of 2017/2018: Average Years to Degree Completion by Program and Degree

Degree Program PhD MS
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BAMB) 6.34
Biomedical Engineering (BMES) 5.97 2.39
Biomedical Sciences (Research Track) 1.71
Biomedical Sciences (Pre-health Track) 1.07
Cancer Biology (CABI) 5.2
Clinical and Population Translation Sciences (CPTS) 2.15
Health Disparities in Neuroscience-related Disorders (HDND) 1.82
Integrative Physiology and Parmacology (IPP) 4.77
Molecular Genetics and Genomics (MOGN) 4.35
Molecular Medicine and Translation Science (MMTS) 5.18 2.73
Neuroscience (NEUR) 5.35
Total 5.31 1.98

School of Law

The School of Law evaluates student achievement as it pertains to its mission. Its mission states that the School “seeks to prepare our students for the practice of law in the United States.” With that comes “a responsibility to provide our students with a foundation of legal knowledge and skill upon which they can build lives of service within the legal profession” (Law School Mission).Because passing the state bar exam is a requirement for practicing law, one of the main criteria used to evaluate student success in the School of Law is bar exam passage rates. The Law School’s last ABA accreditation review was in 2008 (ABA Accreditation Decision, April 2009). As an ABA-accredited law school, the School of Law reports annually on its curriculum, program operations, and outcomes by completing an ABA annual questionnaire. This report includes a yearly analysis of the bar passage rates of Wake Forest School of Law graduates (ABA 2014 Annual Questionnaire, p. 9). The bar passage rate for graduates of the Wake Forest School of Law is consistently above the state average. In 2013, the Law School’s weighted average school pass percentage was 80.1%, while the state average was 73.7%. The school closely monitors these rates and focuses many of its efforts on increasing the bar passage rates of its graduates from year to year.The School of Law is also required by the ABA to disclose standardized and detailed employment statistics. These statistics are another measure of student success in achieving the goal for graduates to practice law in the United States (Employment Statistics). While employment for new graduates in full-time, long-term positions continues to be challenging in the wake of the economic downturn, graduates in the Class of 2012 experienced some good progress, with long-term, full-time employment increasing from 69.6% in 2011 to 78.2% in 2012. Unfortunately, the Class of 2013 did not realize the same gains and actually fell back to 2011 levels. The School has implemented many enhancements to bolster positive progress in graduate employment rates, including a new Professional Development class in 2013, fellowships, and a campaign to promote hiring graduates within the School’s alumni network.

School of Medicine

Consistent with the mission of the WFSM to train leaders in healthcare and biomedical science, the Office of Medical Education monitors student achievement and performance throughout the medical school.

Doctorate of Medicine (MD)

The success of graduating students in placement for residency training is monitored and reported annually. The 2018 Match Rate was 98.1%, and 2 students who did not match elected to pursue research.
Table 3.
Match Results for MS2010 through MS2018

Class Total in the Graduating Class Total Match(%) Not matched Notes
MS2010 115 115(100%) 0
MS2011 118 118(100%) 0
MS2012 113 113(100%) 0
MS2013 126 125(99.2%) 1
MS2014 116 115(99.1%) 1
MS2015 112 109(97.3%) 3 2 students graduated and pursued research; 1 student enrolled in a fifth year of medical school
MS2016 109 106(97.2%) 3 2 students graduated and pursued additional degrees and/or research; 1 student matched post-SOAP into a categorical Internal Medicine spot
MS2017 115 114(99.1%) 1 1 – 1 student pursued research
MS2018 105 103(98.1%) 2 2-2 students pursued reserach

*SOAP = National Resident Matching Program’s Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program
The Office of Medical Education conducts a survey of residency program directors to monitor the performance of WFSM graduates after their first year in post-graduate training. Overall, programs directors were very satisfied with the performance of WFSM graduates, rating them a 5.26 on overall performance on a scale from 0-6 points. Over the past five years, 89-96% of the entering class has graduated.

The Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Executive Council monitor student performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). The percent pass rate for WFSM first-time takers of USMLE Step 1 has been has been within one percentage point, or above the national mean over the past five years.
Table 4.
USMLE Step 1 – First Time Examinee

WFSM US & Canadian Mecial Schools
Academic Year 1st Time Pass Rate Mean(SD) 1st Time Pass Rate Mean(SD)
2010 92% 221(21) 91% 222(24)
2011 94% 221(20) 94% 224(20)
2012 99% 228(19) 95% 227(22)
2013 97% 229(21) 96% 228(21)
2014 95% 233(21) 96% 229(20)
2015 96% 231(20) 95% 229(20)
2016 95% 230(21) 96% 229(20)
2017 98% 230(19) 96% 229(20)
2018 95% 231(21) 96% 230(19)

The percent pass rate for WFSM first-time takers of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge has been consistently at or above the national rate over the past five years.
Table 5.
USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge – First Time Examinee

WFSM US & Canadian Mecial Schools
Academic Year 1st Time Pass Rate Mean(SD) 1st Time Pass Rate Mean(SD)
2009 99% 237(21) 97% 230(23)
2010 100% 241(18) 97% 233(22)
2011 99% 243(18) 98% 237(21)
2012 99% 245(18) 98% 238(19)
2013 98% 247(17) 97% 240(18)
2014 98% 247(17) 97% 240(18)
2015 99% 249(15) 95% 240(18)
2016 96% 246(18) 96% 242(17)
2017 98% 248(16) 96% 242(17)
2018 98% 247(15) 97% 243(17)

The percent pass rate for WFSM first-time takers of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills has been within one percentage point, or above the national mean over the past five years.
Table 6.
USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills – First Time Examinee

WFSM US & Canadian Mecial Schools
Academic Year 1st Time Pass Rate 1st Time Pass Rate
2009 98% 97%
2010 97% 98%
2011 98% 97%
2012 99% 98%
2013 98% 96%
2014 98% 96%
2015 95% 96%
2016 99% 97%
2017 97% 96%
2018 94% 95%

Physician Assistant (PA) Program

The PA Program evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission to produce highly capable, compassionate PAs who make significant contributions to the health care community. The Department of PA Studies documents successful student achievement in relation to its mission by the number of students who pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) the first time they take it. Since 2013, the percent pass rate for PA Program first-time takers of the PANCE has been at or above the national first-time pass rate. Over the past five years, the average first-time pass rate for WFSM PA Program is 99%, and the national average is 96%.
Table 7.
PANCE Pass Rates – First Time Exaiminee

Class Graduating Year Number of First Time Takers Program First Time Take Pass Rate National First Time Taker Pass Rate for the Class Graduation Year
2014 60 100% 95%
2015 59 100% 96%
2016 89 99% 96%
2017 86 100% 97%
2018 87 99% 98%

First Year First Time Taker Average Pass Rate for Program(average last 5 years):99%
Firve Year National First Time Taker Average (average last 5 years): 96%

The pass rates are updated annually and published on the PA Program website. Over the past five years, 92-98% of the entering class has graduated. The Program also tracks the number of graduates who gain employment as a PA following graduation. For the most recent graduating class, 97% of the class secured employment within 6 months of graduation.  The Wake Forest PA program is ranked #7 by US News and World Report.

Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP)

The achievement of students at the Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) is gauged by successful completion of the National Certification Examination (NCE) administered by the National Board for Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) following graduation from the program. The NAP has maintained excellent pass rates on this certifying examination, and the pass rates are published and updated annually on the program website.
Table 8.
WFSM NAP NCE Performance Scores

Class First Time Pass Rate First Time Scaled Score Avg Overall Pass Rate Overall Scaled Score Avg
2006 75 508.8 100% 539.2
2007 100 523.8 100% 523.8
2008 74 478.8 100% 491.2
2009 95 510.9 100% 513.0
2010 95 494.5 100% 497.7
2011 100 530.3 100% 530.3
2012 95 512.6 100% 516.0
2013 100 525.4 100% 525.4
2014 96 504.1 100% 506.7
2015 83 495.6 100% 499.6
2016 95 497.2 100% 499.9
2017 83 496.9 100% 512.8
2018 91 502.8 100% 507.2
Average 91 506.6 100% 513.0

The mandatory threshold pass rate of the Council for Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Programs (COA) for first-time takers as defined in the policy is 80% of a composite of the previous five years’ national CCNA pass rate for first-time takers. In 2018 the mandatory threshold was 84.8%.

Table 9.
WFSM NAP Performance Scores vs National Scores

As demonstrated in the included chart, for the graduating class of 2018, the certification examination pass rate for first-time takers was 91% .

Table 10.
WFSM NAP Performance Scores vs National Scores (Trend)

Employment of 2018 graduates within the first six months of graduation was 100%. This figure also is published and updated annually on the program website.