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Federal Requirement 4.1
Student Achievement

8. The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. Criteria may include enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; or other means of demonstrating student achievement.

Judgment of Compliance:


Narrative/Justification for Judgment of Compliance:


Florida Gateway College (FGC) evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. Criteria may include enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; or other means of demonstrating student achievement.

FGC monitors student achievement by collecting, evaluating, and disseminating data from a variety of sources on a regular basis. These sources include Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) reports, census and labor market data, and internal data systems.

The FLDOE compiles and publishes reports on a number of outcome measures for FGC and other Florida College Institutions in the state accountability and articulation reports. Additionally, the FLDOE produces numerous reports from each college’s data submissions to the state. FGC posts these to a shared location on the college network [1] and they are reviewed by various administrators, staff, and faculty.

The college’s Department of Research and Institutional Effectiveness (RIE) summarizes information from various sources and produces several publications for administrative review: the FGC Fact Book [2]; InfoHub [3]; the Goals for Student Achievement and Student Success summary report; [4] and the Regional Facts & Occupational Outlook [5]. These reports are published on the college website [6].

Student success reports [7] are produced at the end of each term and distributed to administrators, faculty and staff for review. The success reports include course enrollments, withdrawal rates, ABC and DF rates by department, program, and delivery method.

FGC has a Retention Committee which reviews data and makes recommendations for new and ongoing strategies for improving retention based on data from the state and internal sources. One of the recent strategies developed by the Retention Committee focused on improving retention and success in online courses. This was a multi-faceted initiative involving the committee and the Director of Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Distance Learning.

Academic Achievement Metrics

Retention, Success, and Graduation Rates

FGC executive and administrative personnel review the annual FLDOE Retention and Success Accountability Report (M1P2) [8] which evidences progress toward the goals set forth in the Goals for Student Achievement and Student Success summary. The M1P2 report tracks retention, completion, and success rates for students enrolled in degree and college credit certificate programs for all colleges within the Florida College System (FCS). The report allows administrators to compare FGC’s student success with that of other FCS institutions. These measures are identified as key performance indicators (KPI) in the FCS 2012-2017 Strategic Plan [9] and are elements in Florida’s college performance funding initiative [10].

The following tables summarize the graduation, retention, and success rates for FGC as compared to the FCS as a whole. These rates follow a cohort of first-time-in-college (FTIC) full-time and part-time students for a period of four years for two-year programs, and two years for programs less than two years in length. Success rates include students who have either graduated or have been retained from year-to-year.

Florida Gateway College
Measure (M) and Part (P) All figures are in percentages
Year of Accountability Report
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014*
M1P2 Retention Rate A.A 54.14 50.82 57.71 58.33 56.76
Success Rate A.A. 83.98 81.97 85.07 85.71 83.78
Graduation Rate A.A. 40.33 34.97 39.80 42.86 34.68
Retention Rate A.S./A.A.S. 43.66 46.55 47.06 32.67 21.92
Success Rate A.S./A.A.S. 83.10 72.41 76.47 67.33 78.08
Graduation Rate A.S./A.A.S. * 22.41 22.06 14.85 12.33
Retention Rate P.S.V.C. 69.44 77.36 72.22 71.74 62.16
Success Rate P.S.V.C. 77.78 86.79 86.11 80.43 89.19
Graduation Rate P.S.V.C. 58.33 66.04 66.67 58.70 59.46
* Preliminary Data
Florida College System Totals
Measure (M) and Part (P) All figures are in percentages
Year of Accountability Report
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
M1P2 Retention Rate A.A 66.96 66.68 66.52 64.92 64.08
Success Rate A.A. 84.98 84.40 84.21 83.43 84.20
Graduation Rate A.A. 38.75 39.98 42.07 41.24 40.28
Retention Rate A.S./A.A.S. 59.93 58.38 55.69 51.47 52.28
Success Rate A.S./A.A.S. 81.91 82.02 79.84 77.97 78.64
Graduation Rate A.S./A.A.S. 17.68 17.17 16.10 15.92 16.49
Retention Rate P.S.V.C. 89.10 88.07 87.96 88.88 89.77
Success Rate P.S.V.C. 88.69 88.95 88.89 89.05 89.32
Graduation Rate P.S.V.C. 72.58 71.78 73.74 73.39 73.40

In addition to monitoring accountability measures, FGC reviews and analyzes the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) information submitted to the National Center for Education Statistics regarding retention, graduation, and transfer-out rates.

