Tennessee Tech Tops State Report Card on Higher Ed for 2nd Year

Tennessee Technological University once again leads its peer universities in the state when it comes to student learning and accountability, a Tennessee Board of Regents report card released Friday shows.

Tennessee Tech garnered the highest scores in four of five categories in student learning, earned highest rankings in the external academic program review category, and topped the list with the highest percentage of students receiving financial aid. TTU also has the second lowest tuition and fee rate of any public university in the state.

"To say I'm proud would be an understatement," said TTU President Angelo Volpe. "This reinforces what we've always known - that Tennessee Tech is the best education value in the state."

The report card, TBR's second report on accountability in Tennessee's public higher education system, includes information based on several performance indicators, from student learning to private giving. TTU ranked number one in graduation rates, student performance on core knowledge and skills tests, student satisfaction, alumni satisfaction, external academic program peer reviews and financial aid awards.

This is the second year Tennessee Tech achieved top scores in most of the same categories.

"The most satisfying result of this report card comes in knowing, without a doubt, our students are receiving the best education possible," Volpe added. "Not only are they performing way above the average on standardized tests, they're successfully completing their degrees here, which means they're becoming outstanding, productive citizens of our state and nation."

While about 40 percent of students at TBR universities graduated within six years, 51 percent of Tennessee Tech students earned degrees in that time, far surpassing all other institutions.

Tennessee Tech student performance on standardized tests of core knowledge and skills also skewed the curve. Some 60 percent of TTU students tested at or above the national average, compared to an average 50 percent for TBR universities combined.

When it comes to student satisfaction, Tennessee Tech again topped the list. Of students currently enrolled in TBR universities, 90 percent said they were "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their education. At Tennessee Tech, that percentage soared to 94 percent.

Alumni surveyed two years after graduation reported an average 81 percent satisfaction rate for the education they received at TBR universities. Tennessee Tech's alumni satisfaction rate, however, was much higher at 93 percent. The next closest university score was 85 percent.

In the academic program category, Tennessee Tech garnered top rankings again. One hundred percent of TTU's undergraduate programs evaluated by external review teams met at least 90 percent of the established standards.

Tennessee Tech's students also far surpassed other TBR student groups in another compelling category - financial aid. Some 64 percent of TTU students receive financial aid, according to the report, compared to 55 percent systemwide.

Academic programs, faculty productivity and private giving are among other categories reviewed for the report card. Most of those categories don't lend themselves to institutional comparison, however.

"Tennessee Tech's students, faculty and staff deserve the credit for this accomplishment," Volpe said. "They have achieved so much despite our difficult financial situation. Imagine what could be done with more."
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