The mission of Agnes Scott College is to educate “women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.” The college carries out this mission by offering a liberal arts curriculum enhanced by interdisciplinary studies and experiential learning opportunities. A liberal arts education provides students with the tools to think deeply and critically and to lead lives of purpose and consequence informed by that thinking.  Liberal arts graduates have greater flexibility with career options and enjoy a lifetime of learning.

In evaluating student success with respect to this mission, Agnes Scott considers persistence and graduation rates, experiential learning participation rates and post-graduation activities of its alumnae.

Persistence & Graduation

Agnes Scott’s goal is for all students to persist in their studies and graduate in a timely manner. In evaluating student success, Agnes Scott looks carefully at student retention and graduation rates. The college expects to outperform national averages for four-year colleges and strives to do as well as its peer institutions.

First-to-Second-Year Retention

The rate at which first-year students return for their sophomore year fluctuates from year to year but has averaged 82 percent over the past five years, well above the national average of 68 percent and above the average for private baccalaureate colleges of 70 percent.

Students entering in

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Average

79%

84%

82%

83%

82%

82%

Graduates Completing in Four Years

The majority of students who graduate from Agnes Scott do so within four years.  There are good and valid reasons for a student to take an extra semester or year to graduate, for example, enrolling in one of Agnes Scott’s 3-2 dual-degree programs.  The percentage of graduates who graduated in four years or less has averaged 92 percent over the past five years.

Students entering in

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Average

87%

90%

90%

92%

99%

92%

Six-year Graduation Rate

The six-year graduation rate over the past five years averages 69 percent, also well above the national average of 46 percent and above the average for private baccalaureate colleges of 57 percent.

Students entering in

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Average

69%

65%

64%

72%

74%

69%

Experiential Learning

Agnes Scott wants every student to experience study abroad, internships and/or mentored research, immersive experiences that link the classroom to a wider world. In support of this goal, the college has provided Advantage Awards of up to $3,000, which can be used to support students in completing these activities.

Study Abroad

Agnes Scott fosters leaders with cross-cultural sensitivity and knowledge about world cultures. Study abroad experiences range from a few weeks to an academic year, include our own faculty-led programs as well as exchange programs and those sponsored by other organizations and cover a breadth of disciplines and career possibilities. About half of Agnes Scott’s graduates in the past two years studied abroad for academic credit.  Beginning with students entering fall 2015, all first-year students will have a global study experience during the spring of their first year.

Students graduating in

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Average

 

 

40%

40%

42%

51%

49%

44%

Internships

Internships provide a valuable adjunct to classroom learning and serve as a vehicle for professional exploration. Internships are real world applications of both a student’s major discipline as well as the broader liberal arts experience, allowing a student to extend and expand her area of study from the classroom to the outside world. Approximately two-thirds of Agnes Scott graduates in the past two years participated in an internship prior to graduation.

Students graduating in

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Average

60%

62%

59%

68%

65%

63%

Mentored Research

Mentored research experiences are activities involving collaboration between a faculty mentor and a student.  Complex, open-ended questions and problems are presented, requiring analytic, creative, systematic inquiry and cultivating an appreciation of how to create new knowledge.

Our goal is for students to take advantage of these focused and individualized experiences that will produce the generation of new ideas within the framework of traditional faculty-led scholarly or creative activity.

In 2012-2013, 10 students completed an independent study research project. In 2013-2014, this number increased to 24, more than 10 percent of the graduating class.

Using a broader definition of undergraduate research, which includes substantive research projects under close supervision of a faculty member in senior seminars and capstone courses, 83 percent of graduates in each of the past three graduating classes participated in research.

Students typically present the results of their research at SpARC, the college’s Spring Annual Research Conference. The percentage of all students presenting at SpARC in any one year averages 14 percent.

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Average

15%

12%

15%

13%

14%

14%

In 2014, the recipient of the prestigious Taussig Award for best undergraduate research paper in economics was an Agnes Scott student.

Post-Graduation Activities

A part of the college’s mission is to foster “an environment in which women can develop high expectations for themselves as individuals, scholars, professionals and citizens of the world.” By the time of graduation, students should be well prepared for further study in graduate or professional school or to enter the world of work. Over the past five years, results from the Senior Survey administered at the time of graduation have shown that close to 25 percent typically enter graduate or professional school immediately following graduation. Nearly half indicate they are seeking employment; of these, about half report having at least one job offer by graduation. Other students are undecided about their immediate plans or plan to continue their education at the undergraduate level or volunteer or travel or join the military.

Many Agnes Scott graduates pursue professional careers in medicine and law. Over the past five years, approximately 2 percent of graduates have attended medical school and 2 percent attended law school.  The acceptance rate to medical school typically ranges from 80 to 100 percent.

Agnes Scott places in the top 5 percent of all colleges and universities whose graduates earn Ph.Ds., based on data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates from 2002 to 2011 compared with the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded between 1997 and 2006. According to the Journal of Undergraduate Economic Education’s study of the baccalaureate origins of Ph.D.'s, Agnes Scott ranked #2 in the country in the percentage of its graduates who went on to complete Ph.D.'s in economics.

Another measure of student achievement is the number of students who receive prestigious competitive national and international awards. In recent years, the college has had a Truman and a Marshall scholar and a Rhodes finalist. In the past six years, three students were named Goldwater Scholars and three others awarded Honorable Mention. More than 20 Agnes Scott students have been awarded Fulbright fellowships in the past five years.

The results of the college’s most recent survey of alumnae show that more than 80 percent of graduates felt prepared for their current career and that more than 90 percent felt prepared for graduate education by their Agnes Scott experience.

% Responding Greatly and Moderately

    Extent prepared for activities by undergraduate education

 

Post-baccalaureate education 

93%

Current career 

83%

Social and civic involvement 

80%

According to the 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement, more than half of Agnes Scott seniors responded that their experience at this institution contributed “quite a bit” or “very much” to their knowledge, skill and personal development in acquiring job or work-related knowledge and skills.

While not specific to Agnes Scott College, a study by Hardwick Day in 2007 and repeated in 2012, provided evidence that a much higher percentage of women’s college graduates, which included Agnes Scott alumnae, reported earning a graduate degree than graduates of other institutions (51% women’s colleges, 33% co-ed liberal arts colleges, 27% flagship state universities). Women’s college graduates also reported feeling better prepared for life after college than graduates of other colleges (56% women’s colleges, 50% co-ed liberal arts colleges, 24% flagship state universities)

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