As shown in the following table, FGC’s IPEDS fall-to-fall FTIC overall retention rate has steadily improved over the last five years from 47% in 2010 to 57% in 2014.

Fall Term to Fall Term Fall-to-Fall Retention Rate
2009→2010 47%
2010→2011 51%
2011→2012 54%
2012→2013 56%
2013→2014 57%


Retention rates are addressed by the college’s Retention Committee. The committee’s purpose is to propose, plan and coordinate new initiatives and engage faculty and staff in creating and participating in the recruitment and retention of students. The retention plan [11] includes a focus on improvement of advising services, tutoring, student development activities, and student engagement activities. The retention plan summarizes the college’s ongoing efforts to improve retention.

Graduation rates at FGC tend to be volatile. Analysis of the 2014 graduation data reveals a steep decline in the IPEDS 150% graduation rate. Early examination of 2015 data reveals that the graduation rate is expected to rise to over 48% for 2015. The Student Right-to-Know graduation and transfer-out rates are published on the RIE Facts-at-a-Glance web page [12].

Developmental Education Completion and College Success

Timely completion of required developmental education is critical to the success of FGC students. The College Preparatory Completion accountability report (M4P1) [13] provides statistics on the percentage of students who were tested, enrolled in, and completed all developmental reading, writing, and/or math coursework within two years. These statistics have been used to examine the success rate of students in FGC mathematics courses and were used to plan and design FGC's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Florida Gateway College
Measure (M) and Part (P) All figures are in percentages
Year of Accountability Report
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
M4P1 College Prep Success Rate - Reading 72.97 82.14 73.91 77.08 76.77
College Prep Success Rate - Writing 52.87 55.67 54.55 69.15 65.22
College Prep Success Rate - Math 39.08 26.74 36.48 47.98 42.24
College System Totals
Measure (M) and Part (P) All figures are in percentages
Year of Accountability Report
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
M4P1 College Prep Success Rate - Reading 72.95 74.20 73.53 71.16 n/a
College Prep Success Rate - Writing 67.36 68.95 68.18 65.87 n/a
College Prep Success Rate - Math 55.33 55.91 55.12 52.22 n/a


The Retention and Success of College Prep Degree Seekers accountability report (M4P2) [14] follows and tracks retention and success rates for the cohort of students from M4P1 seeking an A.A. degree who began their studies at FGC needing, and subsequently completing, developmental education courses.

Florida Gateway College
Measure (M) and Part (P) All figures are in percentages
Year of Accountability Report
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
M4P2 College Prep Retention Rate A.A. 58.49 60.42 67.44 61.54 65.67
College Prep Success Rate A.A. 88.68 81.25 93.02 92.31 91.04
College Prep Graduation Rate A.A. 35.85 33.33 41.86 46.15 19.40
College System Totals
Measure (M) and Part (P) All figures are in percentages
Year of Accountability Report
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014*
M4P2 College Prep Retention Rate A.A. 69.54 68.95 68.29 66.29 66.46
College Prep Success Rate A.A. 85.42 84.83 84.30 83.46 85.14
College Prep Graduation Rate A.A. 35.14 35.21 37.33 35.90 35.94
* Preliminary data


The 2014 retention rate for FGC is close to that of the Florida College System total; the success rate substantially exceeds that of the system; however, the graduation rate—which had increased steadily for the prior three years—dropped drastically in 2014. This drop parallels the decline noted in the M1P2 report, and is expected to rebound in 2015.

