TTU has highest persistence to graduation among all TBR institutions

One substantial indicator of a university's success is whether or not its students can persist to graduate within the expected four to six years. Student satisfaction, faculty encouragement and academic strength all play important roles to that effect.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission, in its latest Tennessee Challenge 2000 report, listed the graduation rates of all the state's public institutions, and once again, Tennessee Technological University ranked first among all other schools in the Tennessee Board of Regents System.

The findings, listed in the THEC annual report submitted last week, include top rankings for Tennessee Tech in the categories of persistence to graduation as well as ACT scores, scholar program recipients, remedial and developmental courses, and professional licensure exam pass rates.

"This report proves what we've always known," said Tennessee Tech President Angelo Volpe. "Our quality has helped us attract many of the brightest students in the state. That quality and our standards of excellence are what keeps our students here, keeps them motivated, and keeps them on a smooth course to graduation and, later, their careers."

According to the Challenge 2000 report:

  • Tennessee Tech has the highest persistence to graduation rate among all TBR institutions. Of those students enrolling at the university in 1990, 47.61 percent graduated by 1996, more than six percentage points higher than the next leading institution.

  • The average ACT score for students entering Tennessee Tech was 22.6, the highest among students at all other universities or community colleges in the TBR system.

  • Tennessee Tech also enrolled more Ned McWherter Scholars and Tennessee Teacher Loan/Scholarship Program recipients than any other TBR institution. The McWherter Scholars program was created to encourage academically talented Tennessee high school graduates to attend college within the state, and the Teacher Loan Program offers forgivable loans to encourage outstanding students to earn their degrees and become teachers in Tennessee.

  • From fall 1994 through fall 1996, only 33.9 percent of first-time freshmen at Tennessee Tech were required to take remedial or developmental courses, the lowest percentage of any TBR institution.

  • For the past 10 years, Tennessee Tech has had the highest percentage of students who passed the engineering professional licensure exam, higher than any other public institution in the state. In addition, more Tennessee Tech students took the exam than those at any other state institution.

  • And in 1996, 100 percent of the Tennessee Tech students who took the nursing licensure exam passed. Only one other baccalaureate program in the state earned the same perfect pass rate.

Tennessee Challenge 2000 was established by THEC in 1989 to demonstrate its commitment to improved quality in higher education, its interest in fostering racial diversity and awareness, and its desire to be accountable to all who surround and influence the course of higher education in Tennessee.

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