Measuring Progress

The system effectiveness measures identified on the following pages provide descriptive evidence that the Southwest Missouri State University System is serving its constituents in a meaningful way by providing thorough educational services, by fulfilling various state interests, and by conducting its activities in an efficient manner. These measures represent the priorities and commitments of the institution and assume a relatively stable budgetary environment over the next five years. However, it is possible that the university may face severe funding restrictions as a result of initiatives such as Amendment No. 7. In that situation, priorities and commitments to the effectiveness measures will remain the same, but the level of funding to support each of these measures will be adjusted to reflect the new, reduced level of funding available to the university.

The intent of each measure is to demonstrate that the university has made a firm commitment toward either a state or an institutional goal. Particular emphasis is placed on tracking the implementation of goals identified in the CBHE Critical Choices document. An annual report of data for each measure will allow each reader to determine whether progress is being made in implementing the institution's long-range plan.

Measures used to monitor implementation of the long-range plan, as well as goals identified in the CBHE Critical Choices document, are provided in Chart P.

Chart P

Student outcome measures

Measure DefinitionInstitutional GoalData Source
Retention rate is defined as the percentage of students enrolled for one semester who return for a specified future semester. The retention rate of first-time, full-time freshmen in fall 1999 will be 78% to the following fall semester and 70% to the second following semester. (Springfield Campus) Fall cohort study.
Success rate is defined as the percentage of students who complete 24 or more credit hours at SMSU during the academic year (fall, spring, and summer) with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. The success rate of first-time, full-time freshmen in fall 1999 and subsequent semesters will be 85% or higher. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 8) Student data set.
Graduation rate is the percentage of first-time, full-time freshmen who graduate within a six-year period. Students who transfer to other institutions are excluded from the original cohort in calculating the rate. The graduation rate of first-time, full-time freshmen in fall 1999 and subsequent semesters will be 65% or higher. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 10) Fall cohort study.
Graduations in Critical Disciplines-- The number of bachelor's degrees awarded in a Fiscal Year in selected disciplines, as defined by CBHE. By fall 1999, SMSU will double the output of graduates in critical disciplines over the output of 1990-91. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 14) Graduation data on IPEDS C1.
General Education Assessment -- The results of the administration of a standardized test of general education. By 1995-96, 100 percent of baccalaureate graduates will be assessed by a standardized test of general education and the resulting institutional mean will meet or exceed the national comparative mean. General education test scores collected by Center for Assessment and Instructional Support (CAIS).
Employers Perception of Graduates-- The results of surveys of employers of SMSU graduates to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the graduates. By FY 1999, the percentage of employers rating recent baccalaureate graduates as well-prepared will increase 15 percent above the baseline data from a 1995 survey. Data to be collected by the CAIS.
Achievement Tests -- The results of a variety of tests or other indicators including the MFAT/professional exams/licensing exams/national tests/other measures to be determined which will, by the CAIS, indicate proficiency in major fields of study. By 1996, 90% of the students admitted to SMSU's teacher education program will attain an Enhanced ACT Composite Score at the 66th percentile and/or an equivalent score of 265 on the Cbase, or above. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 4) Data to be collected by the CAIS.
80% of SMSU's prospective secondary school classroom teachers will attain a level of performance on nationally normed Major Field Achievement Tests in their content field which equals or exceeds the national average, i.e., at or above the 50th percentile. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 4) Data to be collected by the CAIS.
Exit assessment scores on the National Teacher Examination for at least 80% of the newly certified teachers will equal or exceed the national average, i.e., at or above the 50th percentile. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 4) Data to be collected by the CAIS.
The percentage of baccalaureate graduates scoring above the 50th percentile on nationally normed exit assessments in their major field of study will rank among the 10 highest recorded for all states; further, the number of baccalaureate graduates scoring above the 90th percentile on appropriate nationally normed assessments will double. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 4) Data to be collected by the CAIS.
Transfer Rate defined as the number of entering transfer students from Missouri two-year institutions. The number of transfer students from Missouri two-year institutions will increase to 600 by the fall 1999 semester (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 13) Report on DHE7-2.
Under the selective admission standard, students must either have an ACT composite score of 24 or higher, or the sum of their ACT composite percentile and high school percentile must be 120 or greater. By the fall 1999 semester, 90% of first-time, full-time freshmen entering SMSU will meet the selective admission standard (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 7) Student data set.
The High School Core Curriculum is a 16-unit core, including four units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 3 units of Social Studies, and 3 units selected from those courses and/or foreign languages, or as modified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. All first-time, full-time degree-seeking students in the fall of 1996 who have completed 23 or fewer credit hours at another college or university and who graduated from high school in 1996 or later will have completed the core curriculum. (Springfield Campus, Critical Choices, Goal 1) Student data set.
Minority Participation defined as the percentage of enrolled students who are members of a minority group (see definitions below). By fall 1999 semester, 7% of total SMSU system enrollment will be minority students. (Critical Choices, Goal 3) Report on IPEDS EF-1.