Note: The Florida legislature made sweeping changes to developmental education requirements in 2013. The bill, commonly known as SB1720 [15], essentially eliminated the placement testing requirement for recent Florida high school graduates possessing a standard diploma. This legislation is expected to have major impact in success rates in both developmental (“College Prep”) courses and subsequent college-level gateway courses. The changes were incorporated into Florida Statute 1008.30 [16].

Driven by the above legislation, and in concert with findings in the developmental education program review [17], in January 2014 FGC submitted a comprehensive developmental education plan [18] to the FLDOE, identifying two strategies intended to streamline and “fast-track” students through developmental coursework. Beginning in October 2015, colleges in the Florida College System (FCS) will be required to “prepare an accountability report that includes student success data relating to each developmental education strategy implemented by the institution.” This newly collected data will become a critical component in developmental education accountability.

With developmental education becoming essentially optional for many students, the college recognized that many students entering college for the first time—even those who had acceptable mathematics and reading/writing skills—were notably underprepared in the basic technology and study skills required to be successful in college-level coursework. As a result, faculty and academic administration created a new course to specifically address skills that enhance students’ likelihood of success at FGC [19]. The course, Student Life Skills (SLS) 1501 – The College Experience, is required for all first-time-in-college students and as a Social Science component for all Associate in Arts students. The course, was designed to facilitate the development of basic skills and applications in utilizing college resources, managing time, setting goals, taking personal responsibility, paying for college, interacting collegially, reading informational text, studying, taking tests, conducting research, citing sources, presenting information, and preparing for a career. It is believed that the addition of this core requirement will greatly enhance the student experience at FGC and subsequently raise retention and graduation rates.

Articulation – Associate in Arts (AA) Graduates

FGC reviews the Florida Colleges articulation reports [20] published by the FLDOE to track success of its graduates who transfer to the Florida state university system (SUS). The report compares the grade point averages of community college associate in arts degree graduates to the grade point average of graduates from other Florida community colleges and students who begin their education at a university.

Data for the past three years shows FGC graduates consistently earn GPAs above the average for all Florida community college students and just slightly below the average for native university students.

Cumulative GPA of AA Graduates Enrolled in the State University System (SUS)
Performance Comparison to All Florida College and Native SUS Students in Enrolled in SUS
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Mean GPA of FGC Students 3.09 3.08 3.04
Number of FGC Students 315 246 241
Mean GPA All FL College AA Transfer Students 2.94 2.93 2.93
Mean GPA All SUS Native Students 3.12 3.12 3.12


Career and Workforce Metrics

Job Placement Rates - Vocational Programs

Established by Florida States Section 1008.39 [21], the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) collects follow-up employment and educational data of FGC graduates. The following is the definition and directive of FETPIP as found on its website:

The Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) is a data collection and consumer reporting system established by Florida Statutes Section 1008.39 to provide follow-up data on former students and program participants who have graduated, exited or completed a public education or training program within the State of Florida. The statute requires all elements of Florida's workforce development system to use information provided through FETPIP, for any project they may conduct requiring automated matching of administrative records for follow-up purposes.

As part of the FETPIP process, program faculty informally track the job placements of graduates through various student contact efforts. Locally collected, auditable data for student placements not found by the FETPIP staff can be added to the state data.

FETPIP publishes outcome reports that detail placement rates for "completers" (graduates) and "leavers" (non-graduates who do not return to the college). The college uses FETPIP data as the main source for monitoring job placement rates for its graduates. The FETPIP results are summarized and published each year in the FGC Fact Book and are included in the Goals for Student Achievement and Student Success summary accessed from the RIE Institutional Assessment page [22] of the college website. The placement outcome information is used by the college to improve programs. The collected data in the table below is taken from the Vocational Placement accountability report (M3P2) [23].

