Student Achievement

To demonstrate the achievement of goals and outcomes, Lees-McRae examines student achievement criteria including graduation and retention rates, job placement, and licensure examination pass rates. 

When data is available, the college compares its retention and graduation rates with a number of other institutions by using information reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The majority of the colleges and universities in the comparison groups share one or more attributes with Lees-McRae, including but not limited to: student demographics, program offerings, geographic settings, and operational characteristics. The three primary comparison groups are:

As a school of opportunity, the college has test-optional admissions and considers a holistic review of all applicants. Thresholds for student achievement are established considering the institution’s commitment to educational access.


Retention is a measure of the rate at which students persist at the institution. Per federal guidelines, Lees-McRae uses the term retention rate for the percentage of first time, first year (FTFY) degree-seeking undergraduates from the fall semester who are enrolled again in the subsequent fall. The college uses the term persistence rate when monitoring a rate for other types of entering students.

Retention Data

The expected threshold for FTFY undergraduate retention is at or above the 40th percentile of ACA member institutions.


Per federal guidelines, the college’s reported rate of graduation represents the percent of full-time FTFY undergraduate students that complete their program of study within 150 percent of normal time to completion (6 years for baccalaureate degrees). The college also examines a 150-percent graduation rate for other types of entering undergraduate students.

 Graduation Data

The expected threshold for FTFY undergraduate graduation is at or above the 40th percentile of ACA member institutions.

Licensure Examinations

Two academic programs culminate in a licensure examination: Elementary Education and Nursing (Pre-licensure). These rates are examined and compared to state and national levels.

Education Licensure DataPer North Carolina State Board of Education policies, the expected threshold for passing all teacher education state licensure exams is 85 percent.


Nursing Licensure Data
Per North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) policies, the expected threshold for passing the NCLEX-RN is 95 percent of the national rate.

Career Outcomes

Career outcomes are defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as graduates who are employed in the field, participating in volunteer or armed services, or enrolled in continuing education. The NACE standard excludes those who are not actively seeking employment.

Career Outcome Rates
The expected threshold for career outcomes is 80 percent.