Annual program outcome measures

In addition to the systems effectiveness measures discussed on pages previously, SMSU will implement an annual program of outcome measures that will allow the university to track progress toward long-range goals. Criteria developed by the University Planning Advisory Council during the 1994 spring semester formed the basis for the suggested program outcome measures listed in Chart Q. The Council developed criteria that would meet to exceed those criteria designated in the CBHE Critical Choices document for evaluating the quality of academic programs.

The annual program outcome measures provide academic review statistics that can be used to develop longitudinal descriptions of the academic units within SMSU colleges and themes. the accumulated descriptions will be incorporated into department and institution plans, self-studies, five-year CBHE reviews, North Central Accreditation reviews. Many of these outcome measures relate to data that were requested in the past or are anticipated for CBHE "Missouri Higher Education Performance Indicators" and "Supplemental Budget Data" data collection.

The process will maintain a cyclical review system that permits continuous improvement and progress monitoring. The regular collection of measurement statistics enables advance preparation for a variety of reporting requirements. The statistics are intended to track performance over time as data accumulate from annual measures. The purpose is to maintain a continuous data set to support requests, decision, reports, and reviews in future.

The measures link planning, resources, and performance within academic units and the university through an ongoing monitoring system. The measures will provide a way to track progress towards SMSU goals for the year 2000.

Chart Q

Annual program outcome measures



Percentage for each level.

Diversity of highest degree

Percentage from Missouri.
Percentage from contiguous state.
Percentage from other.

Faculty teaching loads

Percent of hours devoted to instruction.
Percent of hours devoted to research.
Percent of hours devoted to service.
Average number of credit hours taught.
Average number of contact hours taught.
Student:faculty ratio.
Average number of students advised.
Number of full-time faculty members.
Number of adjunct faculty.
Teaching and student learning.
Percentage participating in documented faculty development and instructional improvement activities.
Number with teacher certification or training related to the development of teaching skills.
Number included in teaching ability assessment involving at least three different measures.
Examples include teaching portfolios, peer evaluations, feedback from current students and alumni, and supervisory personnel.
Number of minorities employed.
Average dollar amount of financial support from external sources per faculty member.


High school preparation of students

High school rank distribution.
ACT score distribution.
Percentage of majors with core courses.
Number entering with advanced placement.

Undergraduate students (Springfield campus only)

Number of students enrolled in undergraduate courses.
Number of transfer students.
Percentage of enrollment in upper level courses provided by the program receiving a grade of C or above.
Percentage of students in the program with a GPA of 2.00 or above.
Percentage of students completing baccalaureate degree in six years.
Student exit assessment results such as scores on standardized tests, certification or licensure, locally developed measures, awards and recognition received at the state level or above, portfolios, performances, and exhibits.
Student General Education Exit Exam scores.
Number of minority students receiving undergraduate degrees with the program major.
Percentage of students in a major who are minority students.
Percentage of students completing a baccalaureate degree in six years who are minority students.

Graduate students

Distribution of national exam scores of students entering graduate programs.
Number of students enrolled in graduate courses.


Square feet required for library materials, seating, and staff according to library standards.
Estimated gate count for one week.
Circulation by category of borrower.
Number of items checked out by category and by call number area.
Number of items borrowed through interlibrary loan.
Number of items loaned through interlibrary loan.
Percent of library materials budget allocated to departments for discretionary use.

Facilities assigned

Square feet for instruction.
Square feet for laboratory or activity center.


Dollars spent to add more advanced equipment to modernize program offerings.
Dollars spent to replace equipment.


Number of other institutions within the state offering the same major.
Average dollar amount of financial aid per student receiving aid.
Number of student credit hours produced.
Percentage of programs offering practical experiences for students (internships, practicums, or other experience that provide application of skills and abilities related to the program).
Percentage of programs requiring a practical experience component.
Total number of students enrolled in program courses.
Average number of each major graduated for prior three years at the baccalaureate degree level. (Springfield Campus)
Average number of each major graduated for prior three years at the associate degree level. (West Plains Campus)
Average number of each major graduated for prior three years at the master's degree level. (Springfield Campus)
Average number of each major graduated for prior three years at the doctoral degree level. (Springfield Campus)
Alumni satisfaction rate.
Number of graduates entering any graduate school. (Springfield Campus)
Number of graduates entering any four-year school. (West Plains Campus)

Accreditations associations

Number of programs accredited.
Statistics to support specialized accreditation requirements.


Demand by students

Number entering the undergraduate program.
Number entering the SMSU graduate program. (Springfield Campus)

Demand for graduates

Number of graduates with degrees in areas critical to Missouri.
Number of graduates employed within one year.
Number of students entering SMSU graduate school. (Springfield Campus)
Number of students entering any four-year school. (West Plains Campus)
Employer satisfaction rates.

Community benefits

Community constituents served by academic research and service (individuals, special populations, or organizations).

Location/comparative advantages

Community collaboration resulting from the program relative to the unique location of SMSU and the university themes.


Total program direct cost

Cost per major.
Cost per student credit hour.
Cost per program credit hour.