Florida College System State Vocational Program Placement Report - 2014
Florida Gateway College
Accountability Measure 3 Part 2
CIP CODE Vocational Program Title Completers Leavers
N in Pool N Placed Pct Placed N in Pool N Placed Pct Placed
1101029901 Turf Equipment Management* 0 0 - 5 4 80.00
0101029902 Turf Equipment Technology* 17 16 94.12 13 11 84.62
1101060701 Golf Course Operations* 8 8 100.00 15 15 100.00
0317020503 Emergency Medical Technician 27 20 74.07 18 10 55.56
0317020600 Paramedic 9 9 100.00 7 7 100.00
1317020601 Emergency Med Servs-Assoc Deg 3 3 100.00 17 13 76.47
0317030101 Phlebotomy 51 38 74.51 16 15 93.75
0317050605 Medical Coder/Biller 3 3 100.00 23 17 73.91
0317060500 Practical Nursing 27 27 100.00 44 43 97.73
0317069902 Patient Care Assistant 31 27 87.10 3 3 100.00
0317069905 Patient Care Technician 2 2 100.00 62 43 69.35
1317081500 Physical Therapist Assistant 14 14 100.00 21 19 90.48
1318110100 Nursing 68 67 98.53 42 41 97.62
1420020203 Early Childhood Education A.D. 6 5 83.33 21 19 90.48
1506040102 Business Administration 3 3 100.00 33 33 100.00
0506180101 Business Management 9 9 100.00 10 10 100.00
0507019903 Accounting Applications 0 0 - 5 5 100.00
1507030500 Computer Programming & Analysis 0 0 - 17 17 100.00
0507030503 Computer Programming Specialist 2 2 100.00 2 2 100.00
1507030600 Computer Information Technology 1 1 100.00 11 11 100.00
0612040303 Cosmetology 23 16 69.57 35 30 85.71
0612040305 Facials Specialty 0 0 0.00 1 1 100.00
0615040201 Cisco CCNA Certificate 3 3 100.00 4 4 100.00
0615061304 Engineering Support Specialist 1 1 100.00 1 1 100.00
0647020302 A/C Refrig.&Htg. Technology 4 4 100.00 17 17 100.00
0648050802 Applied Welding Technologies 0 0 - 23 22 95.65
1650040200 Graphics Technology 2 2 100.00 13 13 100.00
0650040204 Graphics Design Production 2 2 100.00 7 7 100.00
1652020900 Supply Chain Management 1 1 100.00 5 5 100.00
0652020901 Logistics & Transportation Spec. 1 1 100.00 3 3 100.00
1715059901 Environmental Science Tech 0 0 - 11 11 100.00
0715059907 Water Quality Technician 10 10 100.00 2 1 50.00
0743010200 Correctional Officer 0 0 - 3 3 100.00
1743010300 Criminal Justice Technology 0 0 - 8 7 87.50
0743010700 Law Enforcement Officer 0 0 - 17 17 100.00
Total   328 294 89.63 535 480 89.72
* Program temporarily suspended
Note: Closed programs have been removed from the above matrix.

In 2014, FGC essentially met its overall placement goal of 90%. Goal achievement for individual programs are identified in the Goals for Student Achievement and Student Success summary, performance indicator #9.

Licensure Examination Pass Rates

FGC tracks state examination pass rates for graduates of occupational programs that lead to industry licensure or certification. The purpose of these programs is to prepare graduates to successfully complete industry examinations. Monitoring this information is critical for curriculum review to ensure the program outcomes are appropriate.

Registered and Practical Nursing

Results from the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) show FGC registered and practical nursing graduates have a first-time pass rate that consistently exceeds the national average pass rate.

