STATEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) is a Christian Africentric ecumenical consortium of seminaries and fellowships that educates students who commit to practicing justice and peace through a liberating and transforming spirituality to become leaders in the church and local/global communities.
There are three key performance indicators that are linked to the ITC mission: (student perceptions captured on the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) graduate survey, program retention and completion rates and, graduation rates. Since the ITC is a constituent theological center, the placement data is evidenced in the ITC student enrollment and placement data from the five constituent seminaries and one fellowship (Morehouse School of Religion, Turner Theological Seminary, Gammon Seminary, Phillips School of Theology, C. H. Mason Seminary and the H. V. Richardson Fellowship). Through these seminaries, an ecumenical environment of high quality is maintained in the delivery of the Master of Divinity degree program and enrollment in its distance education, the Master of Arts in Christian Education, the Doctor of Theology, and the Doctor of Ministry degree programs, along with re-calibrating the ITC certificate program.
The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) evaluates its educational effectiveness through annual unit reviews of its degree programs and analysis of how well students have met the learning outcomes the ITC Faculty Council has established for each degree program. The ITC Enrollment Management and Marketing Team (EMMT-Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Registrar) compile student retention data for ITC determining benchmarks for FTE enrollment. The Sankofa Center for Data Evaluation and Quality Enhancement reports areas for quality enhancement, which is then reviewed by the Institutional Effectiveness/QEP Committee and Faculty Council. Improvements based upon this review are acted upon through the designated institutional standing committee and reported to the ITC Board of Trustees (excluding policy improvements, which are solely trustee decisions).
Degree program reviews are conducted using the logic model for purposes of documenting program learning outcomes, resources needed to achieve outcomes, direct and indirect measures used to connect student performance to learning outcomes, improvements made, and dissemination of those improvements. This process informs key decisions that affect ITC resource allocation and delivery of the programs. The assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes using key performance indicators (e.g., 80% achievement rate on embedded assignments and comprehensive exams, 2.7 or above on a 4-point leadership inventory, capstone project (i.e., thesis) or dissertation ratings, and enrollment data) for each degree program describe the level of quality in faculty, student, and program engagement that advances the ITC mission
The ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire asks graduating seniors to rate their satisfaction level with aspects of the education they received based on progress of learning skills needed for future work using a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). This summary represents the responses of the ITC students graduating during the academic year 2016-2017. In their satisfaction to the Level of satisfaction with school’s services and academic resources, the overall rating assigned by 89% of the graduating students averaged 3.98% (1-very dissatisfied, 2-somewhat dissatisfied, 3-neutral, 4-satisfied, 5-very satisfied.)
Program Completion Ratio
The ITC program completion ratio has reflected the increase in the multiple ways students can matriculate in the two Masters level degree programs. The following Table A indicates the program completion for full time students (those taking 12 hours or more) and part time students which now represents 46.3% of the master levels program completers.
As indicated on the Table B, between FY2012 and FY2014, the retention rate for full-time Master of Divinity students increased by 12% from 82% to 94% then decreased that following year. Analyses for students within the constituent seminaries and Richardson fellowship identified similar reasons for withdrawing from courses or unsatisfactory academic progress. The lists of students at risk are shared with the ITC VP for Academic Services/Provost to identify full-time students in need of special attention to impact first year retention. Retention tends to be effective in maintaining overall graduation rates.
Graduation by Program
As indicated on the report for the Interdenominational Theological Center, the ten-year graduation rate that was reported to the Association for Theological Schools ATS) has remained relatively the same even with increases in enrollment in 2006, 2011 and 2012. This indicates the impact of maintaining requisite courses in sequence for timely completion. However, the enrollment of new students fell on or below completion rates over a seven-year period. Based upon this data the completion rate at the Master’s level is 4.32 years.