Registered Nursing
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number Tested 60 73 76 65 82
Number Passing 55 66 74 55 72
% Passing 91.7% 90.4% 97.4% 84.6% 87.8%
National Average Pass Rate 87.4% 87.9% 90.3% 83.0% 79.3%


Practical Nursing
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number Tested 51 56 32 57 26
Number Passing 47 50 31 51 26
% Passing 92.2% 89.3% 96.9% 89.5% 100.0%
National Average Pass Rate 87.1% 84.8% 84.2% 84.6% 82.2%

Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Results from the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam (NPTAE) demonstrate that FGC PTA program graduates average a three-year pass rate that compares favorably with the national average.

Physical Therapist Assistant
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number Tested 19 22 26 20 21
Number Passing 18 18 23 20 20
% Passing 94.7% 81.8% 88.5% 100.0% 95.2%
National Average Pass Rate 93% 94% 95% 95% 92%



The cosmetology department tracks licensure pass rate data for its graduates in order to evaluate student success and program effectiveness. FGC’s pass rates substantially exceed the statewide average pass rate of 65% reported by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for January 2013 through December 2013 [24].

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number Tested 43 39 41 21 19
Number Passing 36 36 37 21 19
% Passing 83.7% 92.3% 90.2% 100.0% 100.0%


Law Enforcement and Corrections

Law Enforcement and Corrections training programs prepare graduates for the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE). The pass rates for program graduates are within the performance standard set by the college.

Law Enforcement
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number Tested 132 111 126 87 17
Number Passing 104 88 96 68 17
% Passing 78.8% 79.3% 76.2% 78.2%* 100%

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number Tested 58 53 52 60 18
Number Passing 42 39 42 46 15
% Passing 72.4% 73.6% 80.8% 76.7%* 83.3%

*2013 data is not completely supported with paper reports. Computer based testing was implemented November 1, 2013 and those results are not contained in the FDLE reports yet. 2014 data is not supported with paper reports at all.

Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) Program

The EPI program is an alternative certification program that prepares professionals with non-education bachelor, master, or doctorate degrees to become state certified teachers. Graduates are prepared to pass the General Knowledge Test, Professional Education Test, and the Florida Teacher Certification Examination. The pass rate for EPI graduates taking the three exams was 100% in each of the last five years. Test results are sometimes not available for up to three years following program completion.

During the yearlong EPI program, teacher candidates create an online portfolio using TaskStream. Each submission to the portfolio is assessed using rubrics based on the indicators for the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices. The analytics from TaskStream [25] are used by program administrators to follow individual teacher candidate progress and mastery. EPI is a competency based program and teacher candidates are not considered graduates until they have mastered all of the indicators as demonstrated through their online portfolio in TaskStream.

TaskStream is also used at the program level for continuous improvement. In addition to tracking individual teacher candidate progress, aggregate data are used to determine strengths and weaknesses of the program. Indicators on which candidates have a lower aggregate performance level are targeted and an improvement plan is implemented.

Program Alignment with Industry Demands

The college regularly compares its program offerings to industry needs and consults with industry advisory committees for regular input. The college monitors the current regional and state demand for workers in fields related to the college’s occupational programs. This is critical in a region where the overwhelming majority of in-demand jobs only require a high school diploma or less. RIE publishes the bi-annual Regional Facts & Occupational Outlook which contains data considered when making decisions about program offerings. By providing relevant programs, the college increases successful placement rates amongst its graduates.

Some programs may not have a heavy local demand, but have significant unmet statewide needs. As an example, the decision to extend our baccalaureate offerings to include a Bachelor in Applied Science degree in Water Resources Management was based upon analysis of statewide need and the uniqueness of the program. With no similar degree offerings in the other state colleges and universities, FGC developed a program uniquely tailored to the needs of the various water management districts throughout the state.

Assessment and the Program Review Process

FGC has an ongoing institutional effectiveness process to monitor student achievement. The college evaluates internally produced reports as well as reports compiled and published by FLDOE on a regular basis. Information from the multiple sources is used to determine student achievement and drive institutional decisions to update curriculum, discontinue programs, and add new programs to meet changing demands of students and industry [26].

Student success reports are produced at the end of each term and distributed to administrators, faculty and staff for review. The success reports include course enrollments, withdrawal rates, ABC and DF rates by department, program, and delivery method.

FGC’s comprehensive program review process is an in depth self-study of academic and occupational programs that is completed approximately every five years. Information reviewed in this report is compiled from the multiple data sources reviewed by the institution. In addition to monitoring the college’s standards for student achievement, the comprehensive review also monitors other indicators of program quality such as instruction, curriculum design, currently available resources and needed resources [27]. This self-study helps to ensure the programs offered are directly related to the college’s mission. For further details on FGC’s program review, refer to CS3.3.1.1

Student Achievement in Distance Learning Coursework

FGC analyzes student achievement in all coursework disaggregated by method of delivery and publishes the results in the college Fact Book each year. As evidenced in the table below, several years of data indicated that, although the discrepancy was not large, students enrolled in online courses were not performing as well as those in traditional classroom courses. Withdrawal rates were slightly higher and success rates lower. It was also noted that students enrolled in hybrid courses—mostly online with a limited number of classroom meetings—performed better than in any other delivery method.

Method of Course Delivery % Successful % Unsuccessful %Withdrawn
Online 76.9% 18.2% 4.9%
Hybrid 87.4% 8.7% 3.9%
Traditional Classroom 84.0% 12.4% 3.6%
Average Total 81.2% 14.6% 4.2%


As an initiative of the college’s Retention Plan focusing on improvement in online instruction, in 2013 the distance learning director developed an in-house training course for instructors teaching online courses [28]. All full-time instructors were required to be certified through the course as of Fall 2014; adjunct instructors were required to be certified by Spring 2015; and newly-hired instructors will be expected to enroll and complete the course in the first term teaching online. Professional development is also offered on an ongoing basis throughout the term by the director of distance learning. [29]

The certification course consists of five modules:

  1. Learn about FGC
  2. Technology at FGC
  3. Building Interaction and Communication with Students
  4. Developing and Managing the Online Classroom
  5. Blackboard Basics

Upon completion of each module, an assessment is given. Successful completers receive a certificate of completion. Completion of the course demonstrates they have the necessary knowledge to improve teaching skills for the online environment.

The college uses Blackboard Collaborate™, a collaborative learning platform for synchronous learning in an online environment. It allows instructors and students to interact in virtual classroom situations and individual consultations. This interactivity increases student engagement which has been shown to improve success rates in online learning.

The expectation is that the performance gap between online, hybrid, and traditionally taught courses will narrow as instructional technological competence increasingly develops.

[1] State Reports on College Network Screenshot
[2] FGC Fact Book
[3] Sample InfoHub – Spring 2013
[4] Goals for Student Achievement and Student Success Summary
[5] Regional Facts & Occupational Outlook
[6] RIE Publications on the Web
[7] Student Success Reports Samples
[8] Accountability Report M1P2 – Retention and Success
[9] FCS 2012-2017 Strategic Plan
[10] Performance Funding Measures
[11] Retention Plan
[12] Facts-at-a-Glance on the Web
[13] Accountability Report M4P1 – College Preparatory Completion
[14] Accountability Report M4P2 – Retention & Success of College Prep Degree Seekers
[15] SB1720 Summary – Became Law in 2013
[16] Florida Statutes 1008.30
[17] Developmental Education Program Review
[18] Developmental Education Implementation Plan
[19] Summary of AA Board Actions – Re: SLS1501
[20] Florida Department of Education Articulation Reports (LEVISMARY, CCSMRYYRP)
[21] Florida Statutes 1008.39
[22] RIE Institutional Assessment on the Web
[23] Accountability Report M3P2 – Vocational Placement
[24] Florida Department of Business and Regulation Report (Cosmetology)
[25] Taskstream Performance by Standard Report
[26] Program Actions Summary
[27] Program Review Reports
[28] Blackboard Certification Course
[29] Distance Learning Professional Development
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Page Last Updated: July 13, 2015